Jon Lester Outdueled Again, Toronto Blue Jays Beat Boston Red Sox 3-1

By Matt Sullivan

The Boston Red Sox offense continued its miserable performance against starting pitchers. This time is was the Toronto Blue Jays Ricky Romero who shut the offense down. Romero lasted into the ninth inning giving up just one run on three hits and two walks while striking out five. Jon Lester once again came up short despite pitching extremely well. Lester pitched all eight innings for the Red Sox, helping to give the bullpen a break. His line was very similar to Romero’s; the Red Sox lefty allowed just three hits and walked three while striking out six, but he had worse results, allowing three runs total and getting the loss.

The Red Sox offense is become an area of concern. Jacoby Ellsbury was the only player to reach base twice, walking once and driving in the team’s only run on a line drive single to left that scored Mike Aviles. Aviles and Cody Ross had the only other hits for the Red Sox. Dustin Pedroia, who has been a lone bright spot on offense early this year, was the only other Sox hitter to reach base.Boston was uncharacteristically free swinging against Romero, forcing the lefty to throw just 96 pitches in his 8 1/3 innings.

The most worrying performance of the game was that of Kevin Youkilis. A day after looking immobile at third base behind Daniel Bard, Youk was 0-4 for the fourth time in five games. With the ligt-hitting Nick Punto as the only other option at third base right now, the Red Sox desperately need Youkilis to break out of his slump. The Sox third baseman has now struck out six times in twenty trips to the plate. The biggest concern however is the “Greek God of Walks” has yet to draw a free pass. He has seen just 3.6 pitches per at bat, after averaging 4.18 last season. It is too early to get hysterical over Youk’s struggles, but the team needs him to start hitting again to snap the offense out of its funk.

The Red Sox will play their first home game on Friday, April 13, 2012at 2:05 PM. Josh Beckett takes the mound against Tampa Bay Ray’s lefty David Price. Beckett is looking to rebound from a terrible start inDetroit where the righty allowed five home runs in five innings. The Red Sox will celebrate 100 years inFenwayPark with a number of pre-game ceremonies honoring the beloved ballpark.

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