Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rando was the big story in Boston yesterday while Oakland A's pitcher Dallas Braden was the story in New York after throwing a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Of course all of this came before the Boston Red Sox were looking to avoid a sweep at the hands of the hated rival in the New York Yankees.
The Red Sox had the right guy on the mound in Jon Lester to prevent the sweep and the Yankees were hoping A.J. Burnett's 4-0 start this season was good enough to put his Fenway troubles behind him. In his four previous starts at Fenway, Burnett had an ERA of 11.72.
And last night the Red Sox added to that as they scored nine runs in 4 1/3 innings against him. It was a much-needed win for the Red Sox as right now, they are just looking for a way to get back on track after the slow start to this season.
Other than two little bumps in the road in the 4th, Lester was outstanding again. He's now picked up wins in his last three starts and is definitely on his way to erasing his bad month of April with the exception of his April 30th start. He mixed his pitches well and moved the ball around the plate. On the monstrous blast he gave up to Nick Swisher, he left a fastball out over the plate. The one Alex Rodriguez hit came on a inside fastball.
Now the Red Sox must turn their focus to moving up out of fourth place. They'll have a chance to do that as the Toronto Blue Jays come to town for a 3-game set before Thursday's off day. The Red Sox currently trail the Jays by 2½ games in the AL East for third place and the last time they faced each other a few weeks ago, the Red Sox swept them in Toronto.
While a sweep will go a long way against them, the Red Sox need to continue to get good starting pitching. John Lackey should deliver that tonight but you can only hope and pray you get that from Daisuke Matsuzaka and Josh Beckett in the next two games.
Don't forget tonight's Red Sox game is on NESN Plus.
We'll be back later with tonight's lineups, batter/pitcher matchups and links from the day but for now, enjoy the overnight links.