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Jon Lester: ‘It’s getting to that time I’ve got to get on that run’

07.03.12 at 12:53 pm ET
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The results haven’€™t been ace-like. Good, but not ace-like. And that’€™s where some followers of Jon Lester have offered frustrations.

In his last five starts, Lester has totaled a 2-1 mark with a 4.01 ERA in 33 2/3 innings, striking out 31 and walking five.

Again, pretty good, but ‘€¦

Of the list of things the Red Sox need in order to get away from this one step forward, one back life they’€™ve been leading is a dominant Lester. The kind of pitcher he was for a 14-start stretch in the middle of last season, totaled a 2.31 ERA (sixth-best among starters from June 1-Sept. 1).

But Lester, who starts Tuesday night in Oakland, is taking the mound these days with more optimism than even during many of the good times of ‘€™11.

‘€œI have better stuff this year than I did last year,’€ the lefty recently told WEEI.com. ‘€œI struggled with some things last year, physically. Obviously my velocity was down a little bit last year. It was just one of those years I had to grind through physically. Obviously with the lat, coming back from that. Any time you have some sort of arm injury it can take a while to come back from it. I don’€™t think I felt 100 percent until the end of August, as far as being able to repeat.

‘€œThat’€™s what I’€™m hearing from my catchers. I’€™ve got to believe them. ‘€œ

But while Lester is carrying a good deal of hope, he also understands the importance of uncovering a new round of excellence heading into the season’€™s final three months. After his first July start of ‘€™11, he stood at 10-4 with an ERA of 3.31, while the Red Sox stood at 18 games over .500. Prior to the start against the A’€™s, he is at 5-5 with a 4.31 ERA and the Sox four games over .500 and ½ game out of a Wild Card spot.

‘€œThe way I feel physically, and the way I feel on the mound, something’€™s got to give,’€ Lester said. ‘€œIt’€™s getting to that time I’€™ve got to get on that run.’€

(Click here for all the matchups heading into the second game of the series in Oakland between the Red Sox and Athletics.)

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