Lester goes the distance, Sox win 6-1

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Lester goes the distance, Sox win 6-1

Victories have been hard to come by for Jon Lester this season, with just one win in his first seven starts.

There was little suspense Monday night, when the Red Sox staked him to a 2-0 lead in the first inning and the lefty cruised to a complete-game victory in a 6-1 defeat of the Seattle Mariners.

The was the fourth in a row for the Red Sox, all coming at home, where they had previously lost 11 of their first 15 games this season.

Lester became the first Red Sox pitcher to toss a nine-inning complete game this season. He had pitched an eight-inning complete game on the road in Toronto in the second week of the season in a losing effort.

He retired the first 11 hitters he faced before allowing a two-out infield single to Ichiro Suzuki in the fourth.

The only run came on an infield groundout in the ninth, depriving him of a shutout. He finished with 119 pitches.

Back-to-back doubles in the first by David Ortiz and Adrian Gonzalez provided Lester with all the backing he would need.

Daniel Nava contributed with a two-run homer in the fourth for his first homer in almost two years. After homering in his first major league at-bat on June 10, 2010, Nava had 171 at-bats without another until Monday night.

A solo homer by Kelly Shoppach two batters after Nava's blast and a bases-loaded sacrifice fly from Marlon Byrd in the eighth closed out the scoring.

Carrabis: Red Sox have nothing to lose calling Moncada up now

Carrabis: Red Sox have nothing to lose calling Moncada up now

Jared Carrabis and Lou Merloni join SNC to discuss the Boston Red Sox calling up top prospect Yoan Moncada, and how they think the Sox should use him.

Red Sox will call up No. 1 prospect Yoan Moncada on Friday

Red Sox will call up No. 1 prospect Yoan Moncada on Friday

The season-long awaited arrival of Yoan Moncada to Boston has finally come with Wednesday night announcement of the Red Sox’ prospect being called up for Friday.

John Farrell alluded to potentially promoting the 21-year-old in his press conference prior to Wednesday’s game, remarking that the team needed “better production” at third base -- Moncada’s new home.

“The minor league season ends [soon], so is there benefit to him just being here? The answer to that is yes,” Farrell said before Wednesday’s win. “Do you weigh playing 'X' number of games per week versus what he could be doing at Portland or Pawtucket? Well, that goes away [with the minor league regular seasons end].

"So, again, by all accounts, there's nothing but positives that could come out of experience here -- if that were to happen.''

He’ll be formally added Friday as a September call-up, and cannot be added Thursday because Boston has the day off.

Moncada will also be eligible for the playoffs with the call-up, with the Wednesday night midnight deadline not applying because Moncada was already part of Boston’s organization.

Ranked the No. 1 overall prospect by MLB.com, Moncada played for both Single-A Salem and, most recently, Double-A Portland this season. In his 44 games with Portland, Moncada hit .285 (49-for-172) with 11 home runs, six doubles, three triples and 27 RBI. Moncada was also 9-for-13 in stolen base attempts for the Seadogs.

"In the cases we've talked about, it has been beneficial to us for the young player to come up. They find a way to contribute in a meaningful role. 

"Without saying that [Moncada's promotion] is a definite, there's a lot [of positives] going for it.''

Moncada joins Andrew Benintendi to get the call to the Red Sox straight from Portland. Prior to Benintendi’s injury, the 22-year-old was batting .324 (22-for-68) with eight extra-base hits.
 
Nick Friar can be followed on Twitter @ngfriar