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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Red Sox Swept at Fenway; Fall Two Games Under .500

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 10:  Bryce Harper #34 of the...
BOSTON, MA - JUNE 10: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals celebrates the winning with teammates in the ninth inning as pitcher Alfredo Aceves #91 of the Boston Red Sox looks away during interleague play at Fenway Park June 10, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
The Red Sox were hot a week ago, having won 5 of 7 in Detroit and Toronto. Then the unthinkable happened, they came home to Fenway and lost 5 of 6 to the Orioles and Nationals, sucking the life out of a momentous road trip and dropping back to two games under .500 and 6.0 games out of first place.

Sunday in Boston, it was a lesser showing of dominance than that displayed by Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez, but still the Sox couldn't get the big hit when it counted.

Jon Lester and Jordan Zimmermann went toe to toe, putting up almost identical lines in the afternoon game, but it came down to a battle of the bullpens in the late innings and the Sox were again overmatched.

Lester-- 7 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 9 K

Zimmermann-- 7 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K

Boston did have a lead in the game that they got from an RBI force out by Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz's 14th HR of the season, a solo shot in the fourth inning, but a pair of singles and a double steal to start the seventh put Jon Lester in a tough spot.

After striking out Jesus Flores and getting Roger Bernadina to pop-up a bunt attempt, the Sox lefty allowed a 2-run double to Danny Espinosa that put Washington up 3-2.

The deficit didn't last long though. Boston opened the bottom half of the seventh with a pair of singles from Nick Punto and Ryan Sweeney followed by a sac-bunt to move the runners into scoring position. Scott Podsednik drove in the tying run with a ground out to the first base side of the infield.

Scott Atchison held down the eighth inning, as he's done lately, but the Sox "closer" Alfredo Aceves wasn't able to get the job done in the ninth. Pinch hitter, Bryce Harper, worked a walk and showed off one of his many tools, scoring from first on a sharply hit line drive to the right field corner off the bat of Roger Bernadina. For the third consecutive day Tyler Clippard nailed down the save, this one his eighth on the season.

The Red Sox will open another interleague series Monday when they head into Marlins Park for a three game set with Ozzie and the fish. Josh Beckett will oppose Josh Johnson in game one.

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