CHICAGO -- Jon Lester had been here before: low-scoring game, tough opponent, no margin for error.
In his first two starts this season, Lester had the misfortune of drawing Justin Verlander and Ricky Romero as his opponents, and lost despite pitching well.
On Saturday, the run support wasn't much better, but Lester made the one run he got stand up against Jake Peavy and the Chicago White Sox, 1-0.
He went seven innings and allowed just five hits while walking one and striking out seven.
"Really, any win is satisfying,'' said Lester after the Red Sox had run their winning streak to six straight. "Those games are fun. It's just a battle. I've been on the other end of those and you feel like you do everything you can to put yourself in a position to win and the other guy just does a little bit more.
"That was big tonight. These are fun. Every win is important for a pitcher.''
"He didn't really struggle with anything tonight,'' said catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. "Even when he fell behind, we felt like we were pretty good and he could throw any pitch and be OK.''
Lester's toughest inning came in the first when he threw 32 pitches, issued his only walk and had to work out of a second-and-third jam with two outs.
"I was just missing on the corners,'' said Lester, "and ended up having to pitch behind a little bit. You have those times during the game when you get into jams and you have to make some pitches.''
That scenario presented itself again in the seventh, Lester's final inning when he was nearing 120 pitches. Two infield singles helped give the White Sox runners at the corners and Dayan Viciedo stood at third, representing the tying run.
But he got Gordon Beckham on a forceout for his final out and turned the game over to the bullpen.
With Peavy matching him pitch-for-pitch, Lester couldn't afford to make any mistakes.
"You can't really worry about that,'' Lester said. "You have to go out and keep throwing stirkes, keep throwing the ball down in the zone. More often than not, if I just do my job and not worry about how many runs we score and prevent them from scoring runs, more often than not, I'm going to be on the better side of things.
"It just so happens this season, I've run up against guys who have been going good. That's the nature of the beast sometimes.''