Final, Red Sox 6-3: The Athletics made some noise against the usually reliable Chris Capuano in the ninth inning. But Koji Uehara eventually secured a 6-3 win for the Red Sox.
The story of this game was Jon Lester, who was absolutely dominant for eight innings. The lefty provided the Red Sox with one of their better pitching performances in recent years.
Lester allowed just one hit and walked two over eight shutout innings. He struck out a career-high 15 batters while throwing 119 pitches.
The double-digit strikeout performance was the 18th of Lester’s career, moving him into a tie with Smoky Joe Wood for third place on the Red Sox’s all-time list.
The Red Sox’s offense produced three home runs over the first four innings. Jonny Gomes set the tempo with a first-inning grand slam, and David Ortiz and David Ross added to Boston’s lead with solo blasts in the third and fourth innings, respectively.
The Red Sox will look to make it a clean sweep of the Oakland Athletics on Sunday. John Lackey will face A’s ace Sonny Gray in a game scheduled for 1:35 p.m.
End 8th, Red Sox 6-0: The Red Sox went down in order in the eighth inning, but Boston has this one wrapped up barring something bonkers.
Chris Capuano will pitch the ninth inning, meaning Jon Lester’s incredible pitching performance is over after 119 pitches.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 6-0: What a pitching performance by Jon Lester.
Lester struck out the side after issuing a leadoff walk in the eighth inning. Assuming Lester’s day is over — his pitch count is at 119 — we just witnessed one of the Red Sox’s best-pitched games in years.
Lester piled up a career-high 15 strikeouts over eight innings. The 15-strikeout effort marks Lester’s 18th career double-digit strikeout performance, tying him with Smoky Joe Wood for third place on the Red Sox’s all-time list.
Only Pedro Martinez (72) and Roger Clemens (68) had more double-digit strikeout games for the Red Sox than Lester or Wood.
End 7th, Red Sox 6-0: Luke Gregerson struck out two in a perfect seventh inning.
Xander Bogaerts and Mike Napoli both struck out swinging, though Boston has a pretty comfortable lead at this point.
Jon Lester is back out for the eighth inning.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 6-0: Jon Lester didn’t record any strikeouts in the seventh inning. Instead, he worked a very efficient 1-2-3 frame.
Lester needed just 10 pitches to retire the side in order in the seventh. The lefty’s pitch count is up to 99. He has struck out 12, walked one and given up just one hit through seven shutout innings.
Grady Sizemore made a tremendous running grab to begin the seventh inning. Jed Lowrie hit a line drive that looked destined for the gap, but Sizemore tracked it down in left-center field before tumbling over.
End 6th, Red Sox 6-0: Dan Otero worked a 1-2-3 sixth inning for Oakland. The A’s have some work to do offensively, though, and Jon Lester hasn’t given them an inch.
Jackie Bradley Jr., David Ross and Dustin Pedroia went down in order in the sixth.
Lester heads to the mound in the seventh with 12 strikeouts in his back pocket.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 6-0: Jon Lester is spinning an absolute gem.
Lester struck out two more in the sixth inning, giving him 12 strikeouts for the game. Josh Reddick and Nick Punto were the latest victims.
Coco Crisp ended the inning with a dribbler up the first base line. Lester gobbled it and underhand flipped to Mike Napoli.
Lester has thrown 87 pitches, so a complete game seems unlikely. But so far, the left-hander has dazzled.
Oh yeah, there was a “Let’s go Bruins” chant here at Fenway, too.
End 5th, Red Sox 6-0: The Red Sox sent Tommy Milone to the showers in the fifth inning.
Mike Napoli’s leadoff walk spelled the end of Milone’s afternoon. Dan Otero entered and retired Jonny Gomes, Grady Sizemore and Will Middlebrooks in order.
Milone allowed six earned runs on six hits — including three homers — over four innings of work. He struck out five and walked four.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 6-0: Jon Lester is absolutely dealing.
Lester issued a leadoff walk — his first free pass of the day — in the fifth inning before tallying his 10th strikeout of the contest. Alberto Callaspo foul tipped a cutter into David Ross’ mitt for strikeout No. 10.
Craig Gentry followed with a bouncer in the infield. Dustin Pedroia scooped it, stepped on second base and fired to first in time.
End 4th, Red Sox 6-0: David Ross didn’t want to be a bystander, apparently. He joined the home run bash by clubbing his second homer of the season and the third Boston blast of the day.
Ross’ solo homer traveled into the Monster seats and extended the Red Sox’s lead to 6-0.
Dustin Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts and David Ortiz went down in order following Ross’ home run.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 5-0: Jonny Gomes decided that contributing offensively just wasn’t enough.
