Final, Brewers 4-0: The Red Sox will want to forget all about this series — and quickly.
Boston dropped three straight to the Milwaukee Brewers in the first series of the season at Fenway Park. Jon Lester suffered the loss in Sunday’s series finale, as Yovani Gallardo and Co. blanked Boston’s offense, which still is struggling to produce timely hits.
Lester gave up four runs (two earned) over 7 1/3 innings Sunday. He struck out six and walked one while throwing 108 pitches (72 strikes).
Lester’s solid effort wasn’t enough to overcome some sloppy Boston defense and a strong outing by Gallardo, who tossed 6 2/3 shutout frames while earning the win for Milwaukee.
The Red Sox will kick off a three-game series against the Texas Rangers beginning Monday. John Lackey will take the ball for Boston in the opener, which is scheduled to get started at 7:10 p.m. at Fenway Park.
Mid 9th, Brewers 4-0: Andrew Miller worked around a one-out single to complete a scoreless ninth inning.
Jonny Gomes, Jonathan Herrera and Jackie Bradley Jr. are due up for Boston in the bottom of the ninth inning.
End 8th, Brewers 4-0: Tyler Thornburg pulled the Brewers to within three outs of a series sweep.
Mike Napoli hit a chopper up the middle into shallow center field with two outs. Second baseman Scooter Gennett, who replaced Rickie Weeks before the inning, ranged out to make a play, but Napoli beat his throw to first.
It didn’t matter. Thornburg bounced back to strike out Xander Bogaerts swinging.
Andrew Miller will pitch the ninth inning for Boston with the Red Sox trailing by four runs.
Mid 8th, Brewers 4-0: The Red Sox brought Jon Lester back out for the eighth inning. Lester faced two batters before turning things over to the bullpen.
Lester, who entered the inning at 100 pitches, retired Rickie Weeks on a sharp line drive to left field. He then surrendered a one-out single to Ryan Braun that ended his outing.
Edward Mujica took over for Lester, marking the right-hander’s first appearance since Friday’s implosion. Braun took off for second base, and catcher David Ross’ throw sailed into center field, enabling Braun to advance to third base.
Aramis Ramirez singled home Braun for Milwaukee’s fourth run.
End 7th, Brewers 3-0: The Red Sox showed signs of life in the seventh inning, but they still came away empty handed.
Yovani Gallardo, who was in control for much of the game, induced back-to-back fly ball outs to begin the inning. Carlos Gomez was responsible for both putouts in center field.
Jackie Bradley Jr. began to change Boston’s fortunes with a two-out double. David Ross singled up the middle to put runners at the corners for Daniel Nava.
The Brewers called upon lefty Zach Duke — turning Nava around to bat right-handed — and the southpaw ended the inning. Nava flied out to center field.
Mid 7th, Brewers 3-0: Jon Lester, who absolutely cruised from the second inning through the sixth inning, finally ran into trouble in the seventh.
Khris Davis got things going in the seventh with a one-out double into the left-center field gap. It wasn’t without controversy, though, as Davis might have been out at second base. It was a bang-bang play, and Dustin Pedroia, who was very animated, clearly thought he slapped a tag down in time.
Jeff Bianchi extended Milwaukee’s lead to 3-0 with a two-out, RBI single into left field. The Brewers tested Jonny Gomes, and Davis safely crossed the plate for Milwaukee’s third run.
Jonathan Herrera made a fantastic barehanded play down at third base to end the inning.
End 6th, Brewers 2-0: Yovani Gallardo has kept the Red Sox’s offense in check all afternoon.
David Ortiz, Mike Napoli and Xander Bogaerts went down in order against the Brewers right-hander in the sixth inning.
Ortiz grounded out, Napoli struck out and Bogaerts flied out. Napoli didn’t look too thrilled about the pitch he was rung up on by home plate umpire Clint Fagan.
Mid 6th, Brewers 2-0: Jon Lester has retired 15 in a row.
