The Red Sox fell to the Rays 4-2 Wednesday night, failing to either earn a split in their short series against the Rays or play spoiler in any sense of the word.
For Jon Lester, it was a night of five great innings and one poor one. Through four, Lester had allowed just one baserunner on a walk to Evan Longoria, and that was quickly erased by a double play ball. Twelve up, twelve down, and then thirteen when Jose Iglesias made a tremendous play to get the first out of the fifth inning.
And from there it came tumbling down. The second at bat of the fifth inning would end Lester's no-hitter, with Jeff Keppinger hitting a line drive into left field. The third would end the shutout, as an outside fastball was launched emphatically into the stands in center field by Carlos Pena. Ben Francisco proceeded to work the count full, and then clobber a cutter floated over the plate for another home run. Just like that, and three runs were in.
The attack would grab the lead from the Sox, who had produced a run in the second inning on a walk and a hit, and keep it just out of reach in the sixth when they repeated the performance almost to a tee. That would bring the game within one run, but not close enough. The Rays put together a few hits in the seventh off the Boston bullpen, extending the lead to 4-2, where it would remain through the end of the ninth.