Lester (3-4) earned the win Monday against the Marlins after tossing seven shutout frames. He allowed six hits and no walks while striking out seven. It was the longest outing of the year for Lester, who completed seven innings for the first time while blanking his opponent for the second time. The southpaw exhibited strong command, collecting a season-high seven punchouts. To top it off, Lester swatted his fourth career home run with a 419-shot in the fifth inning, making the 37-year-old the oldest pitcher to homer in a game since Bartolo Colon in 2016 at the age of 42. It was a tough first half for Lester, who has compiled a 4.99 ERA and 1.65 WHIP overall. He's projected to make his next start on the road Sunday at Baltimore.
Lester (2-4) gave up eight runs (three earned) on nine hits and two walks over 2.2 innings in Saturday's loss to San Francisco. He had one strikeout. The Giants jumped on Lester for three runs in the first inning and tacked on five more in the third before he gave way to the bullpen. Lester's defense didn't do him any favors -- five of the eight runs were unearned due to a pair of errors behind him -- but he still allowed 11 baserunners besides the errors, and he needed 80 pitches to get just eight outs. It's been an ugly first half for the 37-year-old, who will go into the All-Star break having allowed 27 runs (17 earned) in 13.1 innings over his last four starts. Lester owns a 5.54 ERA and 1.74 ERA in 14 starts overall this season, and opponents are hitting .313 against him.
Lester allowed five runs (two earned) on six hits and four walks while striking out two over 3.1 innings Monday against the Padres. He did not factor into the decision. Lester was not very good Monday despite three of his runs being unearned. A Starlin Castro error extended the third inning, allowing the Padres to score three runs all with two outs. The Friars got to him for two more in the fourth inning, and Lester's day was done earlier than he had hoped after throwing only 48 of his 81 pitches for strikes. HIs four walks tied his season high, and he's struck out three or fewer batters in six of his last seven starts. The 37-year-old owns a 5.34 ERA, 1.63 WHIP and 41:26 K:BB over 60.2 innings, and he's lined up for one more start over the weekend in San Francisco before the All-Star break.
Lester (2-3) picked up the win Wednesday against the Rays, fanning three while allowing five runs on seven hits and two walks across five innings. Homers by Yandy Diaz and Mike Zunino helped the Rays get off to a 4-3 lead on the veteran southpaw after three innings. Lester allowed another run in the top of the fourth inning, but the Nationals were able to rally for three runs in the bottom half before the 37-year-old settled down to toss a perfect fifth. While the outing wound up being on the uglier side for Lester, he did enough to pick up his second win. Lester will look to have a stronger month of July after finishing June having allowed 18 earned runs on 34 hits and 12 free passes across 28 innings. He lines up to take the ball Monday in San Diego.
Lester (1-3) was tagged with the loss Friday against the Marlins after allowing seven runs on five hits and three walks across 2.1 innings. He struck out one. Lester had a woeful performance Friday, as he tossed 64 pitches and missed the strike zone with 29 of those deliveries. The veteran left-hander also snapped a streak of five straight appearances allowing two or fewer runs. His next start is scheduled for next week at home against the Rays.
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