The Sox lost to the Mariners 11-4 in the series opener in Seattle Monday night. What improvement that had been seen in Lester disappeared. The bullpen continued to struggle. The offense, while a little stronger than Sunday, was rather weak.
Jon Lester gave up 5 earned runs and 9 hits with 6 strikeouts and 2 walks. After 112 pitches Lester was lifted just two batters, and no outs, into the 6th inning. Lester, who had had two good games previously, seemed to revert back to his June slump.
The Sox bats managed only 4 runs on 10 hits. Daniel Nava and David Ortiz had two hits each but the team was just 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position. In the 5th inning, Felix Hernandez started to look hittable. The Sox tied the game when Jose Iglesias, who had been hit by a pitch, scored after singles by Brock Holt and Daniel Nava, and a wild pitch allowed Holt to score. Thanks to doubles by Mike Napoli and Jarrod Saltalamacchia the Sox scored two more runs in the 8th off of Oliver Perez, but it was too little too late.
It’s no secret that Sox bullpen hasn’t been stellar lately. After Lester was lifted at the beginning of the 6th inning, Alex Wilson allowed 3 hits and 3 earned runs, in only 1.1 innings, to bring his ERA up to 4.88. Jose De La Torre (7.71 ERA) was brought in in the 7th to give the Sox a chance to come back, but things went from bad to worse. The right-hander allowed 3 hits and 3 runs in his 1.2 innings to put the Sox firmly behind.
The Sox face another challenge when they play the Mariners again at 10:10 pm (Eastern) Tuesday night. Allen Webster (1-2, 7.88 ERA) goes against Seattle’s Iwakuma (7-4, 2.60 ERA).