|Jon Lester is getting hot, wins third consecutive start||08.25.12 at 8:32 am ET|
Jon Lester has had a sub-par season by his standards, but ever since his 11-run drubbing against the Blue Jays on July 22 he has been working his way back to the top performer he had been in years past.
Friday night’s 4-3 win over the Royals was a continuation of that trend, as Lester recorded an effective seven-inning performance in which he only allowed three runs on six hits and four walks while striking out six.
While the left-hander has not pitched poorly in any of his starts since the disastrous outing against Toronto, his best work has come in his previous three starts. In those three outings, Lester is 3-0 while only having allowed five runs through 20 innings pitched.
“[The streak] has been more than three starts, but now I am just winning. Winning cures everything,” Lester said. “I have been feeling good with the adjustments we have made and how we have made adjustments as far as my pitch selection and going after guys and I feel like I was headed in the right direction probably five or six starts ago.”
With the win under his belt, Lester is 8-10 with a 4.98 ERA. Before Friday, Lester’s ERA had not been below 5.00 since before the July 22 start.
Lester, who took the mound for the eighth inning to try to go deeper into the ballgame, had to leave due to soreness in his left hamstring — something he said had been bothering him since about the beginning of the fifth inning.
Despite the discomfort, Lester did not allow any more runs after the fourth inning and held the Royals at bay, giving Pedro Ciriaco the chance to play hero once more.
“[Lester] was absolutely a competitor today,” Ryan Lavarnaway said. “He wanted to be on the mound and he didn’t show any signs of weakness. We probably shouldn’t have even sent him out there for the eighth … but he wanted to be out there and his stuff was so good that it was tough for us to take him out.”
Lester said his leg “just cramped up on him” and that it should be fine, something the Red Sox like to hear as the pitcher is finally getting closer to the top-of-the-rotation starter he was expected to be for them this season.
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