Lester, Sox take on Mariners in Seattle

Lester, Sox take on Mariners in Seattle

Once again, the scheduling gods have denied Jon Lester a hero's welcome.

Or, rather, a hero's welcome in Boston, Lester's adopted home. There will certainly be no shortage of Lester fans at Safeco Field on Friday night, when Lester faces Horacio Ramirez and the Mariners.

Lester grew up in Puyallup, Wash., just 35 miles south of Seattle. He pitched once at Safeco in his rookie season of 2006, allowing five earned runs and eight hits in five innings.

But he still hasn't pitched at Fenway Park this season, three starts into his return to the Majors after offseason cancer treatment. According to the arrangement of the schedule, Lester's first home start will likely have to wait until Aug. 15 against the Devil Rays, almost a full calendar year after his last game in Boston, on Aug. 18, 2006, against the Yankees.

Ramirez faced the Red Sox for the first time on May 3, the make-up of an early-April rainout. He gave up 11 hits and seven runs in four innings.

Pitching matchup
BOS: LHP Jon Lester (1-0, 4.26 ERA)
Lester has been everything Boston management wanted since he returned from anaplastic large cell lymphoma treatment and Triple-A rehab on July 23. He won his first game, against the powerful Cleveland Indians, and pitched well enough for Boston to win a July 28 game against Tampa Bay.

SEA: LHP Horacio Ramirez (6-3, 6.52 ERA)
Ramirez, acquired from the Atlanta Braves in a trade that lost the Mariners Rafael Soriano, has struggled mightily in Seattle. He has allowed 80 hits in just 58 innings, walking as many batters (24) as he has struck out.

Player to watch
Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez, who hit the team's only homer on May 3 against Horacio Ramirez at Fenway, isn't the only Boston player to touch up the Seattle starter. Lowell hammered Ramirez as a member of the National League East's Florida Marlins. He owns nine hits in 18 at-bats against him, with a home run.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• NESN

On radio
• WRKO 680, WROL (Español)

Up next
• Saturday: Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka, 12-8, 3.75) at Mariners (Jarrod Washburn, 8-7, 4.11), 10:05 p.m. ET
• Sunday: Red Sox (Josh Beckett, 13-5, 3.41)at Mariners (Miguel Batista, 11-7, 4.23), 4:05 p.m. ET
• Monday: Red Sox (Curt Schilling, 6-4, 4.20) at Angels (Jered Weaver, 7-5, 4.00), 10:05 p.m. ET

Alex McPhillips is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.