Can the Red Sox win a title with Lester as their ace?

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Can the Red Sox win a title with Lester as their ace?

The Red Sox pitching staff as a whole has been a huge disappointment this season. Jon Lester and Josh Beckett haven't had the results that anybody -- including themselves especially -- expected.

Beckett's ship may have already sailed here in Boston, but there's no reason to think Lester's has. But is he the "ace"? And if so, is he a good enough one to bring the Sox another World Series? Are they deep enough behind him to make up for it?

We discuss.

Pedroia to undergo MRI on Monday for swelling in knee, ankle

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Pedroia to undergo MRI on Monday for swelling in knee, ankle

Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia will undergo an MRI in Boston on Monday on the left knee and ankle that were injured by Manny Machado's takeout slide in Baltimore on Friday.

Pedroia had indicated Saturday the problem was minor, but manager John Farrell said Sunday that swelling persisted. Pedroia was out of the Red Sox lineup for the second consecutive day.

The lineups:

RED SOX
Xander Bogaerts SS
Andrew Benintendi CF
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez DH
Mitch Moreland 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Christian Vazquez C
Pablo Sandoval 3B
Marco Hernandez 2B
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Eduardo Rodriguez P

ORIOLES
Craig Gentry LF
Adam Jones CF
Manny Machado 3B
Mark Trumbo RF
Chris Davis 1B
Trey Mancini DH
Wellington Castillo C
Jonathan Schoop 2B
J.J. Hardy SS
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Kevin Gausman P

Homers by Trey Mancini, Jonathan Schoop carry Orioles past Red Sox, 4-2

Homers by Trey Mancini, Jonathan Schoop carry Orioles past Red Sox, 4-2

Trey Mancini and Jonathan Schoop homered in succession off knuckleballer Steven Wright, Jayson Aquino won his first big league start and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Boston Red Sox 4-2 Saturday night for their fourth straight victory.

Baltimore will seek to complete a three-game sweep on Sunday. The Orioles have not lost a series this year and own the best record in the majors (12-4).

Aquino (1-0) allowed two runs and six hits over six innings to earn his first career victory. The 24-year-old lefty previously pitched three times in relief, all last year with Baltimore.

Mychal Givens followed with two perfect innings, Donnie Hart got two outs in the ninth and Darren O'Day finished for his first save.

Jackie Bradley Jr. homered for the Red Sox, who were without injured second baseman Dustin Pedroia.

Wright (1-2) gave up four runs and nine hits in 3 2/3 innings. Just 10 days earlier, the right-hander got only four outs and yielded eight runs against Baltimore at Fenway Park.

Bradley put the Red Sox up 2-0 in the third with his first home run, a shot onto Eutaw Street beyond the right-field scoreboard. Boston came in with only seven home runs, fewest in the big leagues.

Limited to three singles over the first three innings, Baltimore hit two singles, two doubles and two homers in a four-run fourth.

Chris Davis doubled and Mancini and Schoop homered before Adam Jones chased Wright with an RBI single.

It was Mancini's team-high fifth long ball of the year. He has eight homers in 17 big league games over two seasons.

SLUMP BUSTER

Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph snapped an 0-for-23 skid with a third-inning single and added a double in the fourth.

Joseph's slump began last September and included 12 at-bats this season. He's still looking for his first RBI since the 2015 season.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: Pedroia missed the game with a sore left knee and ankle but hopes to return Sunday. The injuries occurred when he was spiked by Manny Machado on Friday night.

Orioles: All-Star closer Zach Britton (forearm strain) will be examined by a hand specialist Monday and could resume throwing on that day. ... RHP Chris Tillman(shoulder) allowed three runs over 3 2/3 innings against Harrisburg in a rehabilitation outing with Double A Bowie. ... OF Joey Rickard (sprained finger) took soft-toss swings in a session manager Buck Showalter called "very encouraging."

UP NEXT

Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (0-1, 4.76 ERA) takes the mound Sunday in the series finale. He came to Boston in 2014 in the trade that sent LHP Andrew Miller to the Orioles.

Orioles: RHP Kevin Gausman (1-1, 7.23) makes his fifth start of the season. He's allowed 26 hits in 18 2/3 innings and opponents are batting .329 against him.

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