BOSTON — Fenway Park hasn’t been kind to the Red Sox so far this season.
The Red Sox fell to 2-5 at home Friday by dropping the first game of a four-game set against the Baltimore Orioles. John Lackey struggled for the second straight start, and Boston saw its two-game winning streak snapped in its first game back at Fenway after a seven-game road trip.
The Red Sox don’t have much time to dwell on Friday’s loss, as the two teams will get back at it Saturday afternoon. Before shifting gears, however, let’s look at some notes from Friday’s action.
– It took exactly one pitch for the Red Sox to once again find themselves at the center of a controversial challenge.
Nick Markakis lined Lackey’s first pitch down the left field line. The ball appeared to drop foul, but the umpires called it fair, leading to a challenge from Red Sox manager John Farrell. Two minutes, 56 seconds later, the umpires determined the play was inconclusive and upheld the initial call.
While there’s an outside chance the ball grazed the left field chalk, it certainly looked on replay like the ball landed in foul territory. Farrell looked visibly upset in the Red Sox’s dugout, but having already been fined this season for criticizing MLB’s new instant replay process, the skipper was rather mild-mannered when discussing the play after the game.
Lackey, who surrendered a run later that inning, didn’t agree with the call.
“It looked pretty foul to me, yeah,” Lackey said. “It looked like it landed foul and kicked some dirt on the line.”
– The instant replay “flub” — at least if you’re in the camp that believes it was foul — set the tone for Baltimore’s win. The Orioles scored three runs in the third inning and fended off a couple of Red Sox threats to cruise to a victory.
Lackey gave up six earned runs on 10 hits over 5 1/3 innings, marking the first time in his career he has given up at least six runs and 10 hits in back-to-back starts.
– Each player in the Red Sox’s starting lineup produced at least one hit. Boston finished with 11 hits total, and Mike Carp and Brock Holt led the way with two apiece.
“He played well,” Farrell said of Holt, who was recalled before the game. “I thought he played very good defensively. He put up some good at-bats, including the lineout to right field against (Brian) Matusz. (He) did what we hoped he would, and that’s give us a spark at the bottom third of that order.”
– Holt’s second hit came in the eighth inning and also generated a review. Holt initially was called out at first base, but the umpires overturned the call upon taking another look at the play.
– Xander Bogaerts walked twice and reached base three times. He has reached safely in 10 of 16 plate appearances over the last three games.
Bogaerts’ season on-base percentage sits at .411.
– A.J. Pierzynski broke out of an 0-for-15 slump with an RBI single in the fifth inning. He also threw out a baserunner in the second inning.
Pierzynski’s best contribution, however, was a perfect summary of Friday’s loss.
“It was just one of those nights,” Pierzynski said after the game.
– The Red Sox now have lost the first game in five of their six series this season.