There is no question the Red Sox offense is in a slump as they continued their recent trend as they were shutout by the Orioles Friday night, extending their streak of scoring one run or less to three of their last four games. The Sox’ 6-0 loss combined with a Rays win now moves Boston out of first place for the first time since May 25.
John Lackey didn’t have his best stuff and paid the price as he allowed five runs on nine hits, including three home runs over 6 1/3 innings, suffering his eighth loss of the season. He left a couple pitches over the middle of the plate and the Orioles, especially Adam Jones (two home runs), made him pay. Drake Britton pitched a scoreless inning of relief, while Jose De La Torre allowed one run over 2/3 of an inning.
The Red Sox finished with just four hits, two from Jacoby Ellsbury, in the loss. They are hitting just .213 over their last ten games with a 4-6 record in that span.
The teams will continue their three-game series Saturday night (7:10, NESN) as Ryan Dempster will take on Scott Feldman.
What they’ll be saying: The Red Sox have picked a bad time to go into a slump as they’ve gone against teams right behind them in the standings and now are looking up at the Rays for first place in the AL East … Until tonight starting pitching hasn’t been the issue, but then again you cannot win any games when you don’t score any runs. A number of players in the Red Sox lineup are struggling and it’s tough to score runs when so many players are in funks. They will need to get things together quickly as the next two games with the Orioles and Monday’s makeup with the Rays will be critical to the Sox as they go into the July 31 trade deadline.
Follow Metro Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter @Hannable84