Final, Athletics Win 3-2: A rough start to the night for Jon Lester was concerning for the Sox, but Boston got the most out of their no. 1 guy on Tuesday night in Oakland. Sadly, it wasn't enough to pull out the win, though.
A ninth-inning rally from the Athletics, started by first baseman Chris Carter's single, propelled the A's past the Sox on a one-out sacrifice fly from Coco Crisp to score the game-winner in a 3-2 victory.
Crisp was also responsible for the A's first run of the night, blasting a solo home run to left field in the first inning to give them a 1-0 lead.
Lester threw 6 2/3 innings of solid baseball, allowing just four hits and one run while striking out a season-high nine batters.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia was the catalyst for both Sox runs as well, striking a solo home run in the top of the second inning to start things off. He then hit a rocket down to the first baseman in the fourth that put the Red Sox on top 2-1, as David Ortiz scored from third base.
Padilla was solid in relief, throwing 1 1/3 innings of scoreless ball, and he showed his confidence and swagger by getting back-to-back strikeouts in the bottom of the eighth while dealing with a bases-loaded threat.
Aceves came on in the ninth to close things out, but instead picked up his sixth loss and fourth blown save of the season. He allowed three hits and two runs in 2/3 of an inning as the Sox lost for the fourth time in six games on this West Coast road trip.
Mid 9th Inning, Red Sox 2-1: Another quality Red Sox threat went for naught in the ninth, as a pair of poor baserunning errors did the team in.
Aviles and Kalish were able to reach base with no outs, but a great diving catch by Carter on the infield grass put out Punto, and the subsequent throw to first got Aviles on the tag.
Then with Nava at the plate and Kalish in scoring position, the center fielder attempted to steal third base but was thrown out by catcher Kurt Suzuki to end the inning.
We'll see if Alfredo Aceves can close things out for the Sox in the ninth.
End 8th Inning, Red Sox 2-1: The A's started a rally in the bottom of the eighth, and it looked for a bit that they would actually reclaim the lead, but Vicente Padilla shut out all hopes with his no-nonsense attack.
A Mike Aviles error to start off the inning nearly cost Boston the lead.
Padilla walked the bases loaded — after putting Josh Reddick on intentionally — and was able to work his way out of the jam with a pair of back-to-back strikeouts on Cespedes and Gomes to finish off the inning.
The hold was awfully encouraging and has the Sox on top 2-1 heading into the ninth, looking for an insurance run to hold them over.
Mid 8th Inning, Red Sox 2-1: The Sox were threatening again in the eighth, but they just weren't able to get it done.
Dustin Pedroia found his way all the way to third base after a leadoff walk, and David Ortiz stood at first for much of the inning. But Cody Ross, Gonzalez and Salty were all unable to score the baserunners and Boston's lead remained at 2-1.
End 7th Inning, Red Sox 2-1: Lester saw his way to tying his season high with nine strikeouts, but he was pulled from the game in favor of Vicente Padilla before he was able to finish the seventh.
Lester looked solid on the evening, which was somewhat surprising given his slow start. He allowed just four hits and one walk on the night — maybe not as good as Baltimore's Wei-Yin Chen, but still an impressive performance nonetheless.
This could be a turning point for Lester, and he could finally hit the stride that he was expected to pick up heading into this season.
Mid 7th Inning, Red Sox 2-1: Balk City!
Jordan Norberto, who came on in relief of Bartolo Colon in the seventh, had been waiting for Mike Aviles to try and steal for much of the inning. And once he actually made his move, Norberto was caught off guard and made the motion toward the plate before going forth with the pick-off attempt.
Aviles moved to third on a Nick Punto groundout, but Nava was rung up on a 3-2 count and the inning ended without a Red Sox insurance run.
Colon tossed six strong innings, allowing two runs and just one earned while giving up five hits and striking out three. He looked very good on the mound, and if not for a poor defensive play by first baseman Chris Carter he wouldn't be on the hook for a loss.
End 6th Inning, Red Sox 2-1: Another inning. Another Jon Lester masterpiece.
