Baseball pundits could agree before the season that southpaw Jon Lester was going to be a spectacular starter for the Red Sox one day. However, few could have predicted that his rise to excellence would occur so soon.
Due to the injuries of several members of Boston's pitching rotation, Lester was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket and made his Major League debut June 10. Nine starts later, Lester was undefeated, standing at 5-0, and had cemented his spot in the rotation.
Although Lester took his first Major League loss in his last outing, the lefty will look to return to the win column against fellow rookie Jeremy Sowers and the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night at Fenway Park.
In his loss against the Angels, Lester allowed five runs and 10 hits over 6 1/3 innings. However, the one bright spot in his disappointing start was the ability to maintain the command that has escaped him at the Major League level. In his 10th start, Lester did not allow a walk for the first time in his career.
BOS: LHP Jon Lester (5-1, 3.49 ERA)
He is 3-1 at Fenway with a 3.12 ERA and this will be his first career start against the Indians. Carrying an unbeaten record through his first nine Major League starts, Lester suffered the first loss of his career against the Angels on Friday night. Lester pitched well through six innings, but could not escape a jam in the seventh that ended his day. He allowed five runs and 10 hits over 6 1/3 innings, but managed not to walk a batter for the first time in his career.
CLE: LHP Jeremy Sowers (3-3, 3.98 ERA)
After a rough start to his Major League career that saw him give up seven home runs in his first four starts, Sowers has pitched brilliantly in his last two outings. He has thrown back-to-back complete game shutouts, thanks to extraordinary command of his stuff and a pitching acumen that is advanced beyond his years. Over those 18 innings, he has given up just nine hits and two walks.
Player to watch
Manny Ramirez is riding a team season-high 17-game hitting streak.
On the Internet
Official game notes
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Thursday: Red Sox (RHP Josh Beckett, 13-5, 4.76) vs. Indians (RHP Jake Westbrook, 7-7, 4.31), 7:05 p.m. ET
Friday: Red Sox (RHP Curt Schilling, 13-4, 4.84) at Devil Rays (RHP James Shields, 4-5, 5.43), 7:15 p.m. ET
Saturday: Red Sox (LHP David Wells, 0-1, 11.08) at Devil Rays (LHP Casey Fossum, 5-4, 4.89), 7:15 p.m. ET
Howard Kussoy is an associate reporter for MLB.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.