By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON The Red Sox offense continued to sputter Wednesday afternoon, as the Sox fell to the Rays, 4-0, in the series finale at Fenway Park.
The Sox could muster just three hits in the game a first-inning single by Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis fourth-inning single, and Jacoby Ellsburys triple leading off the sixth. The Sox had just three hits in each of the three games against the Rays, and just 15 hits over their last four games.
Despite throwing his eighth quality start in his 21st outing this season, John Lackey took the loss, falling to 11-9, while lowering his ERA from 6.13 to 6.02. He went 6 23 innings, giving up four runs, three earned, on seven hits and three walks. He also hit two batters and threw a wild pitch.
Lackey struck out seven and threw a season-high 125 pitches.
Included among the Rays' seven hits were solo home runs by B.J. Upton, leading off the fourth inning, and Evan Longoria, a two-out solo shot on a 3-0 pitch in the fifth.
David Price earned the win, improving to 11-10. He went eight scoreless innings, giving up three hits and three walks with six strikeouts. He threw 116 pitches, 76 for strikes. Kyle Farnsworth pitched a scoreless ninth inning to secure the win. It was the only relief appearance for the Rays in the three games at Fenway.
It was the first time the Sox have been shut out since June 28 in Philadelphia.
Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen
BOSTON -- After missing two-and-a-half games due to soreness in his right knee, Mookie Betts was back in the lineup for the Red Sox Monday night.
Betts was removed from Friday night's game after four innings when he experienced soreness in the knee. The knee had been bothering him since the beginning of the second half of the season.
The training staff drained some excess fluid from the knee Saturday, reducing the swelling that had taken place.
"I was able to run at full speed [Monday],'' said Betts. "We were able to get the swelling out with ice and whatnot. I tried to stay off of it (for the weekend).''
"He feels better than he has the last couple of days,'' said John Farrell.
Farrell said the Sox might have manage the condition for the rest of the season.
"I don't fully expect this to vanish,'' said Farrell. "The biggest thing is that there was a little buildup of swelling. Once that subsided and was removed, that's where he's feeling the freedom in his knee and he's ready to go tonight.''
After a power binge in which five of his seven hits were home runs, Red Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez has been named American League player of the week.
In six games, Ramirez batted .333 (7-for-21) with five homers, 12 RBI, six runs scored, a slugging percentage of 1.048 and OPS of 1.488. Three of the home runs came in one game, an 11-7 victory Wednesday night over the San Francisco Giants.
For the season, Ramirez is hitting .282 with 13 homers, 60 RBI and an OPS of .821.
Mookie Betts returns to the Red Sox lineup tonight as they open a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park.
Betts is in his customary lead-off spot and playing right field. He missed the past two games after leaving in the fifth inning on Friday night with soreness and swelling in his right knee.
Left-hander Drew Pomeranz makes his second Red Sox start since being acquired in a trade with the San Diego Padres on July 14. Pomeranz lasted only three-plus innings in his first start for Boston, allowing five runs in a game the Red Sox held on to win 11-7 over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night.
Justin Verlander (9-6, 3.74 ERA) starts for the Tigers.
Ian Kinsler 2B
Jose Iglesias SS
Miguel Cabrera 2B
Victor Martinez DH
Nick Castellanos 3B
Justin Upton LF
Mike Aviles RF
James McCann C
Andrew Romine CF
Justin Verlander RHP
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Travis Shaw 3B
Sandy Leon C
Brock Holt LF
Drew Pomeranz LHP