Out of order
Lineup changes can’t get Sox’ offense working
PHILADELPHIA — The Red Sox have far bigger problems than finding a way to get David Ortiz a few at-bats during an interleague series.
Ortiz played first base and Adrian Gonzalez was in right field last night. But they provided little help to a sputtering offense as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the slumping Sox, 2-1, before a crowd of 45,612 at Citizens Bank Park.
That’s six losses in the last seven games for the Red Sox, who are 1-4 on a National League trip that has four games remaining. They wasted a strong effort from John Lackey, who pitched into the eighth.
A night after being dominated by Cliff Lee, the Sox were held to five hits by rookie Vance Worley and two relievers, losing a series to the Phillies for the first time since 2003.
The Sox hit .320 and averaged eight runs during a 14-2 stretch that started June 2. They have hit .231 and scored 15 runs in the seven games since.
“We’re not going to release our team. That’s the way the game goes,’’ manager Terry Francona said. “You don’t score at that pace all the time. You hope you win some of these games when you’re not.’’
The Sox advanced only two runners into scoring position, both in the fifth inning. The final nine Sox went down in order. Rookie Michael Stutes pitched a perfect eighth inning in relief of Worley (3-1) before Antonio Bastardo picked up his third save.
The Sox will try to avoid the sweep this afternoon with Jon Lester on the mound against Cole Hamels. In two games against the Sox last season, Hamels allowed two earned runs on eight hits over 14 innings.
“We have to find a way to score some runs,’’ second baseman Dustin Pedroia said.
Ortiz was 0 for 4 and is hitless in his last 16 at-bats, leaving 17 runners on base. Gonzalez was 1 for 4 and had an uneventful night in right field. He cleanly fielded two singles that rolled his way.
The Sox plan to return Gonzalez to first base today with Ortiz returning to the bench.
Lackey (5-7) allowed two runs on eight hits over 7 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out five. He threw 90 pitches, 65 for strikes. Lackey also drove in the Sox’ run with a double in the fifth.
“He was tremendous. I thought he threw about as good a breaking ball or better than we’ve seen,’’ Francona said.
Raul Ibanez ruined the night for Lackey. He singled in a run in the second inning, doubled in the fourth, and belted a solo homer in the seventh.
Ibanez is the Philadelphia batter most familiar with Lackey, having played for the Mariners while Lackey was with the Angels. He is 22 of 57 (.386) against him.
“I don’t have many tricks that he hasn’t seen,’’ Lackey said.
Lackey has made five starts since a sore elbow put him on the disabled list. Four have been solid. The righthander has been able to maintain his velocity while getting the sharpness back in his slider. That was the case again last night.
But earlier in the day, NESN’s Peter Gammons said on WEEI that the Red Sox “have to decide’’ whether Lackey will need Tommy John elbow surgery.
General manager Theo Epstein evaded a question about whether Lackey had a torn ligament, saying only that he had an elbow injury earlier this season and was being monitored closely.
“You never know. I don’t know,’’ Lackey said. “What did it look like tonight? . . . [Surgery] is a possibility for everybody in here. You can throw that against the wall and see if it sticks.’’
As Lackey handled the Phillies, the vanishing Red Sox offense did even less.
The Sox ran their streak of scoreless innings to 15 before Josh Reddick singled to right field in the fifth and scored on Lackey’s double.
It was a terrific at-bat for the pitcher, who fell behind, 0 and 2, worked the count full, and crushed a fastball to the gap in left-center.
“It kind of breaks up the season a little bit,’’ Lackey said. “It was fun to get up there and swing.’’
Lackey had another good at-bat in the seventh inning, fouling off a 2-and-2 pitch before grounding to third.
Lackey was 0 for 30 during his eight years with the Angels. But he is 3 for 8 with two doubles in two seasons with the Sox.
Reddick had two of the Sox’ five hits and is up to .438 in 13 games.
“Worley was tough,’’ he said. “He had a good fastball and he was deceptive. I thought we might score a few runs but he did a good job. That’s the way it has been lately.’’