In big situation, Lester comes up small

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In big situation, Lester comes up small

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Red Sox turned to Jon Lester Sunday to snap them out of their worst losing streak since April. For one day at least, that trust was misplaced.

Lester labored through a 43-pitch first inning during which the Tampa Bay Rays scored three times. Thanks to the early elevated pitch count, Lester was done after just four innings, having thrown 111 pitches.

The three runs in the first were more than Lester allowed in his first three previous starts combined.

"He was kind of scattering balls," said Terry Francona of his lefty, "and you could tell by the pitch count how hard they were making him work."

"I didn't have anything today," confessed Lester who lost for the first time since Aug. 10. "It was one of those days where I had no command of one pitch. I didn't have a pitch that could get me back into counts.

"No excuses. I just picked the wrong time to have one of these."

After the three runs in the first, Lester battled and stranded two runners in the second and allowed just one run over his final three innings.

But the Sox weren't having any success against James Shields and the 4-1 deficit seemed far bigger than it was.

"He doesn't give up a ton of runs because he's good," said Francona. "But that was real hard work for him today."

The outing was the shortest for Lester since July 5 when he lasted just four innings against Toronto.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Ortiz quells comeback speculation: 'My playing time has expired'

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Ortiz quells comeback speculation: 'My playing time has expired'

Forget that cryptic Tweet to the Globe. David Ortiz isn't walking through that door, fans. At least not as a player.

"My playing time has already expired," Ortiz told ESPN Deportes. "Baseball is not something that you wake up today and you say, 'I'll play tomorrow.' Baseball is something that carries a lot of sacrifice, a lot of preparation, and there is a reason why we train the entire year to play it, practice every day, especially during the season, because it is a sport of consistency."

No one really thought he was contemplating a comeback, but last week he Tweeted this . . .

. . . and that raised hopes that he'd changed his mind.

Not so.

 

Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Facing a 1 p.m. Friday deadline to avoid arbitration, the Red Sox reportedly agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million deal with center field Jackie Bradley Jr., and also avoided hearings with six other players.

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, utilityman Brock Holt, pitchers Joe Kelly, Robbie Ross Jr., Tyler Thornburgh and catcher Sandy Leon also agreed to one-year deals.

Terms of the deals were not announced.

It leaves left-handers Fernando Abad and Drew Pomeranz as the only arbitration-eligible Red Sox without a deal.