for this game

Lester sharp in return as Red Sox top Indians

Jul 24, 2007 - 4:38 AM CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- Jon Lester's remarkable comeback is complete.

Lester, who was diagnosed with cancer last August, pitched six effective innings in his return to the majors to lift the Boston Red Sox to a 6-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Monday.

Coco Crisp had four hits and scored three runs in his first game back at Jacobs Field since being traded prior to the 2006 season as the Red Sox stretched their winning streak to four games.

"It felt real good to be out there," Lester said. "A lot of emotions and a lot of excitement."

Lester was making his first appearance in the major leagues since winning a start against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on August 23. He was then scratched from his next start with a sore back on August 29 and, three days later, Boston announced that he had a treatable form of lymphoma.

After going through treatment over the offseason, Lester started the season on the disabled list. The 23-year-old lefthander worked his way back through the minor leagues, going 4-5 with a 3.61 ERA in 17 starts between Class A Greenville and Class AAA Pawtucket.

On Monday, Lester came full circle. Lester (1-0) allowed two runs and five hits in his six innings, while walking three and striking out six. He threw 96 pitches, 65 of them for strikes.

"Once I threw the first pitch, I settled down," Lester said.

"I'm very proud of him," said Indians catcher Kelly Shoppach, who was in the Red Sox organization with Lester. "It was exciting to see him out there. It's been a long road for him and I thought he threw the ball well."

The lefthander allowed a base runner in each of the first two innings without any damage, but then gave up a two-run homer to Grady Sizemore in the third, cutting the Red Sox lead to 5-2.

One inning later, the Indians threatened to ruin Lester's return as they loaded the bases with one out. But Lester would work out of the jam by inducing Josh Barfield to ground into a force out at home and striking out Sizemore to end the inning.

"(Sizemore) was not the guy I wanted up there," Lester said. "I did a good job of battling and was able to get him out this time."

"We helped him out by chasing some high fastballs," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "But Lester showed some poise out there. He was under control the whole game."

Lester's night ended on his 96th pitch of the game as he induced Franklin Gutierrez into an inning ending 6-4-3 double play.

"Impressed, proud, there are a lot of adjectives," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "It was supposed to be his night and it was fitting for him to win the game."

Making the evening extra special for Lester was the fact his parents were able to watch the game at Jacobs Field, five rows behind the Red Sox dugout.

"It meant a lot (to have them here)," Lester said. "They have been through a lot. It was nice to have them here to share in the moment."

Mike Timlin, Javier Lopez and Manny Delcarmen combined to pitch the final three innings with Delcarmen getting credit for the save - the first of his career.

"It was awesome to see (Lester) back to his normal self," Delcarmen said. "It shows he is ready to go."

The Red Sox's bats gave Lester all the support he needed with a four-run first inning. The first five batters reached base with two runs scoring on Manny Ramirez's double and another on J.D. Drew's single.

Kevin Youkilis added an RBI single in the second off of Indians starter Jake Westbrook (1-6), to score Crisp, who doubled, giving the Red Sox a 5-0 cushion. Crisp would come around and score again in the ninth on Dustin Pedroia's RBI single. Crisp led off the ninth with an infield hit and went to second on a throwing error by third baseman Casey Blake.

"Crisp looks good," Francona said. "He is taking some pretty healthy swings up there and hitting the ball all over the ballpark."

It was a nice return to Cleveland for Crisp, who played for the Indians between 2002-2005 before being traded to Boston in the offseason. Crisp missed last year's series at Jacobs Field with a fractured finger. It was another rough outing for Westbrook, who gave up five runs on 10 hits in six innings. Westbrook hasn't won since April 27th and is 0-4 with a 5.25 ERA.

"I gave up a lot of runs and a lot of hits," Westbrook said. "I need to do a better job. The past couple of games I have given up some big innings. Right now I am not doing my job. It's up to me to figure it out and do better."






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    Kellie1975 Added 5 roots

    Red Sox vs. IndiansJul 23 11:38 PM
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    Red Sox vs. IndiansJul 23 11:28 PM
  • bones nesn spent like 10 minutes talking about manny in the postgame show. he barely made it to first before the outfielder was throwing to the cutoff man.

    Red Sox vs. IndiansJul 23 11:04 PM


  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    BOSTON 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 14 0
    CLEVELAND 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 6 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: BOS - JON LESTER, MIKE TIMLIN (7TH), JAVIER LOPEZ (8TH), MANNY
    DELCARMEN (8TH) AND JASON VARITEK
    CLE - JAKE WESTBROOK, JENSEN LEWIS (7TH), JASON
    STANFORD (8TH), TO

    Jul 23 10:30 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DUSTIN PEDROIA SCORED COCO CRISP.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D PEDROIA ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 6
    CLEVELAND 2 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: K YOUKILIS (.313, 2-FOR-3, BB, RBI)

    Red Sox vs. IndiansJul 23 10:10 PM
  • mark gotsta love the hustle from manny out of the box...

    Red Sox vs. IndiansJul 23 8:48 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY GRADY SIZEMORE (18) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 3RD OFF JON LESTER SCORED JOSH BARFIELD.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 5, CLEVELAND 2
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: J MICHAELS (.281, 0-FOR-1)

    Red Sox vs. IndiansJul 23 8:07 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY KEVIN YOUKILIS SCORED COCO CRISP.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K YOUKILIS ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 5
    CLEVELAND 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M RAMIREZ (.297, 1-FOR-1, 2 RBI)

    Red Sox vs. IndiansJul 23 7:39 PM
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