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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Jon Lester pisses excellence

What have I been saying the last few months? Jon Lester is the ace of the 2008 Boston Red Sox. Josh Beckett has the much-deserved reputation and Dice-K has the impressive numbers but if the Sox need one game to win this season, I'll take Lester over those other two.

Once again, Lester righted the Goodship Red Sox with another fine outing last night in Camden Yards against the Orioles.

Boston (72-53) beat Baltimore (60-64), 6-3, and for one night erased memories of the terrible rain-shortened weekend series against the Blue Jays. Sure our bullpen is a mess but if Lester, Beckett and Dice-K can pitch to their capabilities and Papelbon is healthy, we have a good shot to make some noise in October.

Lester improved to 12-4 with seven innings of one-run ball. He allowed four hits, one walk and struck out five.

Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie (10-9) is always a Red Sox killer and he pitched well enough to deserve better. He lasted seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits with five walks and four strikeouts.

Boston's bats were led by Jason Bay and David Ortiz. Bay was 3-for-5 with two homers, four RBIs and a stolen base. Ortiz had two doubles, scored twice and had an RBI.

Bay hit his first homer in the second inning and Jason Varitek followed later in the inning with a solo shot of his own.

Aubrey Huff (who's having a career year) hit a solo home run off Lester in the fourth.

With Ortiz on base, Bay hit his second homer in the eighth, putting the Sox up 4-1.

Manny Delcarmen walked two in the eighth and Jonathan Papelbon had to come on with two outs. Huff greeted Papelbon with a two-run double, cutting the lead to 4-3 Boston.

The Sox increased the lead back to three runs in the ninth as Ortiz doubled home Dustin Pedroia and then he scored on Bay's groundout.

Papelbon recorded a 1-2-3 ninth for his 33rd save of the season.

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