Lester ran into some trouble in the second inning — the Red Sox’s shoddy defense in that frame didn’t help, either. But he has been in total control ever since. The left-hander retired the final three hitters he faced in the second inning and hasn’t looked back.
Rickie Weeks struck out swinging to lead off the sixth inning. Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez both flied out to right field.
End 5th, Brewers 2-0: Daniel Nava finally hit a line drive that didn’t find leather.
Nava, who has been robbed twice in this game, ripped a liner down the right field line for a two-out double.
Nava’s attempt to spark a rally was fruitless, though. Dustin Pedroia grounded out to end the inning.
Mid 5th, Brewers 2-0: Jon Lester is rolling right now.
Lyle Overbay, Jeff Bianchi and Carlos Gomez couldn’t get anything going in the fifth inning.
Bianchi struck out swinging for Lester’s fourth strikeout of the afternoon.
End 4th, Brewers 2-0: Left fielder Khris Davis made a highlight-reel grab in the fourth inning.
Jonny Gomes stepped up with one out after Xander Bogaerts grounded to short. Gomes sizzled a line drive into left field that looked like it might get down for a hit, but Davis laid out — full extension — to record the inning’s second out.
Jonathan Herrera grounded to second base to end the inning.
Mid 4th, Brewers 2-0: Jon Lester breezed through the fourth inning.
Jonathan Lucroy, Khris Davis and Mark Reynolds couldn’t get anything going against the Boston ace.
Lester struck out Davis for the second out, giving him three strikeouts in the contest.
End 3rd, Brewers 2-0: The Red Sox couldn’t do anything with David Ortiz’s two-out single.
Daniel Nava, who was robbed by Mark Reynolds in the first inning, was robbed again in the third inning. Nava hit a screamer right back to the mound that Yovani Gallardo instinctively grabbed for the first out.
Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli each put the ball on the ground in the third inning.
Mid 3rd, Brewers 2-0: Jon Lester struck out two in a 1-2-3 third inning.
Rickie Weeks, Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez went down in order against Lester. The left-hander struck out Braun and Ramirez.
End 2nd, Brewers 2-0: John Farrell lost his first challenge of the 2014 season.
Xander Bogaerts and Jonathan Herrera sandwiched a Jonny Gomes strikeout with a pair of singles in the second inning. Then, Jackie Bradley Jr. was part of the Red Sox’s first challenge under the new replay system.
Bradley hit a ground ball to second base that Rickie Weeks bobbled. Weeks recovered and tossed to first to retire Bradley on a bang-bang play that Farrell decided to challenge. The ruling on the field was upheld, which was the correct call. The challenge resulted in a delay of one minute and 38 seconds.
The Red Sox still had a chance to score following Farrell’s unsuccessful challenge, as David Ross dug in with runners at second and third. Ross grounded to short, though, and Yovani Gallardo escaped the inning unscathed.
Mid 2nd, Brewers 2-0: The Brewers played sloppy defense Saturday. The Red Sox are off to a rough start in this one.
Jonathan Lucroy led off the second inning by planting a double off the left field wall. He then took third base on Khris Davis’ bunt single.
The Red Sox should have been able to record an out on Davis’ bunt, but some miscommunication between third baseman Jonathan Herrera and pitcher Jon Lester prevented anything productive from happening. Herrera thought Lester was going to field the bunt, which can be chalked up to inexperience down at the hot corner.
Mark Reynolds, batting with runners at the corners, then singled into right field. Reynolds’ hit was going to score a run regardless, but the ball bounced past Daniel Nava, enabling Davis to score all the way from first base.
Nava atoned for his mistake to some extent by making an excellent play down the right field line. Jeff Bianchi lifted a fly ball into foul territory, and Nava raced over to make the grab while reaching into the stands.
End 1st, 0-0: The Red Sox were unable to jump ahead in the first inning.
Dustin Pedroia singled on a ground ball. Rickie Weeks attempted to make a nice play and rushed his throw. It sailed into the Red Sox’s dugout, allowing Pedroia to take second base with one out.
