After getting shelled by the Indians, Jon Lester rebounded Wednesday night to put together a solid performance in the Sox's 6-2 win over the D-backs.
Lester allowed four hits, two runs, three walks and struck out seven in seven innings of work. Lester lowered his ERA to 3.13 on the season.
This was another game in which Lester just did not allow a lot of hits. Other than his last outing when he gave up nine hits in six innings of work, Lester hasn't only allowed as many hits per innings pitched three times -- and those three times came in his first three starts. If Lester can cut down the walks just by a little bit, that WHIP will be dangerously low. His WHIP stands 1.15 now.
Other game notes:
- Dustin Pedroia provided the early offense with a two-run home run in the first inning. Pedroia has two or more hits in five of his last six games. He has raised his batting average from .248 to .271 in that span.
- Marco Scutaro and Adrian Beltre also each had two hits.
- Kevin Youkilis hit his 13th home run of the season, a two-run shot in the seventh.Youk's OPS now sits at 1.048 on the year. Can you say, "MVP"?
- Daniel Bard pitched a scoreless 8th, allowing a hit and striking out one. It's another good outing from the Red Sox's setup man, but you have to be worried about his workload. He's already appeared in 33 games on the year.
- Jonathan Papelbon earned the save with a one-out 9th. Ramon Ramirez allowed a hit and a walk in the 9th before letting Papelbon take over. Ram Ram continues to tell the Red Sox front office to find his replacement before Aug. 1.
The Sox-D-backs finish their series Thursday in a 6 p.m. game. Yes, 6 p.m. because the Celtics will be playing some important game and everyone kind of wants to watch that. (Not everyone, but a large majority of people who also watch Red Sox games. You see their intent, right?).
Thursday's game will see an interesting matchup between Arizona's Dan Haren and Boston's John Lackey. This is when we really, really, really hope Lackey pitches well so the Sox can earn the sweep.