Closing Time: Red Sox head back to Fenway Park with just one win
|04.11.12 at 2:53 pm ET|
TORONTO — The Red Sox fell to 1-5 on the season with a 3-1 loss to the Blue Jays on Wednesday afternoon, often looking hapless against a dominant Ricky Romero. Jon Lester (0-1) pitched a complete game in the loss for the Sox, who will host Tampa in the home opener on Friday following an off day on Thursday.
Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ loss:
WHAT WENT WRONG
– The offense struggled mightily against Romero, managing just one run on three hits in eight-plus innings. They also failed to show any patience at the plate, drawing zero walks as Romero threw 104 pitches. Romero retired 17 straight batters he faced at one point until walking Jacoby Ellsbury to start the ninth inning.
– After posting a multi-hit game last night Kevin Youkils was hitless in four at-bats and is now batting just .100, with a crucial ninth-inning strikeout. Perhaps more alarmingly, Youkilis has yet to walk this season (hence the matching .100 on-base percentage).
– Though Jon Lester was terrific in a losing effort (more on that later) he was unsuccessful against the No. 9 hitter in the order, as Rajai Davis had one of the two hits against Lester, a third-inning triple that scored Eric Thames. Davis would later score the go-ahead run in the inning. And in the eighth inning, Davis walked (though he should have been picked off), stole second and scored on Yunel Escobar’s single.
– The Sox had a rally going in the ninth inning, with Ellsbury and Pedroia walking to lead off the frame against Romero. Adrian Gonzalez delivered a sacrifice fly to center to move Ellsbury and Pedroia into scoring position, which led to John Farrell pulling Romero for closer Sergio Santos. Youkilis then struck out swinging, completing his 0-for-4 afternoon. David Ortiz grounded out to shortstop to end the game and strand Ellsbury and Pedroia.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
– Lester has been far and away the best starting pitcher on the Sox to date in this young season, matching his strong Opening Day effort with another superb performance on Wednesday. Lester allowed just three hits and three runs in eight innings, walking two and fanning six (Lester threw 116 pitches, he threw 107 on Opening Day). Lester’s ERA on the very young season stands at 2.45.
– The Red Sox scored first in the game for the first time this season, courtesy of a Jacoby Ellsbury single that plated Mike Aviles in the third inning. Ellsbury, however, continues to struggle, batting just .130 on the season.
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