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The collective brick-s**ting that occurred across New England last Friday after Melky Cabrera welted a line drive straight into Jon Lester’s knee ceased Thursday night as Lester handcuffed the Cleveland Indians to win 3-0. It was a reassuring performance for the Red Sox’s best starter of the second half as Boston looks to the post-season.
Starting with a series of long fly-outs, Lester never gave the Indians much of a chance, allowing a total of three baserunners and no runs through six and one third innings of work. The Sox lefty got stronger as the evening wore on, finishing with seven strikeouts to come away with his 15th win of the season.
From the other end of the battery, Boston looked dangerous all night, and should probably have scored more than the three runs that they did, banging out 12 hits and drawing four walks against uneven Cleveland pitching. Indians starter Carlos Carrasco threw decent stuff but was unable to locate with any kind of authority, giving up nine hits in just three and a third. The entire Red Sox lineup produced, as Jacoby Ellsbury led the charge with three hits and his major-league leading 68th stolen base.
A couple of rough moments from Daniel Bard were wiped away by a timely double play, and the game was never really in doubt as the Sox bullpen reverted to its usual lights-out quality.
The ace lefty averted pre-playoff heartburn in Red Sox Nation by demonstrating that a nasty-looking injury hadn’t slowed him down.
Makes me nervous in the batter’s box. I mean, he’s pounding his chest, playing with the batting gloves, wiggling the damn bat around…it’s like, “calm down, dude!”
W: Jon Lester (15-8)
L: Carlos Carrasco (0-4)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (38)