Sluggish start for Lester, Sox

April, 18, 2010
And as a warmup for Marathon Monday, we had the Fenway sprint, folks racing Sunday to see how quickly they could empty the ancient yard before the reality of another Red Sox defeat set in.

The Sox are 4-8 after their first dozen games following Sunday's 7-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, their fourth straight loss, third to the Rays.

They have not held a lead in their last 39 innings. They have scored just seven runs in that span, and four of those runs came in one inning. They do not have a hit in their last 25 at-bats with a runner in scoring position. That includes loading the bases with no outs in the 11th inning of Friday/Saturday's suspended game, and failing to score.

The starting pitching has been problematic. Clay Buchholz spotted the Rays a 4-0 lead in their first at-bat Saturday. On Sunday, the Rays were up 4-0 on Jon Lester by the end of the third. In Thursday's 8-0 loss to the Twins in Minnesota, Tim Wakefield was behind 4-0 after five.

The vaunted defense has leaked at terribly inopportune times, including both of the first two games of this series, and looked shaky again Sunday, as Mike Cameron got a late break on Evan Longoria's double and Lester made a throwing error.

"Obviously, nobody's happy,'' said Lester.

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Gordon Edes

ESPN Staff Writer



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