Nationals Edge Sox 4-3 To Finish Three Game Sweep
There were numerous good things to take away from today’s 4-3 loss to the Nationals and really only one bad thing– the loss. Jon Lester made the start today against Jordan Zimmermann, and each pitcher was very solid. The Nationals got on the board first after a Danny Espinosa double to lead off the game and an RBI groundout by Ryan Zimmerman. Lester was able to hold the Nationals scoreless for the next several innings– now, he was not perfect by any means, but one could argue that it was probably one of his better starts this year.
The Red Sox first began to battle back in the third inning, when a Nick Punto walk and a Scott Podsednik single to right put runners at the corners with just an out. Dustin Pedroia grounded into a near double play, but good hustle on the back end made the difference as he was safe at first and the run came in to tie the game at one. The Red Sox would take their first lead since early in the series opener when David Ortiz led off the fourth inning by crushing a high fastball to right field for a solo home run. Ortiz would continue his fine season with a 3-4 day today, coming just a triple short of the cycle.
Jon Lester could only be good for so long, however, as the ran into a bit of trouble in the seventh inning. Singles by Ian Desmond and Tyler Moore— plus a double steal– put two runners in scoring position with no outs. After a long at bat, Lester struck out Jesus Flores and got Roger Bernadina to pop up a bunt attempt. However, the Nationals would pull through when Danny Espinosa lifted a high fly ball to left. It wound up just out of left fielder Darnell McDonald‘s reach and would wind up as a two-run double to give the Nationals a 3-2 lead.
The Red Sox would quickly answer that go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh, though, as singles by Ryan Sweeney and Nick Punto put them in business to start the inning. Darnell McDonald laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to put two in scoring position with just an out. Scott Podsednik hit a slow dribbler to shortstop to score a run and tie the game up at 3-3. It would be all for naught in the top of the ninth, though, as an RBI double by Roger Bernadina scored Bryce Harper from first base to give the Nationals a 4-3 lead. Tyler Clippard shut down the Red Sox in the ninth and they were swept by the Washington Nationals.