for this game

Lester, Crisp lead Red Sox past Phillies

Jun 18, 2008 - 4:16 AM By Vince DiGregorio PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- It was all Jon Lester for the Boston Red Sox.

Lester tossed seven scoreless innings and Coco Crisp hit a two-run home run as the Red Sox blanked the Philadelphia Phillies, 3-0, on Tuesday.

Lester (6-3) allowed six hits - all singles - and struck out five with one walk. The lefthander won his third straight start and has allowed only three earned runs in 20 1/3 innings during that span.

"It seems like every start, things are getting better," Lester said. "Walks are going down. (I'm) just more around the zone and have better command of my stuff. I have the confidence to throw any pitch at any time."

The 24-year-old retired 11 of 12 batters at one point and only faced trouble in the second and seventh innings. But he retired Carlos Ruiz both times - on an inning-ending double play in the second and a groundout in the seventh.

"I just tried to keep (the Phillies) off-balance as best I could," Lester said. "They're a good fastball-hitting team with a lot of pop. I just tried to mix the ball in and out, up and down."

Lester held Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Pat Burrell to a combined 0-for-9 with five strikeouts.

"(Lester) was terrific, especially through the dangerous part of the order," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "He made real quality pitches against the guys that can hit the ball out of the ballpark."

"(Lester) throws hard enough where he's not a typical lefty," Burrell said. "Throws fastballs and cutters, and throws them on both sides of the plate."

Lester posted his fourth scoreless outing of the season. He has allowed three earned runs or fewer in each of his last 10 starts, going 5-1 with a 2.09 ERA during that stretch.

"I think his confidence is growing," Francona said. "His command of the strike zone is a lot better with his stuff. His tempo is quicker. It looks like he's trying to grow up as a major league pitcher. He's got a lot of ways to get people out."

Hideki Okajima pitched a scoreless eighth inning before Jonathan Papelbon struck out the side in the ninth for his 20th save.

Boston scored twice in the second inning, when Crisp hit a first-pitch offering from lefthander Jamie Moyer into the left field seats for his fifth homer of the season and third in his last three starts.

"The (ballparks) that we're playing in (right now) cater more to the power I have," Crisp said of his recent power surge. "None of those are home runs (elsewhere), but I've been fortunate enough to put the bat on the ball and knock it over the fence a few times."

But the Red Sox left two runners aboard in each of the first three innings and could not take advantage of control problems by Moyer. The 45-year-old issued five walks in the three frames but was able to escape trouble each time.

"I really didn't have good command tonight, especially the first three innings," Moyer said. "Probably the worst command I've had in a long time. To me, that was the difference in the game."

Moyer (7-4) lasted five innings, allowing two runs and four hits with four strikeouts, but labored throughout his 106-pitch outing. He fell to 6-12 lifetime against Boston, including seven straight losses dating to May 2001.

"If you've got the stuff that I feature and not have any command, it's not conducive for a quality outing," Moyer said.

Julio Lugo extended Boston's lead to 3-0 with a two-out double in the sixth off Ryan Madson that scored Crisp.








  • ML
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    BOSTON 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 3 7 0
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: BOS - JON LESTER, HIDEKI OKAJIMA (8TH), JONATHAN PAPELBON (9TH) AND
    JASON VARITEK
    PHI - JAMIE MOYER, RYAN MADSON (6TH), RUDY SEANEZ
    (8TH), CLAY CONDREY (9TH) AND C

    Jun 17 10:10 PM


  • ML
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JULIO LUGO SCORED COCO CRISP.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J LUGO ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 3
    PHILADELPHIA 0 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: D PEDROIA (.267, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Red Sox 3, Phillies 0  Top 6, 0 OutsJun 17 8:56 PM


  • ML
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY COCO CRISP (5) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF JAMIE MOYER SCORED SEAN CASEY.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 2, PHILADELPHIA 0
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J LESTER (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Red Sox 2, Phillies 0  Top 2, 0 OutsJun 17 7:38 PM