|Boston (33-23) «||0||1||0||0||3||4||0||0||x||8||9||0|
BOSTON -- Jon Lester certainly knew what was happening. It was right in front of him every time he walked to the mound.
"It's hard not to think about it when you've got the Green Monster out there. It's in your face the whole time," Lester said about the zeros for runs and hits across the Texas linescore on the left-field wall. "I was real happy it was a well-struck ball. It wasn't an infield hit or anything like that."
Michael Young doubled into the gap in left-center with one out in the seventh to break up Lester's bid for a perfect game. After letting out a loud groan as the ball rolled to the wall, the sold-out crowd gave Lester a standing ovation.
Young also singled in the ninth.
Lester (5-5), the club's most reliable postseason pitcher last year when he threw a no-hitter on May 19 against Kansas City, got off to a slow start this season, giving up 11 runs in his first two starts.
But Saturday, he showed how dominating he can be, striking out 11 and walking just two. It was his third career complete game.
"I had thoughts of a guy really pitching well," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "His stuff from the get-go was powerful."
Lester struck out nine of the first 15 batters he faced, getting four swinging at pitches down outside the strike zone -- including the side in the fourth.
"That was just lights out," Young said. "That was one of the best games I've seen in my career by a pitcher."
Oritz, mired in a season-long slump, connected for the second time this season and first since May 20. Lowell homered -- after having his double overturned by video review.
"That's how you get back to hitting balls and start hitting well, put a good swing on a ball," Ortiz said. "Even though you don't get the good luck, it will come."
Texas scored on Andruw Jones' sacrifice fly in the ninth.
Lester, the hard-throwing left-hander once rumored to be possible trade bait when Minnesota was looking to deal lefty Johan Santana, was overpowering early, mixing in a number of sharp curveballs and cut fastballs that made many of the Rangers' hitters miss badly.
"The guy had good stuff and he was in the strike zone with it," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He made us swing the bat."
In the fourth, Lester fanned Ian Kinsler and Jones with curveballs, and Young with a fastball. The pitch to Jones was in the dirt inside the plate.
"I was able to get guys on swings and misses," Lester said. "Not all of them were in the zone, which is good."
In 2006, Lester missed the end of the season after he was diagnosed with a rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. A year later, he was the starting and winning pitcher in the Game 4 finale in the 2007 World Series.
Lowell was awarded his homer after umpires used video review to overturn their on-field call of a double in the second inning to give Boston a 1-0 lead against Derek Holland (1-3).
Boston chased Holland with a three-run fifth highlighted by Jason Bay's two-run single that made it 4-0.
Lowell's line drive near the left-field pole bounced first off a ledge in the front row of the Green Monster Seats and caromed onto the field.
The replay review system was used for the third time in four games at Fenway Park. The Red Sox lost the previous two.
Jeff Kellogg, the third-base umpire and crew chief, signaled the ball was in play as Lowell headed to second, but when the umpires returned from the review Kellogg came up from Boston's dugout steps and signaled that it was a homer.
|Jon Lester (pictured with Jason Varitek) strikes out 11 and earns the third complete game of his career. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Ian Kinsler, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.276|
|Michael Young, 3B||4||0||2||0||0||1||0||.335|
|Andruw Jones, DH||2||0||0||1||1||2||0||.272|
|Nelson Cruz, RF||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.283|
|Marlon Byrd, CF||3||0||0||0||0||2||2||.295|
|Brandon Boggs, LF||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
|Chris Davis, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||2||0||.207|
|Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.243|
|Elvis Andrus, SS||2||1||0||0||1||0||0||.275|
|2B - Michael Young (21, Lester)|
|SF - Andruw Jones (2)|
|RBI - Andruw Jones (15)|
|Team LOB - 3|
|E - Brandon Boggs (1, Throwing)|
|Derek Holland (L,1-3)||4.2||6||4||4||2||5||1||6.54|
|Pitches-Strikes - Derek Holland 91-57, Kris Benson 42-24, Doug Mathis 9-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Derek Holland 5-4, Doug Mathis 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Derek Holland 22, Kris Benson 13, Doug Mathis 3|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B||5||2||2||2||0||1||0||.322|
|Jacoby Ellsbury, CF||4||1||0||0||1||0||2||.306|
|Kevin Youkilis, 1B||4||0||1||1||0||2||2||.349|
|Jason Bay, LF||4||0||1||2||0||1||1||.280|
|Mike Lowell, 3B||3||1||1||1||1||0||1||.301|
|David Ortiz, DH||3||1||2||1||1||1||1||.196|
|Jason Varitek, C||3||1||1||0||1||0||2||.250|
|Rocco Baldelli, RF||3||1||1||0||1||0||3||.264|
|Nick Green, SS||4||1||0||0||0||2||4||.278|
|HR - Mike Lowell (9, Holland), David Ortiz (2, Benson)|
|RBI - Dustin Pedroia 2 (23), Kevin Youkilis (35), Jason Bay 2 (55), Mike Lowell (37), David Ortiz (22)|
|2-OUT RBI - Kevin Youkilis (21), Jason Bay 2 (20)|
|SB - Dustin Pedroia (10, 3rd base off Holland/Saltalamacchia), Jacoby Ellsbury (23, 2nd base off Holland/Saltalamacchia)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Jon Lester (W,5-5)||9||2||1||1||2||11||0||5.09|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jon Lester 107-72|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Lester 5-11|
|Batters Faced - Jon Lester 31|
|Attendance - 37828|
|Game Time - 2:25|
|Temperature - 65|
|Umpires - Home - Ron Kulpa, First Base - Tim Timmons, Second Base - Rob Drake, Third Base - Jeff Kellogg|