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Dominant Lester Helps Red Sox Sweep Blue Jays

Jon Lester (AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Darren Calabrese)

With the Celtics and Bruins moving on to the second round of the playoffs, the Red Sox have hit the sports back burner in Boston, for now. In case you didn’t notice, the Red Sox have won seven of nine overall. They earned their first series sweep of the season. They’re back at .500.

No longer the constant focus of attention, the Red Sox officially made their climb back from a 4-9 start to improve to 11-11 after defeating the Blue Jays for the third straight day, 2-0.

Jon Lester was magnificent for the Sox in earning his first win. He allowed just one hit and two walks in seven innings with 11 strikeouts in by far his best outing of the season.

“This was a great series for us,” Lester said (AP Quote).

Damn right, Jon. The Red Sox got their desperately-needed and spirit-lifting sweep thanks first to their bats (in a 13-12 win on Monday), and second to their starting pitching. An Achilles heel all season, the starters were excellent the last two days, with Clay Buchholz shutting down the Jays over eight innings on Tuesday, and Lester doing the honors with seven dominant innings on Wednesday.

The Red Sox got their first run when Dustin Pedroia drove in Darnell McDonald with a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning. The team scored one run in the seventh when McDonald singled home Adrian Beltre. McDonald, who started in CF, finished 2-3 with an RBI and a run.

“He’s done a good job,” Francona said of McDonald (AP Quote). “He’s sitting down there in the nine hole but he’s got big hits. He’s played a pretty good center field. I think he’s excited about his opportunity and he’s looking to make the most of it.”

Sox Stud of the Game: Jon Lester

He deserves a second recognition. Lester was just awesome, and it looks like he shook off the early-season jitters.

Sox Dud of the Game: J.D. Drew/Victor Martinez

No one really played poorly, but Drew and Martinez each finished 0-4 with a strikeout, so I’m picking on them.

Game Notes:

W: Jon Lester (1-2)
L: Brett Cecil (1-1)
SV: Jonathan Papelbon (7)

  • Red Sox pitchers finished with 15 strikeouts overall: Lester (11), Bard (3), and Papelbon (1)
  • Lester lowered his season ERA to 4.71 in the game.
  • Alex Gonzalez went 1-3 and is now hitting .286 with the Jays. On a bad note, Gonzalez has just 2 walks against 23 strikeouts this season.

About KC Downey - @kc_downey

KC is the "head coach" of the Sports of Boston, LLC blog network. Follow him on Twitter: @kc_downey

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