Jon Lester Struggles, Red Sox Fall 7-6 To Blue Jays In Extra Innings

TORONTO, CANADA - MAY 10: Dustin Pedroia #15 calms down Jon Lester #31 of the Boston Red Sox during MLB action at the Rogers Centre May 10, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

In a night where the Boston Red Sox put up the necessary offense to win the game against the Toronto Blue Jays, the pitching could not hold any lead they were given, and made the whole team pay for it.  Here's how it all panned out:

Jon Lester took the hill for the Sox in hopes of taking game one of the two-game series.  He immediately ran into trouble in the first inning by loading the bases full of Blue Jays with no outs.  Lester then walked Edwin Encarnacion to bring in the opening run.  The Jays' wern't done in the inning, though, as Aaron Hill connected on an RBI groundout to bring in Corey Patterson.  Juan Rivera then followed with a pop-fly that should have kept Jose Bautista at third, but Adrian Gonzalez dropped the ball and allowed him to score, even while getting the force out at second.  Quickly, it was 3-0 Jays'.

The Red Sox offense faced young Kyle Drabek, who was the pitching prospect that the Phillies gave up to get Roy Halladay last season.  After making quick work of the Sox in the first inning thanks to a baserunning gaffe by Jacoby Ellsbury, he allowed a double to David Ortiz to begin the inning.  A few batters later, Carl Crawford singled home Ortiz to get the Red Sox on the board.  3-1, Jays.

The Sox continued to chip away at the lead when Ortiz stepped to the plate again in the fourth inning and drilled a Drabek fastball to straightaway center field for his fifth homer of the season.  The Sox almost had another run later in the inning, but Carl Crawford was thrown out at home by Corey Patterson in left field on a two-out single by Jacoby Ellsbury.  Even though Crawford is one of the best in the league on the basepaths, the play wasn't even close.  3-2, Jays.

Lester had begun to settle down since his three-run first, retiring 10-of-13 Blue Jays batters for the next three frames. And he was soon given the lead, thanks to none other than Adrian Gonzalez.  With Dustin Pedroia reaching on a leadoff walk, Adrian crushed an opposite field two-run bomb off Drabek to give the Sox the lead, 4-3.

However, Jon Lester just could not hang on to lead as he surrendered a line-drive solo shot to Jose Bautista in the fifth inning and another solo shot to young J.P. Arencibia in the sixth inning. 5-4, Jays.

Flashing forward to the eighth inning, the Red Sox offense found the will to come back. This time a two-out RBI single to Jarrod Saltalamacchiadrove in the tying run in pinch runner Jose Iglesias from third base after Jed Lowrie doubled earlier in the frame.  The game was now tied, 5-5.

However, Red Sox pitching once again could not capitalize on the offensive production.  This time, Daniel Bard served up a 3-2 fastball to struggling prospect David Cooper who drilled the pitch into right field for another Toronto home run.  6-5 heading into the top of the ninth.

The Jays brought on Frank Francisco, who the Red Sox have pretty much owned over his career.  Down one run, Adrian Gonzalez again showed us what a special player he is as he took a Francisco fastball opposite field and over the wall with his second home run of the game.  Despite that, the rest of the offense couldn't keep the momentum going, scored tied at 6-6.

After squandering a few chances at the plate, the Red Sox went into the bottom of the tenth with Matt Albers on the hill out for his second inning of relief.  After fanning John McDonald, Rajai Davis singled up the middle off Albers.  The Red Sox catching corp showed is once again that no, they can't throw out base runners.  Davis knew this, and stole both second (on a pitchout) and third.  With one out, Cooper was once again the hero, as he hit a sac fly to drive in the speedy Davis.  Final score, 7-6 Blue Jays.

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