Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-US PRESSWIRE
Every once in a while absolutely everything goes right. Today was one of those times, as the Red Sox put up 14 runs in the first five innings and Jon Lester held down the Indians through six stellar innings to earn a draw in their series.
Much like in their game against Yu Darvish, the top four were in top shape on the night, each providing at least two hits despite coming out of the game early for replacements in the blowout. Jacoby Ellsbury showed some power by going to the wall with a double in the fifth, Carl Crawford had three doubles in four trips to the plate, Dustin Pedroia went two-for-three with a walk, and Adrian Gonzalez found the stands in the first to complete a three-run inning.
Down a ways batting seventh was Mike Aviles, who managed to reach base in all four of his at bats, scoring three of Boston's fourteen runs.
It would turn out that almost all of that was unnecessary, though, because Jon Lester took things to another level today. While Lester has shown significant positives in his last three outings, this was the first time he really put everything together. After getting out of trouble with just one run allowed in the first, he started getting strikeout after strikeout, completely dominating the Cleveland lineup, and finishing the day with a remarkable 12 Ks in six innings of one-run ball.
It's rarely a good sign when the Sox are finishing games with players like Nick Punto, Danny Valencia, and Scott Podsednik. And when Clayton Mortensen is taking an at bat against any team, much less an AL team like the Indians, things are almost sure to have gone terribly wrong. But today they were able to turn to the backups for all the right reasons. Just an incredible day on the mound and at the plate.