BOSTON For most of his career, Jon Lester has worked his spell on the Orioles. He entered Fridays game with a career record of 14-0 in 18 starts with a 2.36 ERA.
Although he has held the Orioles to three or fewer runs in his last eight starts, he was not able to improve upon his career record in this start.
Lester lasted just six innings in what turned out to be a 13-inning, 6-4, loss. He gave up three runs on five hits and two strikeouts. He surrendered a lead-off home run to Mark Reynolds in the third inning. It was Reynolds' first home run in 76 at-bats, dating back to Sept. 24, 2011.
Lester left after the sixth with a one-run lead, but the bullpen combined to go seven innings, giving up three runs for the loss.
But Lester was also handed a two-run lead in the third, that he gave back in the next inning.
Jon was battling the umpire Jim Reynolds early in the game, said manager Bobby Valentine. The offense gave him a couple of little leads and he gave them back. Fifth and sixth inning he kind of just pitched his way through it. But it was good enough to win. He left with the lead.
Lester acknowledged some frustration with Reynolds calls may have affected him.
Except for the home run in the third, I felt like the early innings were really good, Lester said. Fourth got away from me a little bit but like Ive said before I think everything I throw is a strike. Thats just my mentality. But going back and looking at it, they were balls. Jim did a good job and I just have to do a better job of controlling what Im trying to do out there and my emotions.
Lester -- who threw 122 pitches in his last outing, threw just 99 in this one, and felt like he could have continued said his frustration did not cause him to lose focus.
My focus is always there, he said. Im not thinking about other things when Im up there pitching. It bothers me until I get back on the rubber and get ready to throw my next pitch. After that its washed away and Ive moved on. I just have to do a better job in between of not letting it come to a head and boil over into my emotions, that area shown towards him, and towards the other team. Stuff like that sometimes can get them going just by showing a little bit of frustration or whatever it is.