Lester is now through six innings on Tuesday night, and he's shown an unrelenting attitude against the A's hitters.
He has allowed just one hit since the first inning and recorded his eighth strikeout of the night, leaving him one shy of his season high — which he did in a June 10 loss to the Nationals at Fenway.
Mid 6th Inning, Red Sox 2-1: Adrian Gonzalez continues on his recent hot streak, smacking his second single of the night in the sixth inning.
Gonzalez has now extended his season-long hitting streak to 14 games. The downside of the streak, though, has been Gonzo's continued power drought.Of his 21 hits during the stretch, 18 have been singles for the first baseman.
It's definitely an encouraging sign, but Gonzo definitely could be doing more with his bat to drive in runs or bash balls deep over the fence for the Sox.
11:40 p.m.: AL East Update!
There is something special going on in Seattle. I won't say exactly the feat that is being toyed with — as I'm not one to bring down the jinx — but let's just say that the Mariners are having trouble getting base runners against the Orioles, tonight.
Wei-Yin Chen is the O's starter throwing the gem, and is looking to improve on his 7-4 record and 3.54 ERA.
Check out the box score to see just what I mean…
End 5th Inning, Red Sox 2-1: Jon Lester continues to deal about as hard and heavy as a Mexican cartel.
Since struggling early on in the first inning, Lester has been nothing short of stellar. He's sat down 15 of the A's past 17 hitters and has been controlling his fastball about as well as he has all season.
It's been a while since Lester has looked as dominant as he has in this one, and it's a rather refreshing sign with so much of the starting staff still struggling with injury and consistency problems.
Mid 5th Inning, Red Sox 2-1: The Sox continue to show signs of life at the plate, but they'll have to settle for the current 2-1 lead they hold. For now at least.
Daniel Nava was able to secure his first hit of the series, but the Sox didn't get around to scoring the leadoff man in the inning.
End 4th Inning, Red Sox 2-1: The game has finally started coming around for Jon Lester.
An atrocious first inning appeared to be just another unsettling start for the supposed Sox ace, but he's been able to work his way into a nice rhythm as this one has dragged on.
Lester has sat down 12 of the past 13 A's batters and he picked up another pair of strikeouts in the fourth, giving him seven on the game and just two away from his season high of nine.
In his career, Lester's career-high is 13 K's. A number he could arguably reach on Tuesday, but one that seems a bit far-fetched given his high pitch count — 73 pitches.
Mid 4th Inning, Red Sox 2-1: Things finally started to come around for the Sox in the fourth inning.
David Ortiz may not yet have bashed his 400th career homer, but he was able to get a little rally going. A single from Ortiz in the inning helped Adrian Gonzalez settle down and send a shot to right, pushing Ortiz to third and giving Salty another shot at belting another one into the seats.
Salty then proceeded to blast a streaking liner toward the first baseman and reached base on an error, scoring Ortiz on the play to give Boston a 2-1 lead.
The offensive showing was encouraging and could be a good spark for the team, much in the way it was in Seattle on Friday night — six runs and four home runs.
The Red Sox were also able to make a dent into Colon's efficiency rate, forcing the right-hander's pitch count into the 60s.
End 3rd Inning, Tied 1-1: Lester's finally settled in with a little Oaktown swagger.
He commanded the strike zone once again in the third and showed off his dominance, sitting down a few more A's hitters.
Lester now has five strikeouts on the night, which is a pretty impressive pace for a guy with a season-high of nine.
If he keeps mowing guys down at this rate, he'll likely hit the double-digit mark before all is said and done.
Mid 3rd Inning, Tied 1-1: Aside from the Saltalamacchia home run, Colon has been absolutely solid in this one.
He just worked another quick inning against the Boston bats, and has now thrown just 36 pitches through three innings — which pales in comparison to Lester's continually growing total.
Colon seems to have great command of each of his pitches, especially the breaking ball, which will be helpful in facing the potent Red Sox lineup.
End 2nd Inning, Tied 1-1: A good show of the leather in the field has given Lester some new life on the mound.
