Lester grinds through to win A's debut

AP Photo/Ben Margot

Jon Lester won his 11th game of the season in his A’s debut.In his Oakland Athletics debut, Jon Lester was solid enough to earn his 11th win of the season.

Lester allowed three earned runs in 6 2/3 innings for his ninth straight quality start and 17th this season.

Lowest ERA in AL Since July 1

The nine consecutive quality starts ties the longest such streak of Lester’s career. He’s 5-0 with a 1.38 ERA during this nine-game stretch.

Lester didn’t go to his curveball much in Saturday’s win, which is a change from his past three starts. He threw just 12 curveballs, one of his lower totals this season. In his previous three starts, he threw an average of nearly 24 curveballs per start. Saturday marked the first time since June 7 that he failed to record a strikeout with his curveball.

Lester was effective Saturday but got the win in large part to the A’s offense breaking out of a season-worst slump. The A’s entered the game scoreless in their past 16 innings and saw the streak reach 20 before they posted an eight-run fifth inning, which tied their season high for runs in an inning. The A’s had also posted an eight-run inning against the Cleveland Indians on May 16.

During the outburst, the A’s tallied eight hits, only one of which went for extra bases (Derek Norris’ double to lead off the inning).

The 20-inning scoreless streak was the longest of the season for MLB’s best offense.