The Boston Red Sox got another outstanding performance from their starting pitcher. Clay Buchholz pitched eight strong innings on Tuesday. Jon Lester followed with a masterpiece of his own on Wednesday night as the Red Sox defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 2-0 at Rogers Center.
The victory gives Boston a clean sweep over Toronto.
Lester certainly had his best performance of the season. The left handed southpaw pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, walked two and struck out 11 while throwing a total of 119 pitches, 75 of them for strikes.
His only real trouble came in the second inning.
Vernon Wells led off the bottom of the inning with a double to center. Wells moved to third base on a Lyle Overbay groundout. Lester, down 3-1 in the count to Alex Gonzalez, worked around the count and got his former Red Sox teammate to strike out on a high fastball.
The Red Sox starter also had to work around a 3-1 count to the next batter, Randy Ruiz. Lester got Ruiz to strike out on a fastball as well. Only this time, the location was over the middle of the plate.
Lester retired 15 of the next 16 batters to finish off his outstanding performance. The only batter he allowed to get on base the rest of the game was Blue Jays left fielder Mike McCoy, who reached base on a base on balls.
Boston got its first run of the game in the sixth inning. Darnell MacDonald led off with a line drive to center for a double. Marco Scutaro, after faking a bunt, singled to center. Dustin Pedroia added a sacrifice fly, scoring MacDonald from third to make it 1-0.
Toronto starting pitcher Brett Cecil had a satisfying performance. He went six innings, allowing one run on five hits, walked one and struck out three. Cecil threw 100 pitches, 61 for strikes.
The Red Sox got an insurance run in the seventh inning. With one out, Adrian Beltre hit a ground-rule double to right. After the double, Red Sox manager Terry Francona put in Jeremy Hermida as a pinch hitter to replace Bill Hall. Hermida moved Beltre to third on a soft ground out.
MacDonald, who scored the first run of the game, added a two-out RBI single to left center, scoring Beltre from third to make it 2-1.
Daniel Bard came in to relieve Lester to start the eighth inning. After allowing a leadoff double to Gonzalez, Bard struck out the next three batters, all three being pinch hitters. He got Adam Lind, Fred Lewis and Travis Snider to strike out on fastballs.
Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth inning for his seventh save of the season.
The Red Sox will travel to Baltimore on Thursday and will face the Orioles for a three-game series this weekend.