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Masterson Strikes Again As Lester's Struggles Continue

Ah the pitching matchups the Red Sox have blown.

Tonight, it was Jon Lester vs. Justin Masterson. What should be a landslide for the Red Sox ace turned into one for the former Sox prospect, much as it was the last time the Red Sox faced him.

For Lester, this start was a continuation of his struggles from last time out, allowing four runs (two earned, though due to his own error) on seven hits and two walks. The Indians were hitting it down the third base line over and over again, keeping the basepaths constantly populated.

Things only got worse when the Sox finally turned to the bullpen, as a pair of errors behind Scott Atchison helped get a five run inning rolling for the Indians. When all was said and done, it was a 9-1 blowout.

As his night was coming to a close, Terry Francona and the Red Sox assistant trainer Greg Barajas (can he catch?) made repeated trips to the mound, but were waved away by Lester. After the game, Lester attributed his struggles to cramps and a lack of sleep. Given that  he's a very new father, Lester's issues might be a little understandable.

Masterson and the Indians' bullpen, on the other hand, had anything but struggles, holding the Red Sox to just one run. The lefty starter was wild, allowing four walks and striking out just three, but got outs when they were needed most. Despite seeing a trio of relievers with ERAs approaching and over 5.00, the Sox could put nothing together in the last four innings.

The man Masterson was traded for, Victor Martinez, had a fine night, and David Ortiz hit his 23rd home run of the season, but other than that an 0-9 with runners in scoring position kept the Red Sox from keeping up with the Indians. Jacoby Ellsbury was 0-5 in his return to the Sox.

It will be Daisuke on the mound against Indians rookie Josh Tomlin tomorrow, with the Sox just trying to save a series split at this point.