Red Sox lose to Rays 7 - 2

Lester started strong -- five strikeouts in the first two innings -- though he did clearly miss his spots on several pitches.

After that, things were fairly rough.

Tampa threatened in the third, with two singles and a throwing error by Kevin Youkilis, but Lester houdinied his way out of trouble, getting a double play and a grounder to second. Lester's only 1-2-3 inning came in the fourth.

Scott Kazmir recalled being in the Rays clubhouse at Fenway Park last year, watching the plastic go up to protect the lockers from champagne. The AL championship was within reach.

The bubbly never flowed that October night when the Red Sox rallied from nowhere to win Game 5 of the ALCS.

The outcome was better on Wednesday night when Kazmir pitched six strong innings, reliever Grant Balfour escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth and Tampa Bay beat Boston 7-2.

Red Sox drop game #2 of the season.

Record now 1 - 1.

Jon Lester roughed up. Scott Kazmir looks good.

Jon Lester hadn't lost a game at Fenway Park in 364 days. Today, on the anniversary of his last defeat, he'll wake up mulling over what went wrong in his 7-2 loss last night at frozen Fenway.

Lester started the game well enough, matching Tampa Bay starter Scott Kazmir frame-for-frame to a 1-1 tie over the first four innings. But the game unraveled in the fifth inning and the Rays never looked back, despite some late-inning threats from the Red Sox offense. In total, there were nine Boston batters left on base. Kazmir was clearly the better pitcher last night.

Notes: Home plate umpire Bob Davidson's strike zone was ridiculously wide, but to his credit he was consistent and kept it wide for both teams. Probably had something to do with the temperature. Nobody likes a long game in 40º weather.

Well that was a crappy first in-person game. Cold as a mofo, too. I've got a day game after a night game, as I'm going back to Fenway tomorrow.

Red Sox 2, Tampa Bay 7:
Can’t expect to win ALL of them…

…As much as I would like to…

Well, it was a good game for the 1st 3 innings, then Jon Lester showed uncharacteristic struggles (at least in recent memory) leading t a 4 run 5th inning, which put the game out of reach for the Sox. Throwing 93 pitches (60 for strikes) Lester gave up 5 runs on 8 hits while striking out 5 and walking 2…

And how does a guy who has a million game errorless streak at 1st base, get his 1st error on the 2nd day of the season?