Although starter Jon Lester pitched better than he has of late, he still suffered the loss. The left-hander went 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits, while striking out four and walking three. He allowed single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. Junichi Tazawa pitched the final 1 2/3 innings in the loss.
The Sox offense finished with seven hits, but could not get a run across the plate as they went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli paced the offense, each recording two hits in the loss. Oakland starter A.J. Griffin shutout the Red Sox over eight innings with Grant Balfour earning the save.
The teams will play the rubber game of their weekend series tomorrow afternoon (4:05, NESN) as Brandon Workman will make his first career start and will take on Bartolo Colon.
What they'll be saying: The Red Sox just didn't get the timely hits they have been getting on their West Coast trip. Still, with a 5-4 record going into Sunday's road trip finale, it can be considered a successful road trip as they haven't fared so well in their recent trips out West ... Lester has not been the same pitcher as the one who opened the season. He has now allowed three runs or more in 10 of his last 11 starts.