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

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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."

Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox 'capable of more' vs. lefties

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Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox 'capable of more' vs. lefties

CHICAGO -- Quotes, Notes and Stars from the Red Sox' 4-1 loss to Chicago:

 

QUOTES:

"He's rarely in the middle of the plate. He pitches to the edge very effectively. He's got a number of different looks he can give you.'' - John Farrell on White Sox starter Jose Quintana.

"We have such a heavily righthand-hitting lineup, you would think that our guys would be able to handle the off-side pitching coming at them. . . We're capable of more.'' - Farrell on the Sox 0-3 record against lefty starters.

"He's done everything that we could have asked, to get deep into games and low run situations -- and not just this year. This goes back to when he was in the rotation last year.'' - Farrell on tough-luck loser Steven Wright.

"That's what I'm working for every time.'' - Carson Smith on his scoreless inning in his Red Sox debut.

"It is what it is. Keep working and try to be ready on whatever opportunities come. That's all I can say about that.'' - Chris Young, on the infrequency of lefty starters.

"A little frustrated with the walks. I gave them the second run with the walks. When I'm out there throwing 20 pitches an inning, it's hard to get into a rhythm.'' - Steven Wright.

 

NOTES

* The Red Sox have faced three lefty starters this season and are 0-3. They've managed two runs in 23 innings and hit just .108 (8-for-74) against them.

* When the opposition scores first, the Red Sox are 5-6 this season.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to nine games with a sixth-inning single.

* Dating back to last season, Steven Wright hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in his last nine starts.

* Hanley Ramirez's homer in the fifth was his first since April 6, covering 96 at-bats.

 

STARS

1) Jose Quintana

Chicago's starter was brilliant, allowing a single run in eight innings on just four hits without issuing a walk.

2) Jose Abreu

The White Sox first baseman drove in three of the four White Sox runs with a first-inning triple and a two-run double in the eighth.

3) Steven Wright

Once again, the knuckballer got almost no run support and was stuck with the loss despite allowing just two runs in six innings.