Lester started out strong, with five strikeouts in his first two innings, but from there seemed to lose control and intensity. He fell behind hitters, walked leadoff men, and eventually got pulled after five, having given up five.
On the bright side, the bullpen finally got a work out. Delcarmen pitched a clean inning, as did Ramon Ramirez (who looked very strong). Takashi Saito gave up a homerun to Evan Longoria, the first hitter he faced as a Red Sox, then retired the next three. Even Javey Lopez got into the act, giving up a run in the ninth. All in all, not a great performance from the Sox staff we were all feeling so infinitely rosy about this morning.
Kazmir, on the other hand, was on point, going six innings, giving up only one run. (Yes, I'm biting my tongue about that strike zone, as I'm assuming that Lester had some gimmes, too, but every fiber of my being wants to say that damn was Kazmir getting the benefit.) And the Rays offense bounced back nicely after a lackluster opening.
But what's to be expected? The Rays are here to stay. It's all just part of the rhythm of the baseball season. Settle in for at least 160 more up-and-down nights.