FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It doesn’t matter if it’s spring training or the regular season, when Red Sox ace Jon Lester takes the mound he’s always prepared.
The southpaw made his Grapefruit League debut against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday at Hammond Stadium. He worked two scoreless innings and allowed one hit, one walk, and posted one strikeout in Boston’s 5-0 win.
In the past, Lester has always seemed to struggle in his first outing of the spring because he feels some anxiety. That wasn’t the case on Tuesday.
“I’m just glad the first one is over and done with,” he said. “That one always seems to give me the hardest troubles. I feel good and that’s the main thing.
“It was good. It was good to get up and down twice. I got the pitch count up a little bit and felt good. I threw some good pitches, and I threw some bad ones. I look forward to my next one.”
He’s on his normal five-day routine now and is already feeling the competitive juices following.
“You don’t want to get your butt kicked,” he said. “Spring training is about working on things and getting ready for the season, but at the same time you don’t want to go out there and suck. We’re all human. It’s game mentality. I don’t want to lose. I want to compete and do a good job.”
Lester was able to work on his cutter, curveball and changeup on Tuesday, and when asked after the game what his goal is for the 2011 season, he responded: “A World Series.”