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Game 36: Jon Lester is brilliant, Sox win 5-0
Thank goodness for Jon Lester. When the Red Sox needed him most, Lester pitched wonderfully to give Boston a much needed win Friday night. Lester retired the first 17 batters he faced until he gave up a Maicer Izturis double in the sixth inning. It ended up being the only blip on the night where Lester ended up  facing 28 batters, one more than the minimum. The complete game shutout, Lester's tenth of his career, was just the pick me up that was needed. Here are the four at bats that changed the game:

1) Bottom of the second inning, and Ramon Ortiz is facing Will Middlebrooks with men on first and second. Middlebrooks grounds to shortstop Macier Izturis, but Izturis throws low to second base and everyone is safe. The error allows Daniel Nava to score and for once it feels like someone other than a player in a Red Sox uniform has made a major mistake. 1-0 Red Sox. See the error here.

2) Bottom of the seventh inning, and although Lester is cruising, Boston is 0 for 10 with men in scoring position and only lead 1-0. The first two men have reached for Boston and Dustin Pedroia is batting with men on second and third. With the count full, Pedroia goes with the pitch and takes it to the opposite field for an RBI single. 2-0 Red Sox. See Pedroia's hit here.

3) Bottom of the seventh inning, and with the Sox up 2-0, Daniel Nava has runners on the corners with two outs. He takes a 2-1 pitch high off of the right side of the Green Monster to score both runs and put the Sox up 4-0. For the first time all night, Boston feels like they have put the game away.

4) Top of the ninth inning, and Jon Lester toes the mound to finish what he started. He retires the side in order, like he did for 7 out of 8 of the other innings. Adam Lind is the last batter Lester faces, and the game ends on a curveball that Lind takes for strike three. See the K here.

Overall, it is a near perfect night for Jon Lester and the Red Sox, and perhaps it's the night the Red Sox needed to get them back on track after a rough two week stretch.

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Peter Lepak 5/10/2013 10:27:00 PM Edit
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