Postgame notes: First Fenway loss for Lester

Postgame notes: First Fenway loss for Lester
August 30, 2013, 1:00 am
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BOSTON - Jon Lester almost made it through August without losing at home.

Lester allowed three runs in six innings, hardly a poor showing. Still, with the Red Sox scoring just twice off Baltimore starter Chris Tillman, it wasn't good enough as the Sox lost 3-2 and Lester fell to 12-8.

Lester had come into the start with a 4-0 record in nine Fenway Park outings this season.
      
"I felt good," said Lester. "I felt like I had a pretty good fastball tonight, just not a lot of command of really anything. Some nights you have that. I just tried to keep the team in the ballgame the best I could. That's really it. I'm just trying to keep them as close as I could with what we were working with tonight.
     
"I don't really think it was a bad outing. I don't think I need to search for positives. I gave up three runs; it's not like I gave up seven. Obviously, a loss is a loss. But when it's said and done, I don't think it was a negative outing.''
     
Lester gave up a two-run double to Manny Machado in the third and a run-scoring double to Chris Davis in the fourth.
    
He might have lasted longer than six innings, but three walks helped run his pitch count up prematurely. He threw 112 pitches.
     
"When you're not really commanding everything,'' said Lester, "you're going to have that. I threw a lot of fastballs tonight, especially with that team, you're going to have a lot of foul balls, a lot of deep counts. Just being able to command stirke one, let alone the first two or three pitches, I didn't do a very good job of that tonight.
     
"But I found a way to minimize damage and keep it close enough where I felt like [our] guys had a chance."
     
Said John Farrell: "I thought he had good stuff once again. A couple of pitches found the middle of the plate [on the doubles], but
he was strong and kind of grinded through some things tonight to give us six strong innings with three runs allowed.''
   
***
A night after fouling a ball of his foot, Jacoby Ellsbury was back in the lineup. He stole his 50th base in the eighth inning, the third time in his career that he's reached that milestone.
     
Only one other player in Red Sox history -- Tommy Harper --  stole 50 bases in a season, and Harper did it just once.
     
Ellsbury also stole 50 in 2008 and a team-record 70 in 2009.
     
Since 2008, only Michael Bourn of the Indians has had as many as three 50-steal seasons.
     
This season, Ellsbury is 50-for-54 for an astounding success rate of 92.6 percent. Of the four instances in which he was caught stealing, two were actually pickoffs, meaning that catchers have thrown out Ellsbury only twice in 52 attempts.