Lester has career-high 15 K's in Sox 6-3 win over A's

Lester has career-high 15 K's in Sox 6-3 win over A's
May 3, 2014, 4:30 pm

BOSTON -- Jon Lester is the Red Sox ace, and he looked every bit the part on Saturday afternoon.

Lester was something close to untouchable, and the team's second go-ahead grand slam in as many games -- this one off the bat of Jonny Gomes -- provided enough run support to beat the A's, 6-3.

In eight innings of work, Lester struck out a career-high 15 and allowed just one hit -- a bloop single to Graig Gentry in the third inning -- on 119 pitches.

Everyone in the A's starting lineup was victimized. Former Red Sox outfielder Josh Reddick got the worst of it, striking out three times. Lester ended his outing to a huge roar from the sold-out Fenway crowd of 37,042 when he struck out Reddick looking at a 93 mph fastball on the outside corner.

Chris Capuano entered in the ninth inning and allowed three consecutive hits and hit a batter to start the frame. After throwing one ball to Yoenis Cespedes, manager John Farrell quickly emerged from the dugout to call Koji Uehara into the game with no outs and the score at 6-2.

Uehara walked Cespedes and then got what looked like a double-play ball off the bat of Derek Norris with the bases loaded. After a force out at home, catcher David Ross threw the ball into right field giving the A's their third and final run in their ninth-inning comeback attempt.

The Red Sox knocked around Oakland's lefty starter Tommy Milone from the start. The first three Boston batters reached and were brought around to score when Gomes hit a slam into the Monster seats on the first pitch he saw.

David Ortiz (third inning) and Ross (fourth) added solo home runs to give Lester -- now 3-4 on the season -- all the breathing room he would need.

AT A GLANCE

Star of the Game: Jon Lester
Lester's 15 strikeouts gave him 18 games in his career with at least 10 Ks, tying him with Smokey Joe Wood for third place in franchise history. New rule: Anytime your performance gets you mentioned in a sentence with Smokey Joe Wood, you win Star of the Game. Period.

Honorable mention: Jonny Gomes
Gomes saw just seven pitches in his four at-bats on Saturday, but he only needed one to help the Red Sox win their second in a row. It resulted in his fifth-career grand slam, his first since May 18 of last year against the Twins. Dustin Pedroia hit a grand slam on Friday, helping lead the Sox to a 7-1 win over Oakland in the series opener.

Goat of the Game: Tommy Milone
Josh Reddick would've taken home the Goat for his three strikeouts, but no one could hit Lester. Unfortunately for the A's, Milone couldn't come close to keeping pace, walking two of the first three hitters he faced and allowing a first-pitch grand slam to Gomes. Though he settled down after that, he allowed an 0-2 homer to David Ortiz in the third inning, just Ortiz's sixth such homer of the 437 he's hit in his career.

Turning point
Can a turning point come with one out in the bottom of the first inning? Gomes' homer not only gave the Sox a nice lead, Lester said it helped him relax to pitch with a 4-0 cushion.

Stat of the Game
Lester's outing resulted in a wave of impressive statistical gems. Here's one, per Red Sox media relations: Lester has made eight starts in which he's allowed one hit or less, tying Pedro Martinez for the most such starts by a Red Sox pitcher in the last 100 years. It's also the most in the AL since 2006.

Quote of the Day
"When you mix his stuff with my brains, there's just endless possibilities." -- David Ross cracks a joke after catching Lester on Saturday.