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Red Sox turn to Lester in middle game

Red Sox turn to Lester in middle game

Boston cruised into Tampa Bay on Monday with the best record in baseball, as well as a 5-5 record over its last 10 games.

The beginning of this week, although it is against the Rays, the team with the worst record in baseball, is a gentle reminder for the Red Sox to stay focused down the home stretch, and maintain the same tenacity against the stubborn Rays that they have had this season against everyone else.

On Tuesday, the Red Sox will look to Jon Lester in the second of three games against the Rays. It will mark the lefty's sixth start in his return from cancer, and the second time he's faced the Rays in as many outings.

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He had measured success in his last go-round with the Rays at Fenway, allowing just two hits and one run over seven innings.

The Rays' starter, Andy Sonnanstine, hasn't won in nine tries, but took a step forward during his last start, snapping an eight-game skid with a victory at Boston. The righty held the Red Sox to three runs on four hits over 6 2/3 innings.

It was a refreshing change for the rookie, who had strayed lately from his original, successful game plan of using his fastball to set up his offspeed pitches, and been caught up to several times as a result.

Pitching matchup
BOS: LHP Jon Lester (1-0, 5.14 ERA)
He has a 5.40 career ERA on turf.

TB: RHP Andy Sonnanstine (2-8, 6.17 ERA)
He's held righties to .251 hitting, while left-handers are hitting .331 against him.

Player to watch
Jason Varitek is 2-for-3 in his career against Sonnanstine, with a home run and two RBIs.

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
• Wednesday: Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka, 13-9, 3.79) at Devil Rays (Edwin Jackson, 3-12, 5.69), 7:10 p.m. ET
• Thursday: Red Sox (Josh Beckett, 15-5, 3.15) at White Sox (John Danks, 6-11, 5.30), 8:11 p.m. ET
• Friday: Red Sox (Curt Schilling, 7-5, 4.25) at White Sox (Jon Garland, 8-9, 4.84), 8:11 p.m. ET

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

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