After a near-meltdown in the first, throwing 32 pitches, Lester settled down in the second and made quick work of the A's lineup.
The defense of Dustin Pedroia and Cody Ross certainly helped in easing up on Lester's pitch count. Here's hoping he'll make it through six innings tonight.
Mid 2nd Inning, Tied 1-1: Get Salty!
Saltalamacchia blasted a solo home run to right field and tied this one up for the Red Sox.
That homer gives Salty 16 on the season, the same total that he finished with in the 2011 season. Obviously he's made some big strides this year and has really come into his own at the dish.
Aside from Salty's dinger, though, the Sox have seemed anemic on offense and have been unable to put a rally together.
End 1st Inning, A's 1-0: Coco Crisp exacted a little revenge on his former teammate to lead off the first for Oakland, as Lester gave up a home run over the left-field fence.
Lester looked pretty uncomfortable in the early going, following the homer up with a walk.
But the real story of the first was Yoenis Cespedes' ability to foul off just about everything Lester threw, forcing an 11-pitch at bat and fouling off seven straight.
Lester finished off the first having thrown 32 pitches, which isn't a good sign for the left-hander making it very far in this one.
Mid 1st Inning, 0-0: Bartolo Colon dealt an impressive first frame, working around a leadoff walk to Daniel Nava by inducing a double play ball off the bat of Dustin Pedroia.
10 p.m.: Jon Lester is warming up his arm and getting ready to take the hill for Game 2 against the Athletics.
The last time Lester faced the A's was on August 27, 2011 at Fenway Park, allowing just one run over six solid innings of work to get the win.
It will be interesting to see if Lester can shut down this A's lineup out in Oakland, though, as they have been hot of late and made quick work of Daisuke early on Monday night.
First pitch is coming up, so tune into NESN for all the game action and keep locked in here with the NESN.com Live Blog for all the insight and analysis!
8:30 p.m.: The Red Sox sent Daisuke Matsuzaka to the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday afternoon.
Dice-K was suffering from some neck tightness during Monday's horrific outing, tossing just one inning and allowing five runs in the 6-1 loss.
Boston has recalled first baseman Mauro Gomez to replace Matsuzaka on the Red sox roster.
7:45 p.m.: Daniel Nava will lead things off for the Red Sox once again on Tuesday night, but there will be a different face in the cleanup spot for the first time on Boston's West Coast road trip.
After five games of Jarrod Saltalamacchia manning the No. 4 hole in the order, Cody Ross will get the call to clean things up for the Sox in Oakland on Tuesday. In nine games batting in the four hole this season, Ross is hitting .313 with three home runs and seven RBIs.
Check out the full lineups for both sides, below.
Red Sox (42-38)
Daniel Nava, LF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Cody Ross, RF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Ryan Kalish, CF
Mike Aviles, SS
Nick Punto, 3B
Jon Lester, LHP
Coco Crisp, CF
Jemile Weeks, 2B
Josh Reddick, RF
Yoenis Cespedes, LF
Jonny Gomes, DH
Chris Carter, 1B
Brandon Inge, 3B
Brandon Hicks, SS
Kurt Suzuki, C
Bartolo Colon, RHP
8 a.m. ET: Daisuke Matsuzaka didn't have the best stuff on Monday night, and the final box score showed it.
A 6-1 loss to the Oakland A's has the Red Sox reeling and needing a big performance from Jon Lester in Game 2 of the series. Lester enters Tuesday night's affair with a number of inconsistent outings over the past few weeks. He's looking to lock down more rhythm early in his starts.
An offensive explosion could help settle Lester at the O.co Coliseum, and David Ortiz' search for home run No. 400 could expedite that process. Ortiz has been the leader of the Boston offense for much of the season, and the likes of Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez and Cody Ross are finally beginning to turn the corner and follow suit.
It will be interesting to see how the Boston bats fare against Bartolo Colon on Tuesday.
Tune into NESN for all your Red Sox coverage, starting with the Red Sox pregame show at 9 p.m. and first pitch at 10:05 p.m.