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Red Sox-Royals: Pitching duel Goes the Red Sox Way

BOSTON - JULY 05:  Jon Lester #31 of the Boston Red Sox sits in the dugout between innings against the Seattle Mariners on July 5, 2009 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Amanda BrunoCorrespondent IJuly 11, 2009
No one thought it was going to be this epic of a pitcher's duel between Jon Lester and Brian Bannister, we'll take it.
In the end it was the Boston Red Sox that triumphed.
Jonathan Papelbon was his 2007 self and got a rare one, two, three inning to earn his 23rd save of the season as the Red Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 1-0 at Fenway Park before another sold out crowd.
Jon Lester who sported a LIVESTRONG glove and cleats upped his record to 8-6 as his earned run average dropped to 3.87. Lester pitched eight strong innings allowing only four hits, two walks, and eight strikeouts. 
Everyone did their part in the bottom half of the eighth inning, even the opposing pitcher. 
Mark Kotsay led off the inning with a seeing eye single right up the middle, Nick Green successfully planted a sacrifice bunt to move Kotsay to second base. Bannister threw a wild pitch to allow Kotsay to advance to third, and Dustin Pedroia was the hero as he launched a wall ball double to score Kotsay.
The win gives security to Boston's first place status in the American League East. Now the Red Sox need to focus on their next two games before the All-Star Break. 
It's make it or break it time.

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