Lester (7-4-0-2-4, 98) was great and the bottom of the order, in addition to providing three early runs, also sparked a benches-clearing balk (see comments).
Lester allowed a leadoff single and a stolen base to Roberts in the first, and a two-out walk to Tejada, but escaped trouble. In the third, he allowed a single to Tejada and a walk to Millar, but kept the ball in the infield and no harm was done. Lopez pitched a perfect eighth and MDC worked through a two-out walk in the ninth.
The Sox got two runs in the second: Youkilis walked, Drew doubled to left-center, Varitek singled in Yook and Drew scored on Crisp's sac fly. Crisp singled to start the fourth, moved to third on two groundouts, then distracted Cabrera into balking him home.
Cabrera's next pitch sailed past the back of Pedroia's neck and that's when the fun began. It sounds both both team's TV color guys showed no mercy in ripping Cabrera. For the O's, Jim Palmer was thoroughly disgusted, since the team has talked with Cabrera several times about this exact problem.
Boston got its fourth run in the eighth. Ellsbury singled, stole second and scored on Youkilis single.
Both Ellsbury and Drew made fantastic catches in the late innings. Lyndon leapt at the wall in left to rob Mora and Drew hauled in Tejada liner after a long run into the right field corner.
The Tigers beat Seattle 6-1 to take over second place in the wild card chase. The Yankees are Royals are tied 2-2 after six innings.
Jon Lester (5.26, 86 ERA+) / Daniel Cabrera (5.06, 88 ERA+)
These guys faced each other five days ago (September 2), with Lester (6-6-2-2-1) getting the upper hand on Cabrera (6-5-3-4-7) in a 3-2 Red Sox win.
The Yankees (6.5 GB; 3 GA in WC) are in Kansas City (Kennedy/Meche). The Tigers and Mariners -- both 3 GB in the wild card -- meet in Detroit (Batista/Verlander).