By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
PHILADELPHIA -- Unable to score many runs of late, the Red Sox needed a strong pitching performance to avoid a sweep by the Philadelphia Phillies.
Jon Lester gave them one.
Lester limited the Phils to just two hits over seven innings as the Red Sox defeated Philadelphia 5-2, snapping a two-game losing streak and giving them just their second win in the last eight games.
Lester, 10-4, didn't allow a hit until Chase Utley lined a single to left with one out in the fourth.
Boston belted three homers -- all with the bases empty. Jason Varitek hit in one in the sixth and Dustin Pedroia and Varitek homered back-to-back in the eighth.
The Sox also got some production from the lower half of their lineup.
In the fifth, Josh Reddick tripled and scored on Drew Sutton's single to right. Sutton took third on a hit-and-run as Marco Scutaro singled to right, then scored on Jacoby Ellsbury's single between short and second.
After a scoreless eighth from Daniel Bard, the Phils snapped the shutout bid with a two-run homer by Ryan Howard off Bobby Jenks.
STAR OF THE GAME: Jon Lester
Lester stopped a personal two-game losing streak with a fine effort, shutting out the Phillies over seven innings and limiting them to just two hits in winning his 10th game.
The lefty didn't allow a hit until the fourth, then retired eight in a row before allowing another baserunner to help the Red Sox snap their own two-game streak.
HONORABLE MENTION: Jason Varitek
Varitek, moved up to fifth in the Red Sox lineup, smacked two homers -- both solo -- to account for 40 percent of the Red Sox' output.
It was Varitek's first multi-homer game since April 10, 2010.
GOAT OF THE GAME: David Herndon
Herndon came on in relief of Cole Hamels, who left after taking a comebacker off his right hand in the fourth inning.
Coming into a scoreless game, Herndon gave up two runs on five hits over two innings and was saddled with the loss.
Given that the Sox looked to be in for a long afternoon against Hamels, the line drive off the bat of Adrian Gonzalez in the fourth inning -- which eventually drove Hamels from the game -- may have been the break the Red Sox were looking for.
After being held scoreless over the first four innings, the Sox scored three runs against the next two Philadelphia relievers.
BY THE NUMBERS: The last six homers hit by the Red Sox -- three Thursday afternoon and three Saturday night in Pittsburgh -- have all come with the bases empty.
QUOTE OF NOTE: "He may be small in stature, but not in his opinion of himself.'' -- Terry Francona when asked if Dustin Pedroia was the smallest cleanup hitter in baseball.