John Lackey #40 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards on April 30, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Despite a slow start from John Lackey, he recovered from it and was strong the rest of the way. Unfortunately for him, the Boston Red Sox bullpen couldn’t hold the lead for him in last night’s 5-4 loss to the Baltimore Orioles.

The Orioles started out with three straight hits and a sacrifice fly on him to take a 2-0 lead but J.D. Drew got a run back with the first of his two solo home runs. Lackey settled down after the first though relying mostly on his breaking ball to keep the O’s hitters at bay. It wasn’t a dominant outing but he kept the Red Sox in the game and left with the lead.

Lackey ended up throwing 120 pitches and knowing him he probably wanted to keep going. But Terry Francona summoned Daniel Bard from the bullpen and he came in and got the first two outs of the 8th. Then on a 1-2 pitch to Miguel Tejada, he threw a 98 mph fastball that ran back over the plate and Tejada crushed it to tie the game up at 4.

Terry Francona said on Friday that David Ortiz is going to get a chance to play a little more as the Orioles will have three righties going, including last night. Ortiz ended up going 0-4 to drop his average to .143 on the season. He didn’t get a ball out of the infield.

There doesn’t appear to be anything wrong with his swing but how much longer can the Red Sox suffer when Big Papi is at the plate. If he’s unable to get anything going this weekend with the chance to play, can the Red Sox afford to keep him in the lineup?

After this road trip ends, their schedule doesn’t get any easier. They certainly can’t afford to not get production from their DH spot in the lineup. He’s basically given them what a pitcher in the National League can do.

We may have to face fact that the Red Sox career of Big Papi is slowly coming to a close.

We’ll be back later with the lineups, batter/pitcher matchups and links from the day but for now enjoy the overnight links.

Things We Learned: Red Sox plagued by inconsistency in April [Alex Speier –]

Retire Nomar’s No. 5 Boston [Batter-up with Bruno]

Tejada’s knockout punch drops Red Sox in 10th [Boston Globe]

Beltre suffers a series of miscues [Boston Globe]

Wakefield’s new role a work in progress [Boston Globe]

Red Sox’ hex over Orioles ends in 10th [Boston Herald]

It’s May Day for David Ortiz [Boston Herald]

End of Alan Embree [Boston Herald]

‘Pen writes it wrong [Boston Herald]

Embree designated for assignment [CSN New England]

Sox prospect Wagner breaks bone in hand [CSN New England]

Quick hits: Orioles 5, Red Sox 4 [ESPN Boston]

Scouting minors for the next Darnell [ESPN Boston]

Beltre: I have been playing horrible [Extra Bases]

The woes against the O’s [Extra Bases]

Closing Time: Orioles 5, Red Sox 4 [Full Count]

Are Red Sox Getting Their Money’s Worth From Adrian Beltre? []

John Lackey’s Solid Outing a Bright Spot on Otherwise Disappointing Night []

Tejada’s two big hits send Red Sox to defeat in Baltimore [Providence Journal]

Red Sox hope rest will do Okajima good [Providence Journal]

Matsuzaka, Beckett have pivotal tests this weekend in Baltimore [Providence Journal]

Red Sox Journal: Wakefield-to-bullpen will be pure experiment [Providence Journal]

Red Sox lose catching option as Pawtucket’s Mark Wagner goes down to injury [Providence Journal]

Progress for Ellsbury, Cameron []

Wakefield begins his bullpen tenure []

Embree’s second stint with Boston ends []

For more slices of Boston Red Sox goodness, head over to the Boston GlobeBoston HeraldESPN BostonNESNProvidence Journal and WEEI websites.

And if you must read the enemy paper, head over to the Baltimore Sun website. Or you can check out our Bloguin brother, the Oriole Post.