Lester, Holt lead Sox to win over Rays, 4-0

Lester, Holt lead Sox to win over Rays, 4-0
June 1, 2014, 4:45 pm

BOSTON -- For the seventh consecutive game, the Red Sox found a new winning formula. With a heaping helping of Jon Lester and a dash of youth, the Red Sox beat the Rays in their series finale on Sunday, 4-0.

Lester was dominant, throwing seven strong shutout innings, striking out 12 and allowing just six base runners.

In so doing, he was surrounded by a diamond full of players who werUehara e still blossoming in the minors last season.

Alex Hassan (called up on Friday) and Garin Cecchini (called up on Sunday) both notched their first major-league hits playing right field and third base, respectively.

Scorching-hot Brock Holt hit four doubles in his first-ever start at first base.

The Sox got the scoring started in the fourth inning when Jonny Gomes and Hassan began the inning with singles. After a David Ross flyout advanced the runners to second and third, Jonathan Herrera his a sac fly to score Gomes and make the score 1-0.

Holt smaked his third double of the game one batter later scoring both Hassan and Jackie Bradley Jr., who had walked.

The three-run cushion was more than enough for Lester. Edward Mujica pitched a scoreless eighth and Koji Uehara entered to slam the door in the ninth.

The Red Sox got their insurance run in the seventh when Holt led off the inning with a walk, stole a base, and came around to score on Cecchini's first-career hit, a double to left field.

AT A GLANCE

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Jon Lester

When Lester has good control over four pitches and the help of a healthy strike zone like he did Sunday with DJ Reyburn, it's going to be hard to touch him.

HONORABLE MENTION: Brock Holt

Tie a MLB record (which he did with four doubles in the game), you deserve at least an honorable mention. Playing his first-ever game at first base only adds to his impressive day.

GOAT OF THE GAME: Erik Bedard

He let the bottom half of the Red Sox order hurt him in the fourth inning when the Sox surged for three runs. He's also the closest thing to a human rain delay given the amount of time he takes in between pitches. It couldn't have helped someone like left fielder Sean Rodriguez -- who misplayed two Brock Holt doubles -- to stay on his toes and alert.

TURNING POINT

After back-to-back singles by Gomes and Hassan a poor throw back to the infield on a flyout by David Ross allowed the two Sox runners to advance. Jonathan Herrera's sac fly then gave the Sox the only run they'd need.

BY THE NUMBERS

With 19 career games with at least 10 strikeouts, Jon Lester trails Pedro Martinez (72) and Roger Clemens (68) on the all-time Red Sox list.

QUOTE TO NOTE

"Three of our guys in the infield probably can't get on the rides at Six Flags." -- John Farrell on the vertically-challenged Jonathan Herrera (third base), Dustin Pedroia (second) and Brock Holt (first) getting the starting nods Sunday.