Jul 25, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino (18) hits a solo home run during the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Red Sox drop series opener to Rays

After losing three out of four games to the Blue Jays in Toronto, the Red Sox headed down to Florida for another division series. The Red Sox fought hard to keep the game close for seven innings, but eventually fell behind and never quite recovered, losing 6-4 Friday night.

The Sox got on the board first when Shane Victorino homered off David Price. In the sixth Victorino, who was responsible for the Sox only hit in Thursday’s game, singled to score David Ortiz. Dustin Pedroia and Jackie Bradley Jr. Each had two hits which is an encouraging sign, especially for Pedroia. Despite ending the game with more hits than the Rays, the four runs the Sox accumulated weren’t enough for the win.

Jon Lester pitched well enough to keep the Sox within reach. He lasted six innings while allowing six hits and only two runs. He struck out seven and kept his ERA at 2.52, the lowest of the Sox starting rotation. The bullpen couldn’t hang in there to get him the win, however. Andrew Miller allowed the tying run in the seventh on a single by Ben Zobrist. Junichi Tazawa was awarded his third blown save, and second loss, of the season when he gave up a three-run double to Evan Longoria.

The Sox tried to make a comeback in the ninth when Xander Bogaerts singled and Jackie Bradley Jr doubled. David Ross‘s sacrifice fly put one run on the board but Brock Holt struck out to end the game.

On Saturday night John Lackey (11-6, 3.66 ERA) starts for the Sox opposite Jeremy Hellickson (0-0, 2.08 ERA).

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Tags: Boston Red Sox Jon Lester

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