PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Terry Francona was as efficient with his words as Jon Lester was with his pitches.
“Lester was good, OK was good, Pap was good,” he said, referring to his three pitchers. “I want to watch the game.”
Before Francona flipped on the TV to watch the Celtics’ bid for the NBA title, Boston’s manager was reminded of the kind of outing that won the Red Sox the World Series last year.
“I think his confidence is growing,” Francona said of Lester. “It looks like he’s trying to grow up as a major league pitcher.”
Lester (6-3) never got into any serious trouble and won his third straight start.
Lester, who tossed a no-hitter this season against Kansas City and got the Game 4 victory as Boston completed a World Series sweep of Colorado last October, gave up six hits and walked only one. He has allowed three runs or less in each of his last 10 starts and 5-1 with a 2.09 ERA over that span.
“It seems like every start, things are getting better,” Lester said. “Walks are going down, I’m more around the zone with better command of my stuff. I have the confidence to throw any pitch, any time.”
Lester peered over reporters’ heads to catch a glimpse of the NBA finals halftime show.
Jonathan Papelbon worked the ninth for his 20th save.
Burrell was impressed with Boston’s lefty starter.
“We hadn’t seen him before and he’s pretty good,” he said.
Historically known as a power team, this year’s lineup is more like the Speedy Sox. They matched a club record with six stolen bases from Crisp (two), Lugo, Jacoby Ellsbury, Sean Casey, and Dustin Pedroia.
The three-game series between interleague division leaders ends Wednesday.
Moyer had his five-game win streak snapped and lost for the first time since May 10. He never found a groove in five shaky innings, and walked a season-high five—as many as he walked in five May starts.
“Without command for me, it makes it a real difficult night,” he said.
Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels predicted the two teams would meet again this season in the World Series. This one certainly had a Fall Classic feel with a sold-out stadium and a breeze that rippled the flags and cooled the crowd.
Lester took care of silencing Philadelphia’s bats. He held the Phillies’ potent 3-4-5 combo of Utley, Howard and Burrell to an 0-for-9 and five strikeouts. Howard went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts a night after he homered twice in the Phillies’ 8-2 win.
Lester’s toughest jam came in the seventh when he allowed back-to-back singles with two outs. But Carlos Ruiz weakly grounded into a forceout at third to end the small rally. That was all for Lester’s outing.
Hideki Okajima pitched a scoreless eighth, fanning Utley with a runner on third. Utley was 0-for-4.
“We didn’t have a whole lot of opportunities and we didn’t do anything with the ones we had,” Burrell said.
Crisp hit a two-run shot, his fifth, to left in the second for a 2-0 lead. The Red Sox left two more runners on base when Moyer struck out J.D. Drew to end the inning.
Lugo hit a two-out, full-count RBI double that scored Crisp for a 3-0 lead in the sixth.
Red Sox RHP Bartolo Colon was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a stiff lower back. Boston recalled RHP Chris Smith from Triple-A Pawtucket to take Colon’s spot. … Injured RHP Curt Schilling was sent back to Boston for an examination with team doctors. Schilling, on the 60-day DL since spring training with shoulder weakness, will have his shoulder examined by medical director Dr. Thomas Gill. … Red Sox 1B Kevin Youkilis didn’t start for the second straight game because of muscle spasms in the middle of his back. … The Red Sox stole six bases for the second time this season.