Ugly homestand for Red Sox starting rotation

Ugly homestand for Red Sox starting rotation
May 22, 2014, 9:30 pm
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BOSTON - A change of scenery may do the Red Sox rotation good.

Each member of the rotation took a turn getting tagged at Fenway Park during this homestand, starting with John Lackey last Saturday, and ending with Jon Lester Thursday.

The rotation had been this team's strong suit for much of the season, but over the last week it's been anything but. In fact, during the six-game homestand, the Sox rotation had a whopping 7.74 ERA.

Each starter has bombed since Lester's last start against the Tigers last Friday. They've all given up five-or-more runs in their respective outings (Buchholz had four earned runs, but five total), while only Lester lasted into the 7th inning.

"It starts, as we've talked about earlier in the year, it starts with the guys that begin the game on the mound," John Farrell said. "We've got to set the tone with our rotation. We've got to keep an opposing offense in check to give us some opportunities to capitalize on, but that's not happened through these last seven games, obviously."

The Red Sox had a lead in this homestand for a total of one half of an inning, a 1-0 lead going into the top of the third inning in Sunday night's 6-2 loss to the Tigers. That's just not going to cut it.

"We're in a stretch of games here where we're giving up too many runs early," Farrell said, "and we're scuffling to score runs. And that's a dangerous combination right now."

Now, the Red Sox head to Tampa Bay, the only team they're looking down on in the AL East. It'll be up to John Lackey to put an end to the losing streak and allow the Sox offense to do something they haven't done much of lately - take a lead.

"Everyone in our uniform is aware of what's taken place currently," Farrell said. "We have to remain positive in our daily work and our approach. And like I said, the guy that takes the mound tomorrow night, John Lackey, we're going to look at him to set the tone and stabilize things."