The Red Sox are relying on Lester to pull out the rubber match of this three-game series over the Mariners.
This will not be the first time Lester, a high school star for Bellarmine Prep School in Tacoma, has pitched at Safeco.
"It was either going into my senior year in high school or my senior summer. I played for [an area] team. We had a game up here in the fall," said Lester. "So it might have been going into my senior year."
"Going through the [2002 First-Year Player Draft], I wanted to be a Mariner," said Lester, who was instead nabbed by the Sox with pick No. 57. "I came up here for a predraft workout. I think they were interested. I just don't think they were interested in the round that I wanted to be picked in, and they had other plans for that pick. It's a business, and they had to do what they had to do."
Now, Lester will go about the business of trying to stifle the team he used to worship.
BOS: LHP Jon Lester (5-0, 2.38)
Lester heads to the mound after posting the most impressive performance of his young career. The 22-year-old lefty allowed just one hit over eight innings against Kansas City on Tuesday night, striking out four in the process. He did walk four, but he remained unbeaten in eight big-league starts.
SEA: LHP Jarrod Washburn (4-10, 4.41)
Washburn was hurt by a fielding error in his last start on Monday against the Yankees, as Richie Sexson's boot allowed three unearned runs to score in a loss to New York. Aside from the error, Washburn did what he always does -- induce fly balls (eight). All told, Washburn allowed one earned run in 6 1/3 innings.
Player to watch
Sunday could be a good day for Sox center fielder Coco Crisp to bust out. He is 8-for-15 lifetime against Washburn, with three doubles and a homer.
On the Internet
Official game notes
WEEI 850 AM, WROL 950 AM (Español)
Monday: Red Sox (RHP Josh Beckett, 12-5, 4.78) at Athletics (LHP Barry Zito, 10-6, 3.20), 10:05 p.m. ET
Tuesday: Red Sox (RHP Curt Schilling, 12-3, 3.50) at Athletics (RHP Jason Windsor, 0-0, 1.80), 10:05 p.m. ET
Wednesday: Red Sox (RHP Kyle Snyder, 2-1, 7.02) at Athletics (RHP Dan Haren, 6-9, 4.02), 3:35 p.m. ET