The Red Sox got exactly what they expected out of ace Jon Lester and they were able to win 6-2 on Thursday night to avoid the series sweep in Baltimore. The Red Sox offense was finally able to put some runs on the board early, when Adrian Gonzalez knocked in Jacoby Ellsbury on in RBI double in the first. In the bottom half of the inning, Jon Lester looked shaky. He started the game off with a walk and a single, and after Brian Roberts stole third, Derrick Lee got an RBI single to knock him in and tie the game. Lester buckled down after this and struck out Guerrero and got Adam Jones to ground into an inning-ending double play. That proved to be big that Lester was able to avoid giving up an early lead. In the top of the third, the Red Sox continued to get production from the same faces and Adrian Gonzalez knocked in Ellsbury on an RBI single for a 2-1 lead. After pitching brilliantly up to the sixth, Jon Lester made a mistake to Vlad Guererro and the free swinger put it in the left field bleachers to tie the game. The Red Sox would follow that up with a one run seventh and that would be all they needed. In the eighth, Ellsbury and Saltalamacchia knocked in three runs, and the Papelbon would hold off the Baltimore offense in the ninth to close out a 6-2 win.
News and Notes
- Jon Lester pitched well against the Orioles once again. After his 8 inning, 2 run 4 hit and 5 strikeout performance on Thursday, Lester improved to a 14-0 against Baltimore. Lester's performance was big for the Red Sox tonight, who were looking to their ace to stop the losing streak. Anytime he comes into Baltimore he is brimming with confidence, but Lester has looked good everywhere this year, and continues his solid start to 2011.
- The top of the lineup looked great tonight. Even though Adrian Gonzalez has hit just one home run thus far this year, he has still been able to contribute to this offense in a big way. He had two RBIs in a 3-5 effort on Wednesday, and hit a double for his fourth consecutive game. Jacoby Ellsbury, who has looked good in the leadoff spot the past few games, has also doubled in four straight games. On top of his double, Ellsbury went 3-5 with a pair of runs and a pair of RBIs. If the production continues to come from these two, expect early leads often for the Red Sox.
The Red Sox head back to Fenway tomorrow night to begin a three game series with the Seattle Mariners. They will send Daisuke Matsuzaka (2-2 4.09 ERA) to the mound against Seattle's Jason Vargas (0-2 5.53).