A league of their own

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A league of their own

BOSTON -- Jon Lester turned in a decent outing, but not good enough for a win, as the Red Sox dropped the opener of their three-game series against the Orioles, 4-2, at Fenway Park Friday night.

Lester went seven innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and three walks with three strikeouts and a wild pitch. He fell to 9-13, with a 4.96 ERA.

Miguel Gonzalez earned the win for the Orioles, improving to 7-4 with a 3.52 ERA. He went 6 13 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts. It was the second win this season against the Sox for Bostons 2008 Rule 5 pick.

Lester was given a brief 1-0 lead in the third when Daniel Nava and Pedro Ciriaco doubled. But Lester gave up two runs in fourth when J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones, and Matt Wieters opened the inning with consecutive singles.

The Sox tied the game in the fifth. With two outs Ciriaco, Scott Podsednik, and Dustin Pedroia each singled, tying the score, 2-2.

But the Os went ahead in the sixth when Jones walked with one out, scoring on Wieters double. Mark Reynolds double scored Reynolds.

Scott Atchison pitched a scoreless eighth, giving up a hit with one strikeout. It was his 40th appearance of the season, three behind his career high in 2010.

Mark Melancon pitched a scoreless ninth, but hit Red Sox nemesis Robert Andino in the helmet with a pitch, forcing Andino out of the game. Melancon also gave up a hit.

Ciriaco and Podsednik led the Sox offense, going 2-for-4 each. Ciriaco also had an RBI and scored a run. Dustin Pedroias two-out RBI single in the fifth snapped an 0-for-18 slide.

Jim Johnson earned his 46th save with a scoreless ninth.

Benintendi, Red Sox hang on to beat Cubs, 5-4

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Benintendi, Red Sox hang on to beat Cubs, 5-4

BOSTON - Andrew Benintendi hit a solo homer off Jake Arrieta during a five-run first inning and the Boston Red Sox held on to beat the Chicago Cubs 5-4 Friday night.

Every Boston starter had at least one hit, and Hanley Ramirez, Mitch Moreland, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Christian Vazquez also drove in a run each.

Left-hander Drew Pomeranz (2-1) got the win with six innings of two-run ball, surrendering solo homers to Kris Bryant and Albert Almora Jr. in the early innings before settling in. He allowed six hits and two walks while striking out seven.

Boston has won its last nine interleague games at Fenway Park.

Arrieta (3-1) logged his shortest start since Aug. 28, 2014, lasting only 4 1/3 innings and giving up 10 hits and three walks with five strikeouts.

Broadcasting role unlikely for Ortiz, who met with Red Sox this week

Broadcasting role unlikely for Ortiz, who met with Red Sox this week

BOSTON - It's a tad ironic the Red Sox met with David Ortiz on Tuesday about his post-playing career, and then the offense went out and did nothing and Xander Bogaerts was publicly lamenting Ortiz's absence two days later.

John Henry, Tom Werner, Ortiz and his agent, Fern Cuza, met at Fenway Park on Tuesday to discuss the retired slugger’s future role with the organization, team president Sam Kennedy said. 

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Nothing's imminent, but there's one thing Ortiz is unlikely to do with the Sox in the near future: broadcasting. He could still do some of that in the postseason for say, FOX, but it appears an arrangement with NESN isn't in the cards for now, per Kennedy.

Ortiz's role with the Red Sox is still expected to be wide-ranging, something bigger than the standard alumnus agreement. He seems set on taking his time, enjoying his retired life, saying over the weekend he wants to be able to give the job the time it deserves. 

Kennedy in April was unsure if anything would get done this year. 

As for the team's play without Ortiz, and Bogaerts' comments?

"This is an incredibly talented ballclub," Werner said Friday at a luncheon benefitting the Red Sox Foundation and the Foundation To Be Named Later. "I’m really not terribly concerned. Like all fans, I’m a bit frustrated when we don’t give great pitching run support.

"We struggled the last couple of nights. It’s frustrating to think that Chris Sale, who I think is the best pitcher in the American League, doesn’t have much run support. But it’s April. I've been taught to not really look at the standings 'til July. Frustrated by the past two days, but look at the standings, and we’re only one win behind the Cubs. So you know, I mean I wish we were playing a little bit better,  but the team is going to bounce back."

Werner reiterated the Sox have room in their budget to add players ahead of the trade deadline.