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For the Red Sox to right this ship, they are going to need their starting pitchers to step up. For the second straight night, the Sox received a dominant effort from their starter. Jon Lester tossed a complete game on Thursday night, helping his team sweep a brief two-game series over the Minnesota Twins.
Lester was magnificent over the nine innings, as he scattered just six hits and zero walks. He allowed two runs (one earned), and struck out nine Twins. Justin Morneau finished 1-4, but he had a particularly rough time with the lefty Lester, striking out three times in all.
As good as Lester was, Twins starter Francisco Liriano paled in comparison. Liriano was erratic as he has been all season, showing some good flashes (six strikeouts) mixed with some bad results (three walks, two HRs). In all, Liriano turned in a mediocre effort, allowing five runs (all earned) on five hits in just 4.2 innings pitched.
Most of the damage off Liriano came from the bat of Kevin Youkilis, who finished 2-4 with a three-run HR and a run-scoring double. Victor Martinez finished 3-4, raising his average to .248, and Adrian Beltre pitched in a 2-3 effort.
The only other Sox batter with a hit was Darnell McDonald, who finished 1-3 with a walk while leading off.
It would appear that Lester is over his rough patch to start the season. His dominant performance on Thursday allowed him to improve to 4-2. His effort also lowered his ERA to 3.47.
This is nitpicking, but Bill Hall (starting in LF) did nothing in going 0-4 with two strikeouts. He’s now just hitting .197.
W: Jon Lester (4-2)
L: Francisco Liriano (4-3)