Frustrated Lester searching for answers

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Frustrated Lester searching for answers

BOSTON -- A frustrated Jon Lester sat at his postgame press conference on Friday night, and couldn't figure out a reason why he was leaving Fenway Park with his fifth loss of the season.

Lester gave up three runs on a season-high-tying 10 hits. He walked one batter and struck out five in seven innings in which he threw 118 pitches.

He said he felt fine. He said his mechanics were good. He even made adjustments. But Lester was left searching for answers for why the results aren't coming along at a more consistent rate.

"I'm getting tired of the same old expletive," said Lester. "I'm making good pitches, and they're getting hit. I don't know what else to do.

"Same book, different chapter for me."

The Braves scored their first two runs off Lester in the top of the fourth. The first run came on a fielder's choice groundout to shortstop Mike Aviles, who went to first base for the second out of the inning, scoring Freddie Freeman from third. Then Andrelton Simmons doubled down the left-field line that scored Jason Heyward, giving the Braves a 2-0 lead.

Lester allowed the third run of the game in the top of the sixth on a sacrifice fly to right field, that scored Heyward tagging from third, giving the Braves a 3-0 lead.

"They did a good job, early on, of kind of knowing what we normally do against lefties," said Lester after the loss. "We altered it, and still got hit. So, like I said, I don't know. You've got to go ask them, go ask the other hitters what I'm doing. I don't know. I'm not up in the zone. I'm down, on the corners, and still getting whacked around. So, I'm at a loss right now."

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine agreed that Lester wasn't bad on Friday night.

"A lot of really good pitches got hit," said Valentine afterwards. "I thought he threw the ball extremely well. He could have won that game very easily."

Lester left the game after getting Freeman to ground into an inning-ending 3-6-1 double play in the top of the seventh. At that point, it was a 3-0 Atlanta lead.

The Braves went on to win 4-1, and Lester's record reads 4-5 afterwards. But he believes he was good enough to leave Fenway with a 5-4 record on Friday night.

He won't. And the reason he won't at least still be 4-4 is because his offense didn't show up against Jair Jurrjens.

"I'm throwing the ball fine," he said. "I'm just not getting the results. I don't think it's mental. I'm mentally prepared. I'm physically prepared for every start. I go out and compete. That's all I can do. I can't worry about anything else."

Without any help from his offense on Friday night, a frustrated Lester left Fenway searching for answers.

Carrabis: Red Sox coaches were upset at John Farrell's usage of Craig Kimbrel

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Angels score three after overturned call, beat Red Sox, 4-2

Angels score three after overturned call, beat Red Sox, 4-2

BOSTON -- The Los Angeles Angels benefited from a fairly-new rule and relied on an old-fashioned type save to beat the Boston Red Sox.

Parker Bridwell pitched a solid 6 2/3 innings and Los Angeles scored three runs after its challenge overturned an inning-ending double play in the second, leading the Angels to a 4-2 win over the Red Sox on Sunday.

Bridwell (2-0) gave up two runs and seven hits, striking out four without issuing a walk.

Yusmeiro Petit pitched two scoreless innings for his first save.

"I don't care if it's old-fashioned or it's cutting edge, we need them," Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "We need guys to hold leads. Most closers are primarily the one-inning guys that are in that bubble."

Ben Revere had three singles and Kaleb Cowart drove in two runs for Los Angeles, which won two of three against the Red Sox for its fifth series win in the last six.

Doug Fister (0-1) lost his Red Sox debut, giving up three runs and seven hits in six-plus innings. He was signed by Boston on Friday after being released by the Angels.

Mitch Moreland and Jackie Bradley Jr. each hit a solo homer for the Red Sox, who lost their second straight at Fenway Park after winning 10 of the previous 12. Boston remained tied with New York atop the AL East.

Bridwell was Fister's teammate at Triple-A Salt Lake before he was let go.

"That's weird," Bridwell said. "I was in the same clubhouse with him a week-and-a-half ago or whatever and we were talking pitching. I was asking him certain things he did along the game, and the next thing you know we're starting against each other on the big-league level."

After the challenge overturned Danny Espinosa's 3-6-3 double play, Los Angeles got to Fister.

"That's modern-day baseball," Scioscia said.

Fister was pleased by his first start with Boston, and 200th of his career.

"Overall, it wasn't a bad day," he said. "They just put together some timely hits and took advantage of well-placed baseballs. That's what good clubs do and that's what they did today."

Espinosa was credited with a fielder's choice and RBI after the review. Cowart followed with an RBI double and Juan Gratetrol had a run-scoring single.

"He's a bang-bang play from a scoreless outing," Red Sox manager John Farrell said.

Moreland homered over the Angels' bullpen in the bottom half. Bradley Jr. hit his into the center-field bleachers in the fifth.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Angels: Scioscia said LHP Tyler Skaggs was scratched from a scheduled rehab start in the Arizona League on Saturday night with soreness in his oblique and abdominal area.

Red Sox: Farrell said ace lefty David Price has a middle finger-nail issue on his pitching hand, but "is expected" to make his next scheduled start. ... LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, on the 10-day DL with a right knee subluxation, will make a rehab start for Double-A Portland on Thursday after he felt fine following a 68-pitch bullpen session on Saturday.

ROSTER MOVE

The Angels recalled infielder Cowart from Triple-A Salt Lake before the game and optioned RHP Eduardo Paredes there before the game.

INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE

The Red Sox put a message on the center-field board, wishing NESN analyst Jerry Remy: "Best of Luck, Jerry, on your surgery tomorrow!"

The crowd gave him a huge ovation when he was shown on the scoreboard. The popular former Red Sox second baseman (1978-84) waved.

He is being treated for cancer for the fifth time.

NICE PERFORMANCE

Nine-year-old Shea Braceland from Westfield, Mass., got a long and loud ovation when she completed a flawless rendition of the national anthem.

UP NEXT

Angels: Ricky Nolasco (2-9, 5.23 ERA) is set to face Dodgers LHP Rich Hill (4-3, 4.73) when the teams open a two-game series at Dodger Stadium on Monday. Nolasco has lost his last seven decisions.

Red Sox: LHP Chris Sale (9-3, 2.85) is in line to work against Minnesota RHP Jose Berrios (7-1, 2.67) when the teams open a four-game series in Fenway Monday. Sale leads the majors with 146 strikeouts.