Jon Lester came into yesterday's game having lost a career-high four straight starts. A win from him would also keep his Boston Red Sox in the playoff hunt with yesterday's opponent the New York Yankees as well as the Tampa Bay Rays.
Things worked out well for Lester and the Red Sox yesterday afternoon at Yankee Stadium as he was able to regain his form and shutdown the Yankees for 6 1/3 innings to pick up his 12th win of the 2010 campaign. In fact, Lester had a no-hitter going through the first 4 1/3 innings until one of the newest Yankees Austin Kearns broke it up with a single.
Lester had good command of his fastball as well as his secondary pitches and Victor Martinez did a great job of mixing them all in. Lester did run into some trouble in the 7th though and had to be bailed out by Daniel Bard.
Hip hip Jorge Posada led off with a single and went to third on a Marcus Thames double. Lester then plunked Kearns to load up the bases but rebounded with a strikeout of Curtis Granderson. He gave way to Bard who came in and struck out Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher to end the threat.
Bard found himself in a need a of a bailout as well as Jonathan Papelbon picked him up in the bottom of the 8th.
Mark Teixeira hit a bomb to right to cut the Red Sox lead to 2-1 to start the inning. Alex Rodriguez followed with a single and was replaced by Brett Gardner who went to second on a Robinson Cano groundout. Bard then walked Posada but got pinch-hitter Lance Berkman to fly out. Paps then came in and retired Kearns on one pitch.
The stolen base helped the Red Sox to their two runs in the second inning.
After a Mike Lowell flyout against Phil Hughes, rookie Ryan Kalish singled and then stole second. He ended up at third base on a throwing error by Posada and quickly came into score on a Bill Hall single. Jacoby Ellsbury finally broke his 0-for-16 return from the disabled list with a single that moved Hall to third.
Ellsbury stole second and Hughes walked Marco Scutaro to load up the bases. J.D. Drew grounded out but Hall scored to make it 2-0.
It wasn't the series result the Red Sox wanted with a split of the four-game set with the Yankees but it still kept their postseason hopes alive. They find themselves still trailing the Yankees by six game for first place and the Rays by 4.5 games for second place and the AL Wild Card standings.
The Red Sox do need to keep an eye on what the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins are doing. Both teams are tied for first in the AL Central and trail the Red Sox by a ½ game in the Wild Card standings.
They now head north of the border to take on a Toronto Blue Jays team that they are 7-2 against this season including a 5-1 record at Rogers Centre. Daisuke Matsuzaka will take the hill for the Red Sox and he'll be opposed by Ricky Romero.
We'll be back later with tonight's lineups, batter/pitchers matchups, any news and links for the day but for now enjoy the overnight links after the jump.