Jon Lester allowed seven earned runs in under six innings of work Monday, sending the Red Sox to a 7-3 loss against the Chicago White Sox.
From the very beginning, it was apparent that Jon Lester would not be repeating the strong performance he had against the Indians. Despite having one of the weaker lineups in the American League, the White Sox laced some hard hits off of him in the first, which combined with Lester hitting Carlos Quentin led to two earned runs in the first.
The Red Sox would get one back when Adrian Gonzalez homered for the first time since May 14 in the bottom half of the first. But Lester would give the run right back via a solo shot to Paul Konerko in the third. Again, though, Boston fought back. Jarrod Saltalamacchia was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the inning, then moved to third on Jacoby Ellsbury's double. Dustin Pedroia worked the count to 2-2 against Jake Peavy, then swatted a fastball back up the middle to score them both and tie the game at three runs a piece.
Lester held steady through the sixth, despite allowing three more free passes, but eventually things fell apart in the sixth. Alex Rios and Gordon Beckham singled and Juan Pierre walked to load the bases with two outs, bringing Alexei Ramirez to the plate. Lester fell behind 2-0, but then fought back to even the count at 2-2. Alexei Ramirez got under the next pitch, and lifted a lazy pop-up down the right field line. It was weak contact, but perfectly placed, falling over the head of Adrian Gonzalez to score two runs. A ground ball single off of Dan Wheeler quickly scored two more, making it 7-3 after six.
The Red Sox would give a few balls some long rides, but always came up short, resulting in only a few more baserunners the rest of the game--hardly enough to mount a comeback.
Boston falls to 30-24 with the loss, and are again tied with the Yankees atop the AL East.