Four Real? Red Sox vs White Sox. Four at Bats that Changed the Game 5-20-13

                                                                                       Pete Lepak
Game 45: Early runs kill the streak, Sox lose.
    RedSoxLife Contributing Writer
The Red Sox five game winning streak was on the line as Boston traveled to the South Side of Chicago Monday night. Things sounded like they would end up in Boston's favor, as staff ace Jon Lester faced struggling starter Dylan Axelrod, but as you know, you have to play the game to see what will happen. Lester struggled early and in the end,a poor first and second inning was enough to end the winning streak. Here are the four at bats that changed the game:

1) Bottom of the first inning, and with two outs, Alex Rios singles and Paul Konerko walks. Up comes all or nothing Adam Dunn, who will either strikeout or hit a homerun. Unfortunately for Boston, he pulls an outside fastball over the right center field wall to put the White Sox up 3-0.

2) Bottom of the second inning, and Chicago strikes again. With two outs, Chicago rattles off three straight doubles to score two more times. Tyler Greene doubles on a fastball, Alejandro de Aza doubles on a cut fastball, and Alexi Ramirez hits the first pitch he sees to right for a double. Jon Lester and the Red Sox are in trouble, 5-0 White Sox.

3) Top of the third inning, and Boston is crawling back. After a Stephen Drew walk, Jarrod Saltalamacchia takes a low Axelrod fastball to left center field and over the fence to cut the lead to 5-2.

4) With the lead now at 6-2, Boston enters the top of the seventh with a patient approach to new pitcher Matt Thorton. Both David Ortiz and Mike Napoli work the count full before they earn a walk, and then Will Middlebrooks crushes a low and inside pitch over the left fielder Dayan Viciedo's head to plate both runs. Walks can kill, but Chicago still leads 6-4.

Boston never threatened again, and Chicago walks away with the 6-4 win. Lester ends up throwing 109 pitches (70 strikes) in 6 innings, giving up five earned runs to inflate his ERA from 2.72 to 3.15. The three run bomb killed the game early for Boston, and while the scratched back, they just didn't have the firepower to make it a ball game. Tomorrow, Felix Doubront faces Jose Quintana and Chicago at 8:10pm.

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