Red Sox starter Jon Lester led the way tossing 8 1/3 shutout innings allowing just six hits and striking out three in one of his better pitching performances of the season. This was the type of game Lester needed as he looks to get into a rhythm as the final playoff push is fast approaching. Brandon Workman came on to get the final two outs of the game as Lester had thrown 115 pitches.
The Red Sox scored early giving Lester all the run support he would need by scoring three times in the second inning. Will Middlebrooks' sacrifse fly with the bases loaded scored Jarrod Saltalamacchia for the first run of the game. The Sox then got another run courtesy of a Tim Lincecum balk with Daniel Nava on third and then Shane Victorino singled to drive in Stephen Drew to give the Sox a 3-0 lead. They then added single runs in both the fifth and sixth innings for their fourth and fifth runs and Nava and Saltalamachhia both had run producing hits in the ninth giving the Sox the 7-0 win. Nava and Victorino paced the offense with three hits each in the win.
The three-game series will resume Tuesday night (10:15, NESN) as Jake Peavy will take to the mound going up against Ryan Vogelsong.
What they'll be saying: With the Rays already winning earlier in the night, the Red Sox needed a win to keep their one game lead in the AL East and it was especially important as the Sox entered the game losers of five of their last seven and seven of their last ten. With all on the table it was a big start for Lester and the left-hander came through to pick up his first win since July 18 and snapped the Red Sox' three game losing streak in games he's started ... The Red Sox also continued their dominance in inter-league play as they are now 10-3, which is tops in the majors.