Poor starting pitching has played a major role in the Red Sox' losing streak of late having a 7.42 ERA in the seven games going into Friday night. So you'd think after getting seven scoreless innings from starter John Lackey, the losing streak would be over.
Going into the bottom of the ninth with no score, the Rays were able to plate the games' first and only run as the Rays walked off over the Red Sox, 1-0, handing the Sox their eighth straight loss.
Andrew Miller (loss) started the ninth inning and after recording an out, walked Desmond Jennings forcing manager John Farrell to call on Burke Badenhop and to counter, the Rays called on pinch-hitter Cole Figueroa. Jennings stole second even when the Red Sox pitched out and then Figueroa singled to right center scoring Jennings for the walk-off win. It was Figueroa's first career RBI.
Lackey gave the Red Sox everything he had by going seven scoreless innings while scattering five hits, walking one and striking out three, dropping his ERA to 3.58 on the year.
The Red Sox offense couldn't get anything going once again, finishing with five hits and going 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. Rays starter Chris Archer was dominant, allowing just four hits and striking out 11 over six innings.
The teams will continue their three game series Saturday afternoon (4:10, NESN) where Jake Peavy will go up against David Price.
What they'll be saying: The Red Sox and Farrell were trying to do anything to get something going offensively as they mixed up the lineup by having Brock Holt lead off and Xander Bogaerts hit second, but Bogaerts struggled especially, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Offense has been lacking in the streak as over the eight games they have scored a total of 16 runs, two runs a game. This was the third walk-off loss in just over a week with Miller taking the loss in all three of them. Saturday as the biggest start of the season for Peavy as they need him to be the stopper, especially going up against such a dominant pitcher in Price.