Lester on starts: 'It's just Groundhog Day every day'

789368.jpg

Lester on starts: 'It's just Groundhog Day every day'

BOSTON Jon Lester went seven solid outings against the Nationals Sunday, giving up three runs on six hits with two walks and a season-high nine strikeouts.

It was his seventh quality start in 13 outings this season. But it was also his third straight no-decision.

Lester left with the Red Sox trailing by a run, in the eventual 4-3 loss. He entered the seventh with a 2-1 lead.But, he gave up consecutive singles to Ian Desmond and Tyler Moore to open the inning before striking out Jesus Flores and getting Roger Bernadina to line out to pop out to Adrian Gonzalez on an attempted sacrifice bunt.

But, Lester gave up a two-out, 2-1 double off the wall in left fieldto Danny Espinosa, the Nats leadoff hitter, putting the Nats up by a run.

The Sox tied the score in the bottom of the inning, taking Lester off the hook.

Another battling effort, manager Bobby Valentine said. One pitch away from coming in after seven with a 2-1 lead. Just a hit off the wall. Had his strikeout pitches going, fastball, changeup.

Jon looked good, said catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. His fastball was good, cutter was good. Its a fastball-hitting team so mixed in a lot of curveballs in there that kept them off balance, and just he pitched a great game.

But, he has no-decisions in each of his last three starts, as his record is stalled at 3-4 with a 4.57 ERA.In seven starts after a Red Sox loss, Lester has a record of 1-3 with three no decisions.

"It seems like it's just Groundhog Day every day, every start for me. I can't seem to get a break," Lester said. "I feel like I threw the ball good today. A fly ball to left, a 300-foot fly ball -- different ballgame.

"It's just, today, a 300-foot fly ball is the difference in the game. It's bad luck in some games. It's playing bad in other games. It's pitching bad. It's not playing good defense. Whatever it is, it seems to come back and bite us."

Pedro Martinez to WEEI: Ortiz will make comeback this season

Pedro Martinez to WEEI: Ortiz will make comeback this season

Never say never?

While Red Sox officials said at the team's annual Winter Weekend at Foxwoods on Saturday that they'd be traveling to the Dominican Republic to talk to David Ortiz about a role with the team, Pedro Martinez told WEEI he sees Big Papi returning to his old role - designated hitter - this season.

CSN's Trenni Kusnierek and WEEI's John Tomase talked to Martinez on their show Saturday at Foxwoods and Martinez said his old teammate would be making a comeback despite the long, emotional farewell tour last season. 

For the full interview with Martinez, click here.

Red Sox executives Tom Werner, Sam Kennedy and Dave Dombrowski made no mention of Ortiz returning as a player when talking about their Dominican trip. Ortiz has repeatedly said he is going to stay retired. 

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- While there’s a deal of anticipation going into Spring training with the four Killer B’s, David Price and Pablo Sandoval’s shot at redemption and Rick Porcello looking to be something similar to his 2016 self, there’s one name that trumps them all.

Chris Sale.

The lankly lefty received an ovation from fans at the Friday night Town Hall, kicking off Red Sox Winter Weekend. With his consistent success, there’s reason to be excited.

But there’s also reason for apprehension given the way Sale’s departure from Chicago was depicted. But he’s made sure to clear the air.

“I wouldn’t say . . . ya know . . . I loved my time in Chicago,” Sale said when asked if it was time to leave the Windy City. “My best baseball memories are there [and] will be there forever. I love the city; I love the people in the organization.

“It was time for both sides to do something different, I guess. I talked to (White Sox Senior V.P.) Rick on the phone, I talked to (White Sox pitching coach Don) Coop (Cooper). We’re all cool, it’s fine. We understand where both of us are, it happens in baseball, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Chicago.”

He didn’t seem irritated discussing the issue, and certainly wasn’t timid -- we all know that’s not in his DNA.

He genuinely seems excited to deal with the large sum of Sox fans and to call a new place home -- in a city his wife’s fond of no less.

But ultimately, he’s focused on winning, nothing else.

“Every time I’m out there it’s gonna be all I got,” Sale said. "Every time, no matter what. Can promise you that.”