A nice tight game played in a brisk 2:35.
Lester kept his pitch count down today, but he still had trouble with walks (6-6-2-4-1, 90). His last batter was Ramon Hernandez, whose home run down the left field line leading off the seventh just snuck over the Wall, cutting the Sox lead to 3-2. Javier Lopez came in and finished the inning, retiring the three men he faced.
Jeemer gave up a double to Nick Markakis to start the eighth and a grounder to second put him on third, as the potential tying run. Jeemer proceeded to strike out both Kevin Millar (Thanks, Cabin!) and Aubrey Huff to perform a little Houdini magic of his own.
Snuffer dispatched the Birds on only seven pitches in the ninth (the second out was a running, sliding catch in shallow center by Coco Crisp, who was put into the game for the final inning).
Boston scored in the first, when Dustin Pedroia singled, David Ortiz walked and Mike Lowell singled to left. Jacoby Ellsbury's first major league home run made it 2-0 in the fourth and Lowell's sac fly in the fifth scored Pedroia (who doubled, and was at that point 10-for-his-last-16) to make it 3-0 Boston.
In New York, the Devil Rays -- mathematically eliminated from the division race by Boston's win -- beat the Yankees 8-2 and bumped the East lead to six games.
Daniel Cabrera (5.08, 87 ERA+) / Jon Lester (5.67, 80 ERA+)
On August 27, Lester allowed one run on five hits over six innings for Portland (AA). In four August starts with the Red Sox, he had a 5.67 ERA.
Cabrera is on pace to lead the American League in walks for a second straight season.