Lester was the main story today, winning his second consecutive game. The last, and only other time he's done that was back in May. He threw 7 strong innings, giving up only 5 hits and 1 run while striking out 4 batters. He wasn't overpowering, but he did pitch his ass off. The key to this Sox team right now is building some momentum and confidence for next year. If Lester can keep stringing some good starts together, that'll help. The B-Squad, Bailey and Breslow took care of the 8th. Aceves got the save.
The offense wasn't great -- Sox batters left 16 men on base. Surprise! -- but they did plenty to get the win. Gonzalez hit a two-run shot in the 1st. Punto smacked a double to right that brought Ciriaco home from first (which should have been a triple, but Jones misplayed the ball). The final run coming on a wild pitch that brought Podsednik home. Gonzalez (2 hits) and Ciriaco (4-4) were the only Sox batters with a multi-hit game. In addition to the RBI double (triple), Punto stole a base (as did Crawford and Ciriaco) and had a great game at 3rd as well.
On the negative side, Lavarnway went 0-4, bringing his average down to .107. Someone should probably tell him that he's supposed to be the future catcher of this franchise. And Ellsbury went 0-5, and wasn't able to bring Punto home from 3rd after his double (triple). Oh, and Cody Ross went 0-4 and struck out 4 times. Plus, Derek Lowe pitched and got the final out for the Yankees. So that happened.
But beating New York always puts an extra hop in my step, even if they're 12 games up in the standings.
BOX SCORE (Photo by Jason Szenes/Getty Images)