Jon Lester’s Solid Effort Wasted; Other Notes From Red Sox’s Loss

Jon LesterBOSTON — It’s not how you start. It’s how you finish.

The Red Sox can at least hang their hats on that adage coming out of their first home series of the 2014 season. Boston dropped three straight to the Milwaukee Brewers over the weekend at Fenway Park, putting the Red Sox’s overall record at 2-4 through six games.

Getting swept by the Brewers isn’t any reason to go crazy. The Red Sox certainly need to limit their mistakes, though, especially with the lineup in flux because of various ailments.

The Red Sox will begin a three-game set with the Texas Rangers on Monday. Before honing in on that interesting series, let’s unload Sunday’s notebook.

- The Red Sox placed Will Middlebrooks on the 15-day disabled list before Sunday’s game. Brock Holt was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.

- Jon Lester was a hard-luck loser Opening Day in Baltimore. Nothing changed Sunday, as another solid effort by Lester was wasted because of Boston’s inability to produce timely hits.

“I thought he had a good complement of pitches going. Very good curveball today, probably better than his last time out in Baltimore,” manager John Farrell said after Sunday’s 4-0 loss. “But we came up short with the offensive production.”

Lester gave up four runs (two earned) on seven hits over 7 1/3 innings. He struck out six, walked one and threw 108 pitches (72 strikes).

Lester retired 16 in a row at one point between the second and seventh innings.

- The Red Sox’s offense struggled to string together hits against Yovani Gallardo. Boston finished 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

The Red Sox have combined to score one run behind Lester in his first two starts.

- The Red Sox’s defense was downright ugly at times.

Xander Bogaerts booted a ball, Jonathan Herrera and Lester had some miscommunication on a bunt play, Daniel Nava misplayed a ball in right field, and David Ross fired two throws into center field.

- John Farrell called for the first manager’s challenge in Red Sox history in the second inning. The ruling on the field was upheld.

“Bang-bang play at first base. To the naked eye in the dugout, I thought Jackie (Bradley Jr.) beat the ball out,” Farrell said. “But rather than us being at a second-and-third situation with two outs, I felt like it was a worthy situation to challenge it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t overturned.”

The review process took one minute and 38 seconds.

- David Ortiz collected his 900th career hit at Fenway Park on a third-inning single. That’s the eighth-most hits all time at Fenway.

- The weekend sweep marks the first time the Red Sox have been swept in an interleague series suffering a three-game sweep at the hands of the Washington Nationals from June 8 to June 11, 2012.

- The Red Sox never lost more than three games in a row at any point in 2013 — they lost three in a row five times last year. Boston will look avoid its fourth straight loss Monday against the Rangers. John Lackey will get the start.

Yardbarker

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