By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON -- Jon Lester and the Red Sox couldnt capitalize on the good karma Josh Beckett initiated Friday, as they fell to the Rays, 4-3, Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park.
After Beckett helped to stop the Sox franchise-worst six-game losing streak to the Rays on Friday, Lester gave up two runs in the first inning, walking Rays lead-off batter Desmond Jennings on four pitches and giving up a two-out home run to Ben Zobrist.
The Rays added another run in the third when Jennings doubled, took third on B.J. Uptons groundout to Marco Scutaro at shortstop, and scored when Lesters fourth ball to Evan Longoria was a wild pitch.
The Sox got two runs back in the bottom of the inning. Carl Crawford led off with a single to center and scored on Mike Aviles double off the wall. Scutaros sacrifice bunt moved Aviles to third and Jacoby Ellsburys sacrifice fly scored Aviles.
In the fifth inning, Evan Longorias single to right drove in Brandon Guyer, who singled and went to third on Uptons single to center, for the Rays fourth run. It was Longorias seventh RBI in the first three games of the four-game series.
The Sox closed the deficit to one in the seventh when Crawford and Aviles led off the inning with a single off Rays rookie Matt Moore, with Crawford scoring on Ellsburys groundout.
But that was as close as the Sox would get.
Lester took the loss, falling to 15-8, with a 3.15 ERA. Jeff Niemann earned the win, improving to 11-7, with a 3.95 ERA.
The loss cuts their lead over the Rays in the American League wild card race to 3 games.
Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen.