The Red Sox completed a three-game sweep of the Royals, with Lester earning his 10th win of the season. The Boston lefty worked eight scoreless innings and allowed only four hits, with two walks and eight strikeouts.
It’s the sixth time in Lester’s career he’s earned at least 10 wins in a season, which ties him with Pedro Martinez, Bruce Hurst, Bill Monbouquette and Mel Parnell for the eighth-most 10-win seasons for the Red Sox.
Lester is 4-0 in his last seven starts and has allowed only one earned run in his last 31 innings of work.
Red Sox leadoff hitter Brock Holt continues to produce. In the bottom of the first inning, Holt singled when he turned on a 100 mph fastball from Royals starter Yordano Ventura, driving the ball to right field. Holt later scored from third when Dustin Pedroia reached on a fielder’s choice to give Boston a 1-0 lead.
With Lester settled in and keeping the Royals at bay, the Red Sox added a pair of runs in the bottom of the third on a two-run, ground-rule double by Daniel Nava for a 3-0 advantage.
In the bottom of the fourth, Shane Victorino led off with a double, and with one out David Ross produced a two-run homer for a 5-0 lead. Later in the inning, Nava added a sacrifice fly that scored Jackie Bradley Jr. to give Boston a 6-0 bulge.
With a six-run cushion, Lester did the rest. He exited the game after eight innings and 115 pitches.
Web gem: Holt produced with his glove too. He started at third base, and in the top of the sixth inning, with two runners on and two outs, the Royals’ Billy Butler hit a hard grounder toward the hole to the left side. Holt took a quick step to his left, dove and snared the ball. He quickly got to his feet and made the throw to first baseman Mike Carp for the out. With the exception of pitcher and catcher, Holt has played every position this season for the Red Sox.
Web gem deuce: After Lester issued a lead-off walk to the Royals’ Lorenzo Cain in the top of the eighth, Omar Infante ripped a shot up the middle, but Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew made a diving stop behind the bag and flipped the ball to second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who quickly made the transfer to complete the 6-4-3 double play. Drew has struggled at the plate, but continues to provide solid defense.
Up next: After a three-game sweep of the Royals, the Red Sox head out for a seven-game road trip, with four games at Toronto and three games at Tampa. On Monday, John Lackey (9-4, 3.66 ERA) will face the Blue Jays’ Drew Hutchison (6-8, 4.16).