Gomes, who drilled a grand slam in the first inning, made a nice running grab over near the left field line to cap the top of the fourth. Gomes banged into the wall immediately after making the catch.
The big story of the inning, however, was Jon Lester recording two more strikeouts. Lester struck out Jed Lowrie and Josh Donaldson, giving him nine K’s through four innings.
End 3rd, Red Sox 5-0: David Ortiz joined the party in the third inning.
Ortiz crushed a home run into the right field seats to give Boston a 5-0 lead. The home run was Ortiz’s sixth of the season and his 379th as a member of the Red Sox, tying him with Dwight Evans for fourth place on the franchise’s all-time list.
Grady Sizemore walked and Will Middlebrooks singled with two outs to make A’s starter Tommy Milone work a little more, but the left-hander ultimately escaped the third inning with just the one run allowed.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 4-0: Jon Lester has been extremely impressive.
Lester has racked up seven strikeouts through three innings. He worked past a leadoff single from Craig Gentry in the third inning to strike out the side.
Josh Reddick, Nick Punto and Coco Crisp struck out in the third. Lester continues to display excellent velocity and a good-looking breaking ball to go with his usual nasty cutter.
End 2nd, Red Sox 4-0: Dustin Pedroia really is starting to swing the bat with more authority.
He showed it Friday night in blasting a grand slam, and he showed it in the second inning by ripping a double over Craig Gentry’s head in left.
The Red Sox couldn’t do anything with Pedroia’s two-out knock, though. Xander Bogaerts grounded out to end the inning.
Jackie Bradley Jr. and David Ross struck out in the inning.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 4-0: Jon Lester looks sharp.
Lester has retired the first six batters he has faced, including four by way of strikeouts.
Yoenis Cespedes and Derek Norris struck out in the second inning. Lester reached back and hit 94 mph on the radar gun while picking up the two K’s.
End 1st, Red Sox 4-0: Make it three grand slams in eight days — and two in two days — for the Red Sox.
Jonny Gomes ripped a grand slam over the Green Monster in the first inning to give Boston a 4-0 lead. Dustin Pedroia, of course, launched a grand slam in the sixth inning of Friday’s victory.
Gomes’ grand slam off Tommy Milone was set up by two walks and a single. Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz each earned free passes. Xander Bogaerts singled into left field.
A.J. Pierzynski also connected on a grand slam last Saturday.
Mid 1st, 0-0: It was smooth sailing for Jon Lester in the first inning.
Lester struck out Coco Crisp and Josh Donaldson while working a 1-2-3 inning to kick off his seventh start of the year.
Crisp went down looking at an 0-2 cutter that hit the bottom of the strike zone. Donaldson chased a curveball down and out of the zone.
Jed Lowrie popped out in foul territory in the inning. Mike Napoli called off David Ross at the last second to make the catch.
1:36 p.m.: Coco Crisp hammers Jon Lester’s first pitch foul down the left field line.
11:35 a.m.: Shane Victorino is out of the Red Sox’s lineup as part of a routine off day. Victorino is available for Saturday’s game if the situation calls for it, according to manager John Farrell.
Jackie Bradley Jr. will start in right field in Victorino’s place. Farrell said he opted to go with Bradley in right and Grady Sizemore in center because of Bradley’s arm strength and range. The Sox skipper noted that right field might be the most important position at Fenway Park.
Saturday’s complete lineups are below.
Boston Red Sox (14-16)
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Grady Sizemore, CF
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., RF
David Ross, C
Jon Lester, LHP (2-4, 3.10 ERA)
Oakland Athletics (18-11)
Coco Crisp, CF
Jed Lowrie, SS
Josh Donaldson, 3B
Yoenis Cespedes, DH
Derek Norris, C
Alberto Callaspo, 1B
Craig Gentry, LF
Josh Reddick, RF
Nick Punto, 2B
Tommy Milone, LHP (0-2, 4.56 ERA)
11 a.m. ET: The Boston Red Sox rebounded from their doubleheader loss in a big way Friday, toppling the Oakland Athletics 7-1 behind a strong effort from Clay Buchholz and a grand slam from Dustin Pedroia.
The Red Sox will look to turn Friday’s win into something bigger moving forward. The Athletics entered the series with an American League-best 18-10 record, so perhaps a couple of victories over Oakland could send Boston down the right path. The Sox enter Saturday’s game two games below .500 at 14-16.
Jon Lester will take the ball Saturday afternoon. The left-hander will be trying to right the ship after suffering back-to-back losses to the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays. Lester surrendered four earned runs on five hits over seven innings in his last start against the Blue Jays on Sunday. The Red Sox only mustered up one run of support in that game.
Saturday’s first pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. Keep it right here with NESN.com throughout the day for updates.
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