Lester shines again against Orioles, Sox win 9-3

Preview | Box Score | Recap

BOSTON (AP)—Jon Lester(notes) keeps piling up wins. He hopes it’s enough to earn his first All-Star selection.

Lester pitched seven strong innings to remain undefeated against Baltimore in 12 career decisions, Kevin Youkilis(notes) homered and drove in three runs, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Orioles 9-3 on Saturday night.

“Obviously it would be nice,” said Lester, who had 10th win in 11 decisions. “Never been. I would like to go. If I end up going I’ll be very excited and it’ll be an honor.”

Lester (10-3) is 12-0 against Baltimore in 15 starts, matching Red Faber’s mark as the best start to a career against the Orioles organization. Faber did it in 1914-16, according to Elias Sports Bureau. He gave up a run and five hits, striking out seven and walking one.

Manager Terry Francona said it would mean a lot to him if Lester was selected to the All-Star team.

Red Sox catcher Kevin Cash(notes), who was with the club in 2007-08 before being reacquired from Houston on Thursday, was amazed how much Lester’s improved with an added pitch.

“He was outstanding,” said Cash, who has become the No. 1 catcher after injuries to Victor Martinez(notes) and Jason Varitek(notes). “He’s a different pitcher with a changeup. I didn’t see that the last stint I was here. He was outstanding all night.”

Boston has won 17 of its last 19 games in Fenway Park against the Orioles.

J.D. Drew(notes) had three hits and drove in pair of runs with a first-inning double after connecting for a two solo homers in Boston’s win on Friday night.

“When you see him hit the ball to left field, he’s feeling pretty good about himself,” Francona said.

Drew had two singles to left on Saturday after a pair of homers over the Green Monster on Friday.

With the aid of video review, Jake Fox(notes) hit a two-run homer in the ninth for Baltimore. The ball was originally ruled off the top of the wall, but the call was overturned.

Baltimore interim manager Juan Samuel was ejected by home plate umpire Mike Everitt in the eighth inning for his first ejection with the Orioles.

With Lester’s success against Baltimore and the way the Red Sox have dominated the Orioles in Fenway Park, it looked like a mismatch—and it was early.

The Red Sox jumped ahead 4-0 against Jeremy Guthrie(notes) (3-10) in the first. Youkilis had an RBI double. Drew followed with a two-run double into the gap in right field. One out later, Daniel Nava(notes) had a run-scoring double over the head of right fielder Nick Markakis(notes).

The Orioles loaded the bases against Lester in the first, but Adam Jones(notes) bounced into an inning-ending double-play grounder.

“We had Lester in the first inning and he got off the hook,” Samuel said. “You have to get these guys when you have the opportunity, but we didn’t do that.”

The Orioles cut it to 4-1 on Corey Patterson’s(notes) RBI single in the fifth.

Youkilis belted his 16th homer, a drive that bounced off an advertisement above the Monster seats, to make it 6-1 in the fifth.

Guthrie gave up six runs and nine hits, walked three and struck out one in four-plus innings. The middle of Boston’s order did most of the damage, with the Nos. 3-5 hitters going 6 for 7 with five runs and five RBIs.

“It’s not a good way to start the game,” Guthrie said.

The Red Sox scored three runs off reliever Frank Mata(notes) in the eighth.

Guthrie lost his sixth straight decision and was short on run support again. The Orioles have scored just 17 runs in his last seven starts.

NOTES: Lester’s streak is the longest current active winning streak against any team. … Red Sox RHP Clay Buchholz(notes), pushed back a few days after straining his left hamstring last Saturday against San Francisco, threw from 90 feet on Saturday. His next start is planned for either Monday or Tuesday, but Francona said: “He’s going to have to be as close to 100 percent as he can be.” … Red Sox CF Mike Cameron(notes) was back in the lineup after being a late scratch Friday with abdominal soreness. “He’s not 100 percent,” Francona said. “I don’t think people realize what he’s going through to be able to play.” Cameron missed 34 games with an abdominal strain earlier this season and may need surgery when the season’s over. … Samuel said he expects Felix Pie(notes), on the 60-day DL with an upper back strain, to be activated and rejoin the team Monday in Detroit. He played nine innings with Double-A Bowie on Friday. … Francona also said an MRI on RHP Manny Delcarmen’s(notes) strained right forearm showed no structural damage. He was put on the 15-day DL Friday.

Related Articles

Scoreboard

Saturday, Jul 3