Red Sox - 100 000 000 - 1 9 1 Pirates - 002 001 00x - 3 9 0It was a soggy, squanderific night in the City of Bridges. Lester (6-8-3-1-5, 107) was not sharp, but the bats offered no assistance. The Red Sox left 11 men on base (including two each in the seventh and eighth innings) and were 0-for-8 with runners at second and/or third.
Boston took a 1-0 lead when Jacoby Ellsbury walked to start the game, took third on the first of Adrian Gonzalez's two hits, and scored on Kevin Youkilis's grounder to third.
With two outs in the third, Dustin Pedroia and Gonzalez singled, and Yook walked to load the bases, but Darnell McDonald grounded out. McDonald also ended the fifth inning with men on first and second. In between those rally-killing at-bats, Lester lost the lead, allowing a single, double, walk, and single (plus a run-scoring DP) to begin the bottom of the third.
Josh Reddick singled to open the seventh and Pedroia walked with one out, but Tony Watson got Gonzalez to foul out to the catcher and Daniel McCutchen came in to strike out Youkilis.
In the eighth, facing Jose Veras, McDonald and pinch-hitter J.D. Drew singled. Jason Varitek bunted the runners to second and third. Marco Scutaro flinched and turned away from at least two of Veras's breaking balls (NESN said sliders; Gameday says curveballs) and struck out looking. As the rain poured down, David Ortiz came out as a pinch-hitter and, with so much rain dripping off his helmet he had to quickly take his hand off the bat handle to wipe it off as Veras was going into his motion, fell behind 1-2, fouled off three pitches, and finally grounded out to shortstop, ending the Sox's last threat.
Jon Lester / Paul Maholm
Maholm has pitched at least six innings in nine of his last 11 starts. His ERA at home (2.12) is more than two runs better than his road mark (4.63).
Scott Atchison has been recalled from Pawtucket and will be available tonight. Michael Bowden was sent down.
The May 17 game against the Orioles (postponed due to bad weather) will be made up as the first game of a day-night doubleheader on September 19.
AL East: Rockies/Yankees at 7 PM; Rays/Astros at 8 PM.