Rays - 001 040 011 - 7 13 0Lester started strong -- five strikeouts in the first two innings -- though he did clearly miss his spots on several pitches. After that, things were fairly rough.
Red Sox - 001 000 010 - 2 8 1
Tampa threatened in the third, with two singles and a throwing error by Kevin Youkilis, but Lester houdinied his way out of trouble, getting a double play and a grounder to second. Lester's only 1-2-3 inning came in the fourth.
The Rays got to him in the fifth. Gabe Kapler walked and when he took off for second, Iwamura poked a single through the spot that Jed Lowrie had left on his way to the bag. Jason Bartlett dropped down a bunt and Lester's glove-shovel pass to Jason Varitek was of no use, as Tek was pointing to first base. Tampa took a 2-1 lead.
Carl Crawford blooped a single down the left field line. Evan Longoria GIDP (a run scored), and Lester fell behind Carlos Pena 3-1. Then, seemingly fearful of a walk, Lester tossed in a 90 mph fastball, which Pena drove out to deep center for a two-run dong. Rays 5-1. Lester: 5-8-5-4-2-5, 94.
Boston's only real shot at a comeback was in the eighth. Facing J.P. Howell, David Ortiz and Youkilis opened the inning with singles. After Rocco Baldelli struck out, Jason Bay doubled into the left field corner and Tiz scored. Howell hit Mike Lowell with a pitch, which loaded the bases and brought the tying run to the plate.
Grant Balfour came in to face Jed Lowrie. Home plate umpire Bob Davidson, who had been giving wide strikes to Tampa's pitchers all night (doing the same for Boston's pitchers only intermittently), called strike two on an outside pitch, putting Lowrie in a 1-2 hole. (The first two pitches of the at-bat were in the same spot; Davidson called the first one a ball, the second one a strike.) Lowrie fouled off a pitch, took a ball that was well outside, then whiffed on a 95 mph fastball for the third out.
The night was not a total disaster: the Yankees scored three times in the top of the ninth, but still lost to Baltimore 7-5. Wang went only 3.2. At 0-2, New York is alone in the AL East cellar.
Scott Kazmir (2008: 3.49, 127 ERA+; Spring 2009: 19 IP, 3.79 ERA) /
Jon Lester (2008: 3.21, 144 ERA+; Spring 2009: 19.2 IP, 1.83 ERA)
Rocco Baldelli will start in right field tonight against the lefty Kazmir.
The man he is replacing, J.D. Drew, had this to say about yesterday's game:
What you saw [in the first game] is a good example of what you're going to see a lot of this year.Kevin Youkilis added:
Our offense has come into question and I don't know where it came from, but I tell you what: We've got a pretty good offensive team.Terry Francona did not use Takashi Saito on back-to-back days during spring training and he will continue that plan during the season. I imagine we'll see Saito tonight.