Less than 24 hours after suffering by far their worst defeat of the season the Red Sox responded by beating the Athletics 6-5 Wednesday afternoon at Fenway Park. The Red Sox took 2-of-3 from the A's in their only series at Fenway this season.
The Red Sox scored three runs in both the third and fourth innings to take control of the game. The biggest hit came off the bat of Stephen Drew, a two-run triple in the third after David Ortiz and Mike Napoli got things going with back-to-back doubles.
Dustin Pedroia, Ortiz and Daniel Nava paced the offense with two hits each. After going 1-for-4 Shane Victorino left the game after the sixth inning, appearing to re-injure his back.
Starter Jon Lester clearly did not have his best stuff, but once again grinded out another win, his fourth on the year. Lester went 5 2/3 innings allowing three runs on six hits and struck out five. He did allow six walks on a day where he didn't get much from the home plate umpire. He threw 115 pitches, 74 of them for strikes.
Junichi Tazawa came on for Lester, throwing a scoreless inning of work and then Andrew Miller struck out the only batter he faced. Koji Uehara allowed a run in the eighth to cut the lead to 6-5, but Andrew Bailey earned his fifth save of the season striking out the side in the ninth.
The Houston Astros come to town for a four-game weekend series beginning tomorrow night (6:35, NESN). The AL ERA leader Clay Buchholz will get the call for the Red Sox as the Astros will counter with Phillip Humber.
What they'll be saying: It was clear Lester didn't have his best stuff when he walked two of the first three hitters of the game. In his previous four starts he had a total of four. There were a number of occasions where he questioned the strike zone, not getting the calls he expected. Lester did do what he needed to do to put the Red Sox in a position to win, picking up his fourth win of the year ... Napoli and Ortiz continue to impress in the heart of the Red Sox order as they seem to enjoy hitting in front and behind eachother, being able to protect one another. Ortiz seems to be on a play three consecutive days, then sit one schedule as he comes back from his Achilles injury. He does appear to be showing his age when running the bases, something not really noticeable until this season.