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Through his first three outings, Jon Lester was his typical April self (0-2, 8.44 ERA). In his career in April, Lester is 3-5 with a 4.58 ERA in 16 starts, which is clearly not so impressive. He closed the month strong, but in five April starts, he went 1-2 with a 4.71 ERA.
As is the case with the weather, Lester’s April showers sure do bring May flowers.Flip the calendar to May, and it appears the big lefty is back to being himself. In his first outing this month, Lester spun his best start of the season on Tuesday, going eight strong innings with just one run allowed on five hits and two walks to go with five strikeouts.
Angels righty Ervin Santana matched Lester pitch-for-pitch, holding the Red Sox to just one run on seven hits over the first seven innings. He faced trouble in the early innings, and as a result his pitch count ran up to 115 before he departed after 7. The Sox then got a dose of the Angels bullpen, which is just what the doctor ordered…again.
Kevin Jepsen entered the game in the eighth inning, carrying with him a 1.64 ERA. He didn’t pitch in the 17-8 drubbing the previous night, so maybe he’d have better success against Sox bats. OK…maybe not.
Jeremy Hermida hit a go-ahead three-run double in the eighth to give the Sox a 4-1 lead. Pinch-hitter Mike Lowell drove home Hermida with an RBI single to give the Sox the 5-1 lead.
Jonathan Papelbon tossed a scoreless ninth in a non-save situation to secure the 5-1 win.
For the second time this season, Jeremy Hermida delivered a clutch three-run double in the eighth inning. Overall in the game, he went 2-4 with 3 RBI.
David Ortiz looked foolish against Ervin Santana on Tuesday. He finished 0-4 with two strikeouts, and is now hitting a robust .149. He has just 10 hits in 19 games. By comparison, recent call-up Darnelle McDonald already has 11 hits…in 27 fewer at-bats.
“David’s fine,” Pedroia said (AP Quote). “He’s one of our teammates. We believe in him. He’s going to come out of it. He’s had 60 at-bats.
“A couple of years ago I had 60 at-bats and it was me hitting .170 and everybody was ready to kill me, too. Then what happened?” said Pedroia, who was batting .172 on May 1, 2007, but went on to win the AL Rookie of the Year. “Laser show.”
W: Jon Lester (2-2)
L: Kevin Jepsen (0-1)