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Friday, August 20, 2010
Lester will soon forget big loss

By Joe McDonald


BOSTON -- It didn’t take long for Red Sox starter Jon Lester to know it wasn’t going to be a good night.

Entering his 25th start of the season, Boston’s southpaw had won his previous two games by beating the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers. Friday night, it was the Toronto Blue Jays who beat up on Lester.

Toronto scored early and often en route to a staggering 16-2 victory. The Blue Jays pushed across five runs in the first inning and added another four in the second and third innings off Lester. The Blue Jays’ Lyle Overbay collected three-run homers off Lester in both the first and third innings.

Overall, Lester allowed a career-high nine runs in only two-plus innings pitched, which is the shortest of his career. He’s now 13-8 this season.

“I didn’t have anything from pitch one,” Lester said. “I dug myself in a hole and couldn’t get out of it. A team that swings the bat that well, you can’t give them any leeway like that. They took advantage of it.”

Lester had command issues with all of his pitches, especially his off-speed stuff.

“It was a tough go right from the beginning,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “It doesn’t happen very often with him.”

Lester agreed.

“I’ve had worse. I have better,” he said.

What’s disappointing is the fact his worst start of the season comes on the heels of two solid performances against two of the top lineups in the league with the Yankees and Rangers.

“They’re all disappointing,” Lester said. “Anytime you don’t win it’s disappointing, regardless of what time of the year it is, or who we’re playing. A loss is a loss. It doesn’t matter if you lose 1-0, or by a score like tonight. They all sting and hopefully this is just a fluke -- one of those deals that happens once in a blue moon.”

How long will it take to file this one away?

“It’s already gone,” Lester said.