The Sox lost their third in a row and sixth out of seven, dropping Thursday night's contest 5-3 to the Twins in a soggy Fenway.
Starter John Lackey turned in yet another impressive start, although his final line doesn't look special: He gave up five runs on six hits over seven innings, striking out eight and walking one. The key number I left out of that list: just one of the five runs was earned.
However, it is ultimately Lackey's fault: In the 6th inning up 2-1 with one out and two on, Lackey induced a comebacker that should have been an easy double play. Lackey didn't set his feet properly and in turning to fire the ball to Dustin Pedroia at 2nd, let the ball fly into the outfield, scoring a run. If anyone would like to send Lackey a Tom Emanski video on fundamentals, he could probably use it.
A sacrifice fly by Ryan Doumit followed, and you could see Lackey unravel as his next pitch was right in Oswaldo Arcia's wheelhouse (did you know Oswaldo Arcia had a wheelhouse?). Arcia crushed it into the pen, and four runs were in on the inning.
With the Twins up 5-2, the Sox got a run back off a Daniel Nava single, but that's all they could pull together. The bats weren't altogether quiet -- they did generate nine hits on the game -- but the lineup couldn't put together sustained success for an inning. They looked poised to come back in the 9th with Jacoby Ellsbury on 1st and nobody out, but Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia struck out looking on very similar pitches (both of which they objected to), and David Ortiz grounded out to 1st.
With all the handwringing about the bullpen, it's worth pointing out that Lackey spared the team much use of the 'pen, was strong throughout the game, and that Koji Uehara and Craig Breslow were both sharp in their innings. But it's hard to feel too positive giving the tailspin the team is currently in.