Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Lester Strong as Red Sox Win 3rd Straight 7-3

                                                Sports Illustrated

Red Sox 7 Angels 3
Winning Pitcher: Jon Lester (4-1)
Losing Pitcher: Dan Haren (4-2)
For the second straight night, the Red Sox starter has been able to hang with the red hot starter the Angels sent to the mound, and the offense came through against the Los Angeles bullpen. Jon Lester continued his hot start to 2011 on Tuesday night and keep the Red Sox in the  game as they struggled against Angels starter Dan Haren. After a scoreless first inning, the Angels were able to strike first when Mark Trumbo went deep to give LA an early 1-0 lead. The pitchers continued to dominate up to the sixth inning, which Haren entered with complete control of the Boston offense, only allowing two hits up to that point. Ellsbury came through with a one-out double, an was then knocked in by a 2-out RBI single from Adrian Gonzalez. After an Ortiz single moved Gonzo over to third, Lowrie came through with a base hit to give the Sox a 2-1 lead. After Jon Lester pitched his final inning in the 7th and shut down the opposition, the Red Sox came up with an RBI double from Jarrod Saltalamacchia to knock in Carl Crawford and give Boston a 3-1 lead. The game went into the 8th by the same score, but was broken open by back-to-back solo home runs from Gonzalez and Ortiz, and a 2-run shot from Marco Scutaro three batters later. Jonathan Papelbon came in to pitch the 9th with a six run lead, but gave up two runs before retiring the side to end the game and give Boston a three game winning streak.

News and Notes

  • Kevin Youkilis was a late scratch in this game due to illness. He was replaced by Marco Scutaro, and he wasn't missed in any respect, although of course the Sox would like him back as soon as possible. Scutaro took his place on the lineup card, and came through with a home run in that break away 8th inning. Taking Youk's place in the clean up spot was David Ortiz, and he performed ably as well. Ortiz finished the game 2-4 with a run, RBI and a home run.  

  • In addition to these two guys leading the offense, the big offseason acquisitions Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford continued their hot hitting on Tuesday. Gonzalez hit his first home run in the park that many, myself included, declared was tailor made for him. He finished the day 2-4 with 2 runs and 2 RBIs. Crawford continues his hot May by going 2-3 with a walk, and a stolen base on Tuesday night. The Red Sox hope Gonzalez can continue the power display and Crawford can continue to improve his still-horrid .194 batting average.

  •  Jon Lester continued to pitch well to start his 2011 campaign on Tuesday night. The Red Sox ace went 7 innings, allowing just one run on 6 hits and striking out 11 batters, the first time this year, and 15th of his career, in which he has reached double digit strike outs. For the year, Lester has gone 3-1 with a 2.52 ERA and a 167 ERA+. The starting rotation continues to impress as the offense is finally starting to take form.

The Red Sox will continue this four game series with the Angels at 7:10 PM ET at Fenway. Boston has the streaking Josh Beckett (2-1 2.65) going up against Ervin Santana (1-3 4.89). 

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