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Jon Lester allowed a colossal 3-run HR to Emil Brown which broke the game wide open, giving the A’s a 4-0 lead and an eventual 5-1 win.
Manny Ramirez provided all the offense for the Sox with his 491st career HR, and his 5th RBI so far this season, to bring the Sox within 3.
Oakland scored once more in the 8th to take a 5-1 lead. Former Sox hurlers Kieth Foulke and Alan Embree pitched the final 2 innings, closing the door on the Red Sox bid for a second-straight win.
Lester finished with 4 innings and 4 ERs on 5 hits, 3 walks, and 4 strikeouts. He pitched a scoreless 4th inning after a tough 3rd inning, in which he allowed the Brown 3-run shot. Francona took him out because his pitch count was high (83 pitches in 4 innings) and leaving him in any more could put the game out of reach. To me, it looks like they’re still babying Lester, but it is early so I’ll reserve my judgment for now.
The Sox are now headed back to the United States for a series against the Los Angeles Dodgers to begin on Saturday.