Jon Lester may have had a bad month of April for the Boston Red Sox but boy has he turned around things quickly. And it couldn't have come at a better time with his buddy Josh Beckett struggling still.
Lester was strong over seven innings as helped the Red Sox to a 9-3 Mother's Day win over the New York Yankees in front of 37,618 at Fenway Park.
The win gets the Red Sox back to .500 at 16-16 but still remain 2½ games behind their next opponent in the Toronto Blue Jays for third place in the AL East. The Yankees (21-9) had a chance to overtake the Tampa Bay Rays, who were no-hit by Dallas Braden and the Oakland A's, for first place.
Other than two little hiccups of the bat of Nick Swisher and Alex Rodriguez in the 4th inning, Lester was pretty dominant. He had all of his pitches working and kept pounding the strike zone. He allowed two runs on four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.
Manny Delcarmen allowed just his second run since April 16th. The run came on three hits and he also struck out two. Tim Wakefield cleaned up in the 9th and had one strikeout.
Ever since A.J. Burnett came over to the Yankees, he's had a rough time against the Red Sox at Fenway Park and on Sunday night it was no different. The Red Sox battered him for nine runs (eight earned) on nine hits and three walks. Burnett did record four strikeouts.
Jeremy Hermida had two hits, including a 2-run homer, and knocked in three runs. Adrian Beltre continues to swing a hot stick at the dish as he had two hits and two RBIs while J.D. Drew had two hits and an RBI. Both David Ortiz and Kevin Youkilis added RBI doubles.
The Red Sox got a break in the second when Yanks left fielder Marcus Thames had a ball that came off the bat of Hermida go off his glove. The error allowed Drew to score and make it 1-0 Red Sox.
They would bat around in the 3rd inning when they scored five runs to push the lead to 6-0.
Marco Scutaro led off with a walk and went to third on a Dustin Pedroia double. After Victor Martinez grounded back to Burnett, Youk worked a walk and then Drew brought in Scutaro with a sac fly. Ortiz followed with a ground rule double to score Pedroia and then Beltre cleared the bases. Hermida brought him home with a single.
Nick Swisher and Alex Rodriguez added solo home runs in the 4th but those were the only blips in Lester's fine night. Hermida added a two-run homer in the 5th to end Burnett's nightmare at the Fens.
The Red Sox will now try to chase down the Blue Jays and move north in the AL East standings in a three-game set at the Fens. John Lackey will look to build off his last performance as he'll be opposed by Brandon Morrow. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m and the game will be shown on NESN Plus in the Red Sox television market.
After being blown out by the New York Yankees in the first two games, the Boston Red Sox will look to salvage the final game of the series.
Today's game will start at 8:05 p.m. and will be shown on ESPN. You can also catch the game online at ESPN3.com. If you can't catch the television broadcast, you can always listen to the game on the 2010 Red Sox radio network.
Jon Lester makes his seventh start of 2010 and has pitched much better as of late. He's faced the Yanks once this season and picked up a no decision after allowing four runs in five innings. He's made nine starts against the Yankees in his career and is 3-1 with a 4.19 ERA.
A.J. Burnett also makes his seventh start of 2010 and has a 4-0 record with a 1.99 ERA. He's also faced the Red Sox once this season and he received a no decision after allowing four runs (three earned) in five innings. He's had relatively good success in his career against the Red Sox as he is 5-2 with a 4.30 ERA in 13 starts. He's made seven career starts at the Fens and is 3-2 with a 5.36 ERA.
Keep reading for lineups, batter/pitcher matchups and pregame links.
Given the up-and-down season the Boston Red Sox are having, you never know which team is going to show up. Is it going to be the team that swept the Los Angeles Angels and Toronto Blue Jays? Or is it going to be the team that got swept by the Baltimore Orioles?
It appears the team that showed up last weekend in Baltimore is the one that showed up at Fenway Park in the series against the New York Yankees so far. Things were so bad for the Red Sox in yesterday's 14-3 loss that Jonathan Van Every made his second relief appearance in a Red Sox uniform in two seasons.
I'm pretty sure when the Red Sox reacquired JVE from the Pirates, they really weren't getting him to provide depth in the bullpen. But his appearance just sums up how this season has gone for the Red Sox.
Now a season isn't made in five weeks but given the way the Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays are playing so far, the Red Sox are digging themselves a deep hole which they could find hard to get out of. They currently find themselves 7½ games behind the Rays for first place and seven games behind the Yankees for second. It's so bad right now that the team they swept last week in Toronto is 2½ games ahead of them for third place.
We were all promised a season of run prevention and great defense but we haven't seen that yet. In their first 31 games, the Red Sox have given up 174 runs and have scored 156. It's not the offense, it's the pitching and defense. Sure the starting pitching had been good for about a week before the Yankees showed up but now we've had two straight bad starts.
The Red Sox thought they were getting a Gold Glove third baseman in Adrian Beltre but he's been far from that. He made his seventh error of 2010 and also did the ol' Roger Dorn ole. Maybe Tito needs to go 'Lou Brown' on him.
This video is not NSFW unless BS is tolerated.
And by the way, can we just release Scott Schoeneweis now? While we don't know what Alan Embree would have brought to the table since we didn't get a chance to see him pitch, it sure seems like boy wonder Theo Epstein made a mistake.
Something needs to change and change quickly, otherwise the Red Sox will be making vacation plans and tee times for October.
We'll be back later with the lineups, batter/pitcher matchups and links from the day.
Destination Red Sox Nation is our look at how the minor league teams of the Boston Red Sox fare each night. Game story and box score links as well as links to team rosters, team stats and league standings are after the jump.
After losing on a controversial decision at UFC 104 in October 2009 to UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua was out for revenge at UFC 113 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec.
And it was revenge he got as he knocked out Machida at 3:35 of the first round to claim the UFC light heavyweight belt.
After Josh Koscheck dominated Paul Daley in the co-main event at UFC 113 in Montreal, Quebec, Daley landed a cheap shot punch to Koscheck's face after the final bell had been rung.
Koscheck won the fight and also will get to coach against George St. Pierre in the upcoming season of "The Ultimate Fighter". Koscheck should also get a title shot against GSP in an upcoming UFC event.