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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Season's over: Sox lose a game

As quickly as the bandwagon fans and brain-dead media get hyped after a relatively easy opening day win, it takes roughly the same amount of time to get down as the Red Sox came back to earth last night with a 7-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway.

In a duel of great lefties, Tampa's Scott Kazmir (1-0) came out on top of Boston's Jon Lester (0-1). Kazmir went six innings, allowing one run on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Lester was gone after five innings of work. He gave up five runs on eight hits, with two walks and five strikeouts.

Lester is thought to be a top contender for the AL Cy Young this season so seeing him start out really well (all five strikeouts in the first two innings) then completely unravel was surprising to say the least.

The Rays pushed across their first run in the third on a throwing error by Kevin Youkilis.

He atoned for that mistake with an RBI single in the bottom of the inning which scored Dustin Pedroia. Youk finished with three hits, the only bright spot in a Sox lineup that struck out eight times and left nine on base.

Tampa Bay (1-1) showed it can play any style of baseball in the fifth inning. First, Jason Bartlett (three hits) executed a perfect safety squeeze, which scored former Sox player/minor league manager/bodybuilder Gabe Kapler. Lester got Evan Longoria to ground into a double play but a run still scored.

The most damaging play of the game was later in the fifth when Carlos Pena hit a two-run bomb to center, giving Tampa a commanding 5-1 lead.

Longoria hit a solo shot in the eighth off Takashi Saito (making his Red Sox debut) and Boston responded with one in their half of the inning when Jason Bay doubled home David Ortiz.

Carl Crawford's infield single in the ninth accounted for the last run of the game.

The series wraps up this afternoon with a day game pitting Matt Garza against Dice-K.

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