I missed Jon Lester's start against Atlanta, so tonight was my second chance to watch the young lefty pitch. And he was nothing short of sensational. Working with a quick 4-0 lead -- courtesy of David Ortiz's second inning grand slam -- Lester shut down the Nationals on three hits and one run in six innings. He also struck out 10 (Ks by inning: 212 221).
What was especially nice about the Red Sox two four-run rallies was they both happened with two outs. In the second, Lowell and Crisp grounded out before Gonzalez, Youkilis and Loretta singled. Then Ortiz banged his fifth career grand slam, and 21st home run of the season, to dead center.
Gonzalez began the sixth with a double, but Youkilis and Loretta made outs. Then Ortiz was walked intentionally, Ramirez singled* home a run (on the first pitch), Nixon (3-for-5; now batting .333) doubled home two more and Varitek doubled home Trot.
Seanez, Delcarmen and Tavarez each pitched one of the final three innings. Let the record show that MDC was the one who allowed no runs or hits. (Interestingly, the only times Washington got the leadoff man on base, he scored.)
*: In his at-bats following an Ortiz intentional walk, Ramirez is now 5-for-8.
Shawn Hill (2.42) / Jon Lester (3.48), 7 PM