Despite a quality start from Jon Lester, the Red Sox offense couldn't come through like it did in the first two games of the series as the Red Sox fell to the Orioles 3-2 Thursday night at Fenway Park. The Rays lost earlier in the afternoon so the Sox remain 2.5 games up in the AL East.

Lester went six innings allowing three runs on five hits, while walking three and striking out four. The Orioles did their damage on a two-run double from Manny Machado in the third and then a RBI double from Chris Davis in the fifth. Matt Thornton, Brandon Workman and Craig Breslow pitched a combined three scoreless innings of relief despite the loss.

The Red Sox offense certainly had their chances to score, but couldn't get the big hit when they needed it as they went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Stephen Drew had an RBI single in the second and Shane Victorino homered in the sixth to account for the two Sox runs. Daniel Nava had three hits, while Jacoby Ellsbury and Victorino each added two.

 

Over the weekend the Sox will host the White Sox for three games beginning Friday night (7:10, NESN) where Ryan Dempster will go up against Hector Santiago.

What they'll be saying: Despite the quality start, it wasn't the best of outings for Lester as he had only one 1-2-3 inning through the first five, and allowed some hard hit balls to deep in the outfield. Lester has seemed to turn a corner from the previous month or so, as over his last six starts he has an ERA of 2.97 ... Victorino continues to swing a hot bat hitting .432 with five home runs in his last 11 games.

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