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News » Boston Red Sox Inside Pitch 2008-06-13

Boston Red Sox Inside Pitch 2008-06-13

Boston Red Sox Inside Pitch 2008-06-13
Jon Lester is growing up before our eyes.

The 24-year-old left-hander had everything in his arsenal working for him Tuesday, and held the Orioles down while the Boston lumber inflicted some offensive damage in a laugher at the Fens. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder finished seven full innings and scattered a pair of runs on seven hits -- with pretty much all of Baltimore's barrage arriving during a sixth-inning hiccup.

Lester topped out 94 mph with his heater and had nearly flawless fastball command, which made his biting curveball and devastating cut fastball even more dangerous weapons.

It's evenings such as Thursday that can clearly convince the Red Sox front office that Lester has full possession of all the tools to become a sturdy No. 2 or No. 3 starter in the American League.

"What's happening is he's gaining confidence and trust in all of his pitches, and his execution is becoming that much more consistent," pitching coach John Farrell said. "I think he's really begun to realize what kind of weapons he has and what kind of hitters he can use those weapons against."

The quality outing marked the sixth time this season that the southpaw has worked into the seventh inning.

Lester leads the Sox with 89 1/3 innings pitched this season, a figure that places him just outside the AL's top 10 and has him on pace for 210 innings by season's end.

"You can't learn unless you go out and pitch," Lester said. "I've definitely learned a lot early on in the year; the little things. How to get big league hitters out, how to set guys up and how to execute 0-2 pitches. I've taken some good strides."

RED SOX 9, ORIOLES 2: Jon Lester pitched seven dominant innings to earn his fifth win of the season, and Mike Lowell's second grand slam of the season -- a fifth-inning shot -- was all the offense Boston would need. J.D. Drew added a two-run long ball of his own in the eighth inning, his sixth home run in his last 11 games.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: June 13, 2008

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