Lester looks to beat Toronto for the third time this season when the AL East rivals continue their three-game set at Fenway Park on Tuesday night.
Boston will send Lester (10-4, 3.43 ERA) to the mound after its four-game winning streak ended with a 9-7 loss to Blue Jays on Monday. The left-hander will be making his fourth start against Toronto this season, going 2-0 with a 3.26 ERA in the first three.
He is 6-1 with a 3.47 ERA in his last eight starts versus the Blue Jays, allowing two or fewer runs in six of those outings.
He broke a two-start skid Wednesday, scattering two hits and two walks over seven scoreless innings of a 5-2 win over Philadelphia.
Lester is 3-3 with a 4.54 ERA in six starts at home. He lost his last start at Fenway 4-2 on June 18, giving up three earned runs in eight innings of a 4-2 defeat to Milwaukee - his second straight home defeat.
He’ll try to slow down a Blue Jays lineup that has totaled 16 runs in back-to-back victories.
“You could see the work and commitment he made when he went down to Las Vegas,” manager John Farrell said. “I think we’ve seen him get in a much better place to get to balls down over the plate.”
Bautista, who has three career homers off Lester, has batted .349 with six homers and 10 RBIs in his last 12 games.
Monday’s offensive output eclipsed the six total runs the Blue Jays (42-44) scored in being swept at home by the Red Sox from June 10-12. Boston has outscored Toronto 78-41 in 10 games this season.
The Red Sox (49-35) have scored 37 runs in their last three versus the Blue Jays. Boston is 28-4 when scoring six or more runs this year, but three of those losses have come to Toronto.
Cecil’s only victory came against Boston on April 15, when he allowed three runs and two hits through six innings of a 7-6 win. He’s won his last three starts versus Boston - all at Fenway - despite a 4.82 ERA.
He made his first start in more than two months Thursday, allowing six runs in 6 1-3 innings of a 6-2 loss to Pittsburgh. The left-hander had been at Triple-A Las Vegas working on improving his velocity.