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Red Sox Rally Falls Short In Final Game Before Deadline

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What needs to be said at this point? New Tiger Jhonny Peralta homered twice off a Jon Lester who looked a lot more like the guy who finished the game in Seattle than the one who started it. Lester gave up a career-high 11 hits, taking the loss with four earned runs in six innings.

Still, the Sox might not have lost this one were it not again for the season-ruining bullpen. Looking to conserve arms for more "winnable" games with the Sox down three runs heading to the eighth, Terry Francona turned to Tim Wakefield in relief. Wake, as has been the story all year, did not deliver, allowing two earned to give the Tigers a five-run difference they would end up needing all of.

Through the ninth inning, Marco Scutaro's solo shot had been the sum total of the Red Sox' offense. As has been common in this scoring slump the Sox find themselves in, they had numerous opportunities, but came up short of scoring every time. That changed in the ninth, however, as the Sox took a wild Jose Valverde to task. Three walks left the bases loaded with one out and David Ortiz at the plate. Ortiz did not waste this opportunity, turning on a pitch that stayed middle-in, and lining it just barely into the stands in right field. The Sox would even get the tying run into scoring position, but ultimately Mike Cameron struck out looking to seal the deal.

With the Rays coming back to take out the Yankees in the first game of their series, the Red Sox are now a daunting 6.5 games out of a playoff spot in what is increasingly becoming a two-team division again.