David Ortiz drilled a 2-0 fastball into center field. Unfortunately for Boston, it was right at Carlos Gomez for the second out.
Mike Napoli struck out looking to end the inning.
Brewers third baseman Mark Reynolds also made a very nice play in the first inning to rob Daniel Nava of a leadoff hit. Nava scorched a ground ball, and Reynolds made an excellent diving, backhanded stop before firing a strong throw across the diamond.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Jon Lester was in control in the first inning.
Lester yielded a two-out single to Ryan Braun, but the left-hander otherwise took care of business. Carlos Gomez and Aramis Ramirez each flied out, and Rickie Weeks grounded out.
Braun singled on a ground ball into the hole. Xander Bogaerts struggled to corral it, although he likely wouldn’t have had a play at first base anyway. Thus, it wasn’t ruled an error.
1:38 p.m.: Carlos Gomez fouls Jon Lester’s first pitch straight back.
1:30 p.m.: The Red Sox’s Gold Glove and Silver Slugger recipients were honored before Sunday’s game.
Dustin Pedroia collected his 2013 Gold Glove on Sunday, while David Ortiz scooped up his 2013 Silver Slugger. Shane Victorino also earned a Gold Glove last season, but he’s currently away from the team with the flu.
1:01 p.m.: Mike Carp, who was scratched from Saturday’s lineup with low back tightness, is available Sunday, according to manager John Farrell. Carp entered Saturday’s game in the 10th inning as a defensive replacement.
Farrell also said before Sunday’s game that Grady Sizemore typically is available even when he doesn’t start. In other words, Sizemore is not off limits in this one.
Koji Uehara also is available Sunday.
12:56 p.m.: The Red Sox recalled infielder Brock Holt from Triple-A Pawtucket upon placing Will Middlebrooks on the 15-day DL. Holt is expected to split time with Jonathan Herrera, who gets the start at third base Sunday.
Garin Cecchini remains a very intriguing prospect for the Red Sox, but John Farrell explained before Sunday’s game that the organization felt the 22-year-old third baseman could benefit from more seasoning at Triple-A. While Cecchini has had good at-bats with Pawtucket, he still is developing defensively.
Nevertheless, Middlebrooks’ injury poses quite the test for Boston. The Red Sox already are without Shane Victorino — forcing Farrell to shuffle his outfield — and now Boston loses one of its biggest right-handed power threats.
12:50 p.m.: David Ortiz returns to the starting lineup Sunday. Ortiz was held out of Saturday’s starting lineup, although he did pinch hit for Jackie Bradley Jr. in the ninth inning of Boston’s loss.
Bradley will start in center field as Grady Sizemore gets the day off. There isn’t anything physically wrong with Sizemore. It just made sense to get him off his feet with the day game following a late night game.
Sunday’s complete lineups are below.
Boston Red Sox (2-3)
Daniel Nava, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Jonny Gomes, LF
Jonathan Herrera, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
David Ross, C
Jon Lester, LHP (0-1, 2.57 ERA)
Milwaukee Brewers (3-2)
Carlos Gomez, CF
Rickie Weeks, 2B
Ryan Braun, RF
Aramis Ramirez, 3B
Jonathan Lucroy, C
Khris Davis, LF
Mark Reynolds, 3B
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Jeff Bianchi, SS
Yovani Gallardo, RHP (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
12:30 p.m. ET: The Boston Red Sox and Milwaukee Brewers will duke it out one more time.
Jon Lester and Yovani Gallardo will meet in Sunday’s finale as the Red Sox try to salvage at least one game from their first series at Fenway Park in 2014. The Red Sox have dropped two straight to the Brewers in crushing fashion.
Lester was solid in his Opening Day start Monday in Baltimore. The left-hander suffered the hard-luck loss, though, as Boston’s offense couldn’t capitalize with runners on base. The Red Sox’s offense will look to provide more support Sunday, although it became a little more difficult with the news that Will Middlebrooks has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right calf strain.
Sunday’s first pitch at Fenway is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. Be sure to tune in on NESN, and keep it right here with NESN.com.