This time, Jon Lester can just focus on pitching. Lester's return to Major League Baseball on Monday at Cleveland was an emotional culmination of his battle back from cancer.
When Lester takes the ball Saturday night against the Devil Rays, it will be more of a normal environment and his focus will simply be on turning in a strong performance at Tropicana Field.
And despite all those emotions that ran through him at Jacobs Field, Lester still turned in a quality performance en route to a 6-2 victory.
He'll be opposed by a another promising young pitcher in Tampa Bay right-hander James Shields, who is 8-6 with a 4.44 ERA.
BOS: LHP Jon Lester (1-0, 3.00 ERA)
Lester made a successful comeback start to the Major Leagues on Monday in Cleveland, giving up five hits and two runs over six innings while fanning six. Lester made 17 starts in the Minor Leagues this season, going 4-5 with a 3.61 ERA. This is Lester's first career start against the Devil Rays
TB: RHP James Shields (8-6, 4.44 ERA)
Shields experienced the worst outing of his career onb Sunday afternoon against the Yankees, allowing 10 runs on 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings to take his sixth loss. Shields has been the Rays' best pitcher all season, effectively using a fastball, changeup, curve and cutter to retire hitters. The changeup remains his best pitch. He is 0-1 with a 6.10 ERA in two starts against the Red Sox.
Player to watch
Sox slugger David Ortiz has two homers in five career at-bats against Shields.
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Official game notes
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Sunday: Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka, 12-7, 3.79) at Devil Rays (Scott Kazmir, 7-7, 4.02), 1:40 p.m. ET
Tuesday: Red Sox (Josh Beckett, 13-4, 3.27) vs. Orioles (Erik Bedard, 10-4, 3.05), 7:05 p.m. ET
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.