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Jon Lester (3-0) threw seven strong innings on Thursday night while allowing two runs, four hits and striking out five in the 6-3 Boston Red Sox victory over the Cleveland Indians. The Red Sox have won six in a row and are now 11-4 on the season. The Indians are 5-9.
The Indians came back to tie the game 1-1 with a RBI groundout from former Red Sox infielder Mike Aviles in the bottom of the inning.
The Red Sox then started to pull away with a solo shot from Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the fourth and a RBI single from Dustin Pedroia that scored Jacoby Ellsbury in the fifth to make it 3-1. The first three runs were charged to Zach McAllister (1-2), who lasted five innings while giving up three runs and striking out seven.
Lester gave a run back in the bottom of the fifth inning, but the Red Sox were still up 3-2. Aviles led off the inning with a rocket of a double off the left field wall, but Lester came back and retired the next three batters, including a RBI grounder from Drew Stubbs for the second out of the inning.
With three runs in the seventh inning, the Red Sox were up 6-2 with only three innings left for the Indians to try and score. Napoli and Mike Carp each had a RBI single with a Nava sacrifice fly sandwiched in between. These runs all came off the Indians bullpen, mainly Bryan Shaw.
Andrew Bailey came in and pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning. He struck out Mark Reynolds to lead off the inning, retired Ryan Raburn on a foul pop out to the catcher, and induced a ground out to short from Aviles for his second consecutive save in two nights.
The Red Sox will look to continue their hot start with a 10-game homestand, starting with a three-game set with the Kansas City Royals on Friday night. The Indians will head to Minute Maid Park to take on the Houston Astros.