Red Sox send Lester to break streak

Red Sox send Lester to break streak

The Red Sox will try to snap their worst losing streak -- a six-game skid -- since 2001 when rookie Jon Lester opposes veteran Kelvim Escobar Wednesday night in Anaheim.

Before Tuesday's game, manager Terry Francona held a meeting with his troops to try to keep morale high, but the Red Sox still suffered a nail-biting, 4-3 loss.

First baseman Kevin Youkilis knows what the cynics are writing, saying and thinking right now.

"There's a lot of people that say we can't win," Youkilis said. "I'd love to prove everyone wrong. You've got to go out and play ball, you've got to win. Basically it's us. Everyone doubts us right now. There's crazier things in baseball that have happened.

One thing that could help the Red Sox is if they get Manny Ramirez's big bat back in the lineup. The left fielder didn't start Tuesday night because of right hamstring woes, but manager Terry Francona expects to get him back in this one.

The Red Sox are 6-15 in August and have lost eight of their past nine games.

Pitching matchup
BOS: LHP Jon Lester (6-2, 4.72 ERA)
Red Sox fans will hope that Lester's rookie struggles peaked in his last outing against the Yankees. By far the worst start of his young Major League career, Lester also had his shortest outing. He went 3 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs, eight hits and three walks. His inability to command the strike zone has left him with one win in his past six starts after a 5-0 start.

LAA: RHP Kelvim Escobar (9-10, 3.77 ERA)
Escobar showed pinpoint accuracy in his last start. He got ahead of nearly every Mariner he faced and allowed one earned run in seven innings. In total he threw 70 of his 97 pitches for strikes, walked only one and struck out seven. The right-hander said he has been feeling a lot better since coming off the disabled list with elbow inflammation in July and has won four of his last five decisions.

Player to watch
CF Coco Crisp is 4-for-11 lifetime against Escobar.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• WEEI 850 AM, WROL 950 AM (Español)

Up next
• Thursday: Red Sox (RHP Josh Beckett, 13-8, 5.35) at Angels (RHP Jered Weaver, 9-0, 1.95), 10:05 p.m. ET
• Friday: Red Sox (RHP Curt Schilling, 14-5, 3.84) at Mariners (LHP Jake Woods, 3-1, 3.88), 10:05 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Red Sox (LHP David Wells, 2-3, 5.40) at Mariners (RHP Gil Meche, 9-8, 4.66), 10:05 p.m. ET

Ian Browne is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.