Lester stifles Yankees for first win, 4-2

Lester stifles Yankees for first win, 4-2
April 11, 2014, 10:00 pm
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NEW YORK -- Jon Lester essentially duplicated his first two starts in his third outing of the season.    

Fortunately for him, his offense showed improvement.    

The Red Sox broke through for four runs off CC Sabathia in the sixth inning, led by Grady Sizemore's three-run homer, and the Sox beat the New York Yankees, 4-2. Lester earned his first win of the season following two tough-luck losses in which the Red Sox managed just one run in the two games combined.    

For the third straight game, the Red Sox were held to just one hit over the first five innings -- in this case, a leadoff double to left by David Ross in the third.    

But trailing 1-0 in the sixth, Jonny Gomes tied things with a leadoff homer and after a one-out infield hit by David Ortiz and a single to center from Mike Napoli, Sizemore drilled a pitch into the right field seats to give the Sox their first lead of the series.   

Lester, who had allowed a solo homer to Alfonso Soriano in the second then yielded just three more singles -- two of them of the infield variety -- over the next four innings, tired some in the seventh.    

A single to right by Kelly Johnson scored Ichiro Suzuki and left a first-and-third jam for reliever Junichi Tazawa, who got Derek Jeter on a flyout to right to end the threat.    

Strangely, Edward Mujica -- and not closer Koji Uehara -- closed out the game in the ninth.    

The loss moved the Yankees to 4-9 in games started by Sabathia against the Red Sox since the start of the 2011 season.


STAR OF THE GAME: Grady Sizemore
Sizemore, who homered on Opening Day, belted his second homer of the season in the sixth, a three-run blast off former teammate CC Sabathia into the seats in right to snap a 1-1 tie. Sizemore also added a single in four at-bats.

Lester essentially replicated his first two starts, but got rewarded with a win since his teammates finally gave him some offensive backing. He walked two and fanned six over 6 2/3 innings, allowing two earned runs.

Sabathia didn't pitch badly, blanking the Red Sox over the first five innings while limiting them to just one hit in that span. But made two mistakes in the sixth, allowing a leadoff homer to Jonny Gomes, and four batters later, a three-run belt to Sizemore, which proved to be the difference in the game.

TURNING POINT: Sizemore's swing changed the game, as the Red Sox enjoyed their first multi-homer inning of the season.

BY THE NUMBERS: Jon Lester has beaten the Yankees 10 times since the start of 2009, the most by any pitcher in the game during that span.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "Before the game, Koji felt a little stiffness in his throwing program, so we felt it was best to stay away from him, more precautionary. This will be a day-to-day type thing and we'll check him tomorrow on his availability.'' - John Farrell on why Edward Mujica and not Koji Uehara closed out the game.