The Red Sox starter went just five innings, allowing five runs on nine hits while striking out eight. His ERA is now 4.37 and he has not won a game since May 15. Lester allowed three runs in the third, including a homer to Chris Davis and then two more in the fifth. Pedro Beato pitched a scoreless inning of relief, after being called up from Pawtucket earlier in the day. Then Junichi Tazawa allowed a run in just 1/3 inning of work, but Andrew Miller pitched a scoreless 1 2/3 innings to finish the game off for the Sox. The Orioles finished with 14 hits.
Will Middlebrooks provided the only offense of the day for the Sox on one swing of the bat -- a three-run homer in the seventh. Jose Igelsias extended his hitting streak to 17-games, while Jacoby Ellsbury added two hits in the loss.
The Sox will be off Monday before a day-night doubleheader with the Rays on Tuesday. Felix Doubront and Alfredo Aceves are slated to make the starts, with Clay Buchholz still dealing with a neck injury.
What they'll be saying: The past month or so for Lester is now a cause for concern as over his last six starts he now has an ERA of 7.20 and in those six starts he's only made it into the seventh inning once. Walks had been the big issue for Lester during this stretch, but he didn't walk a batter on Sunday ... The Sox lost Mike Carp to an apparent right hamstring injury and with Mike Napoli back in Boston undergoing tests for his dizziness spell, Daniel Nava had to play first base. With pitching staff's issues/work load of late, another injury is the last thing the team needs, especially with a doubleheader on Tuesday.