OAKLAND -- Jon Lester has frequently complained that his results this season haven't matched his pitching.
Tuesday night, that was certainly the case.
Lester limited the Oakland A's to a single run on four hits in 6 23 innings, but walked away with a no-decision when the Sox blew a 2-1 lead in the ninth for a frustrating 3-2 loss to the A's.
"I feel good," said Lester. "I don't feel like I threw the ball any different than I did the last couple of starts. But when I needed to make pitches, I did."
Lester allowed a solo homer to Coco Crisp in the first and a walk to Jemile Weeks, then retired 14 of the next 15 hitters he faced. After the first inning, he allowed just two baserunners -- both on singles.
"I just was able to execute pitches," said Lester. "That's what it always ends up coming down to in the end."
Lester threw 31 pitches in the first inning, but became far more efficient the rest of the way, needing just 76 for the final 5 23 innings.
"I think I just got in a better rhythm," said Lester. "The first inning, I struggled a little bit, locating. I think going into the stretch helped me a little bit. I wasn't trying to rush too much and made sure I stayed back over the rubber. After that, it was just (about) trying to get outs. I wasn't really worried about pitch counts or anything -- just get outs as quick as we could and try to get as deep into the game as we could."
Lester didn't get much in the way of run support.
"I'm not worried about runs," he said. "The main thing is, we lost. We played our butts off; it just didn't happen for us tonight You've got to tip your hat to those guys. They had a good plan in the ninth and executed it and scored those two runs. Obviously, that's the difference in the game.
"It was one of those nights where they had the momentum going into the ninth and we didn't. It is what it is."