Red Sox Send Jon Lester To Mound, Hope to Continue Magic In Three-Game Set Against Struggling Diamondbacks

Jon LesterThe Arizona Diamondbacks head into Fenway Park for a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox on Friday, and while both teams are caught in tight division races, the clubs enter the series streaking in opposite directions.

The Sox are coming off back-to-back walk-off wins and a sweep of the Seattle Mariners, giving the team four victories in their last five contests. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks have dropped four of their last five, scoring just six runs in the four losses.

Jon Lester will get the start for the Sox and look to continue the inspired play that has kept Boston one game ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays. Although Lester endured a 10-start stretch that saw him post a 6.49 ERA, the lefty has strung together three consecutive quality starts since then, including a seven-inning scoreless gem on Sunday in which he struck out eight Orioles’ batters. Lester will be tasked with putting out D-Backs slugger Paul Goldschmidt, who is hitting .300 with 24 home runs and 86 RBIs on the season. Goldschmidt will bat third for Arizona, followed by third baseman Martin Prado.

Jacoby Ellsbury, Shane Victorino and Daniel Nava are each coming off multi-hit performances in Thursday’s game, and will look to continue their success at the plate against Mariners starter Randall Delgado (3-3, 2.85 ERA.) Victorino saw the ball particularly well in the series with the Mariners, going 7-for-15 with three RBIs and six runs.  Victorino will get the start in right field and bat second behind Ellsbury.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia is back behind the plate for the Sox after getting Thursday night off. Saltalamacchia, who has notched multi-hit performances in his last two games, will bat seventh, followed by shortstop Stephen Drew and third baseman Brock Holt.

Check out the lineups for both teams below.

Boston Red Sox (64-44)

Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Daniel Nava, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Stephen Drew, SS
Brock Holt, 3B

Jon Lester, LHP

Arizona Diamondbacks (55-53)

A.J. Pollock, CF
Aaron Hill, 2B
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
Martin Prado, 3B
Cody Ross, LF
Jason Kubel, DH
Wil Nieves, C
Gerardo Parra, RF
Didi Gregorius, SS

Randall Delgado, P

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