Satisfied Lester records first win

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Satisfied Lester records first win

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.''

Pedro Martinez tells WEEI Ortiz will make comeback this season

Pedro Martinez tells 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.”