American League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, May 3rd (All times Eastern)
Oakland Athletics (18-11) at Boston Red Sox (14-16), 1:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Oakland - Tommy Milone (0-2, 4.56) Boston - Jon Lester (2-4, 3.10)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Red Sox are only 2-4 when Jon Lester pitches this season. They hope to improve those results Saturday against the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park.
Lester is 2-4 with a 3.10 earned run average in six trips to the mound and has dropped back-to-back starts after a personal two-game winning streak. He gave up four runs in seven innings of a 7-1 loss at Toronto on Sunday, one outing after allowing eight runs -- three earned -- in 4 2/3 frames April 22 versus the Yankees.
The left-handed Lester has been reached for at least two runs in each of his losses and is winless (0-2) at home. In 12 career starts against Oakland, Lester has a 4-4 mark to go with a 4.21 ERA.
Lester hopes to get the same run support Clay Buchholz did in Friday's 7-1 win over the A's in the series opener. Buchholz fired 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball, struck out five and walked three batters to even his mark at 2-2.
"This is a good hitting team (Buchholz) was able to slow down with some off- speed pitches," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "A solid outing again tonight."
Dustin Pedroia's 100th career home run was a good one, as he belted a grand slam in the sixth inning and finished with two hits and two RBI. His slam was confirmed after an umpire review. Pedroia and Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski are the only players in team lore with at least 100 homers and 100 stolen bases.
Mike Napoli, A.J. Pierzynski and Jackie Bradley Jr. each drove in a run for Boston, which had lost two in a row and three of four games. David Ortiz was 1-for-5 and has played in 1,997 regular season games in his career.
The Athletics had won the last three games and fell to 5-3 on a 10-game road trip with last night's loss at Fenway Park. A's starter Dan Straily was dealt the loss for allowing two runs in 4 1/3 innings, Dan Otero gave up three runs and Ryan Cook surrendered Pedroia's grand slam.
A's manager Bob Melvin challenged to see if the ball was interfered with by a fan before clearing the Green Monster in left field, but the call was upheld.
"Usually one swing will break open a game like that," said Melvin. "That was the big key to the game."
John Jaso had a team-high two hits for Oakland, which had scored four or more runs in six of the last seven games and posted 12 in Wednesday's win at Texas. The A's totaled 25 runs in the three-game series with the Rangers.
Oakland will send Tommy Milone to the Fenway Park mound Saturday and he lost his last time out on Sunday in a 5-1 loss at Houston. The Astros touched Milone for four runs in 6 2/3 innings, dropping him to 0-2 in four starts and raising his ERA from 4.24 to 4.56.
Milone allowed four runs to the Astros after giving up five in his previous two trips to the rubber. He is 0-2 in three road assignments and lost his only appearance to the Red Sox on April 30, 2012 in an 11-6 defeat.
The left-hander was tagged for eight runs (7 earned) and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings at Fenway Park.
Boston split six games with the A's last season.
05/03 11:30:25 ET