Luke Treat

Lester continues to impress as Red Sox return to Boston

In MLB on June 27, 2010 at 11:33 pm

Tim Lincecum just wasn’t Tim Lincecum, and Jon Lester continued his campaign for a Cy Young award as the headlining pitchers had very different outings Sunday afternoon in San Francisco.

More after the jump…

The Jon Lester-Tim Lincecum marquee match-up was all but a hiccup as the long-haired Pee-Wee Herman doppleganger didn’t last more than three innings. The Freak threw 79 pitches, walked three, and gave up five hits and four earned runs before getting the hook.

Lester, however, dominated the Giants line-up giving up five hits, one earned run, and striking out nine on his way to a complete game, needing only 103 pitches. Lester retired 17 out of the last 18 betters, and retiring the last 10 consecutively.

The Red Sox put numbers on the board early as David Ortiz hit a solo homerun in the first inning. The Giants answered in the bottom of the first, when Andres Torres scored off a fielder’s choice.

Jon Lester’s sacrifice fly broke the tie score allowing Victor Martinez to rumble across home plate in the second. The next at bat, Marco Scutaro singled to right field, and Bill Hall came home to score giving the Sox a 3-1 lead.

Bill Hall would reciprocate by singling in a run in the fourth, but the score would be stagnant until the top of the ninth inning. Adrian Beltre, who didn’t start the game but entered play as a defensive replacement, rocked a pitch deep to left field widening the gap of any Giant’s hopes of a rally. The Red Sox went on to beat the Giants 4-1.

John Lester improves to a 9-3 record and his 111 strikeouts are second in the American League. Lester now has the best winning percentage in MLB history for pitchers with at least 50 decisions, going 51-19 (a winning percentage of .729).

Victor Martinez left the game in the third inning after taking a foul-tip off his foot in the second. It looked to be an apparent toe injury until it was announced after the game that is wasn’t his toe but rather his left hand.

X-rays taken after game revealed a fracture in Martinez’ left thumb, his catching hand.

“We’ll get him looked at but it’s not an automatic DL,” Sox Manager Terry Francona said after the game.

The Red Sox will wait until the swelling dies down and evaluate Martinez before the Tampa Bay series. Martinez said the swelling was so bad that he couldn’t fit his hand into his catcher’s mitt. Jason Veritek relieved his teammate in the third and played the rest of the game.

Interleague play didn’t bother the Sox, as they faired with a 13-5 record against National League teams. Surprisingly, the Sox pitchers contributed well in the batter’s box combining for a .294 batting average and driving in five RBI’s.

With a couple of days off, the Sox will rest up in preparation for their division rival from Tampa Bay. The Ray’s come into this next series winning only three of their last ten, and are two and a half games behind the Red Sox in the AL East Division standings. The series starts back at Fenway at 7:10 p.m. on Tuesday.

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  1. Pee Wee. One of my favorite names.

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