Sox rally to bail out Lester

Sox rally to bail out Lester
May 25, 2013, 8:30 pm
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BOSTON --  Jon Lester did not get the win Saturday afternoon. But he also did not get the loss, which he appeared to be on his way to.
 
Lester left after the seventh inning, with the Red Sox trailing the Indians by a run. His wild pitch to Mark Reynolds allowed Mike Aviles to score the go-ahead run.
 
But the Sox offense bailed Lester out with a four-run eighth inning. Junichi Tazawa got the win instead, and Andrew Bailey earned his first save since April 24.
 
Lester had only a no-decision to show for his efforts. He went seven innings, throwing a season high 124 pitches and 81 strikes. He allowed four runs on a season-high 10 hits and eight strikeouts with one walk and a hit batter. Lester gave up a run in the first, and two in the third before settling down for a stretch, until his run-scoring wild pitch in the eighth.
 
“I thought he was powerful,” said manager John Farrell. “Wasn’t that sharp in the first three innings. From the fourth inning on he really started to settle in. I thought he had better command of his curveball and his changeup. He was efficient. Really no hesitation of him going out in the seventh inning. Felt like that was his game.
 
“Unfortunately the wild pitch to give them the go-ahead run. But I thought Jon was really strong today and really from the fourth through the seventh was probably his best effort throughout the game.”
 
Lester took the blame for the wild pitch, which came with two outs, before he struck out Reynolds to end the innings.
 
“It didn’t even make it to the plate,” he said. “I didn’t even give [catcher David Ross] a chance to block it. On the same page as him, just trying to bury a curveball, kind of like his previous two at-bats. I yanked one down and in. For me I was just thinking don't miss out over the plate.”
 
The Red Sox offensive outburst in the eighth saved Lester from his second straight loss. Instead his record stays at 6-1, while his ERA edged up from 3.15 to 3.34.
 
As in his previous outing, two-out runs were an issue for Lester. Three of the four runs he allowed to the Indians came with two outs. Lester said it’s not because of a lack of focus.
 
“Still same intensity, same mindset,” he said. “Ball to [Nick] Swisher [a two-out RBI double in the first] I thought was a good pitch, just got down the line. The mindset doesn’t change.”
 
Ross, though, took responsibility for that first run. The catcher was making his first appearance since going on the concussion disabled list on May 12.
 
“He actually got stronger as the game went on, threw really well. First inning, that run he gave up, that’s one of those things not being around for a little bit. I don’t think we were on the same page. I don’t think I called some great pitches for him and then we got on the same page,” Ross said.
 
“For the most part I was pleased with how he adjusted. He didn’t have his best stuff tonight and he battled and then he got stronger and figured it out.”