May 23, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli (12) sits in the empty dugout after they lost to the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Boston Red Sox 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Red Sox Lose Eighth-Straight, Fall 1-0 to Rays

John Lackey did what he could to stop the skid, but the Red Sox lost again, this time to their fellow division-dwelling rivals the Tampa  Bay Rays by a score of 1-0.

The eighth-consecutive loss is the most a Red Sox team has seen since 2001, back when the curse was still alive. So, oddly enough, this is the longest losing-streak for a Boston team that is relatively used to winning.

Southpaw Andrew Miller picked up the loss to move to 1-3. Burke Badenhop gave up the game-winning hit to pinch-hitter Cole Figueroa, but Miller was tagged with his third game-ending loss of the season.

Manager John Farrell has his work cut out for him. This offense has been the worst since this club has seen since the early- to mid-90’s, even though they are only missing Jacoby Ellsbury from last season’s roster. Stephen Drew‘s presence may help a bit against right-handed pitchers, but Daniel Nava‘s demotion and Will Middlebrook’s injury are the only other missing pieces from 2013.

Brock Holt played last night and will get a real shot to earn some playing time at third base. He can get on base and may be able to jumpstart this offense just a bit. Mookie Betts, the team’s top prospect, was just moved to center field, but it may be time to give him some reps at third base. Gary Cecchini could also get a call-up at some point if the offense continues to sputter.

With the Toronto Blue Jays picking up steam, the turnaround has to happen quickly. Boston finds themselves six games off the American League pace, but with two more games against the Rays, even just one win could go a long way to building some confidence.

Tags: Boston Red Sox John Farrell John Lackey

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