Twins - 000 000 011 - 2 6 0Lester: 9-6-2-0-9, 103.
Red Sox - 013 011 00x - 6 8 1
Kevin Youkilis hit a three-run home run to the back wall in dead center to put the game on ice in the third. Yook also drove in a run in the fifth inning. Adrian Beltre homered in the second and doubled and scored in the sixth.
Lester -- in his 100th career start -- was at the top of his game, allowing only one runner to second base in the first seven innings. His strikeouts of Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau in the seventh, both looking, were devastating. His economical pitch count: 9-12-10 9-10-8 14-12-19 = 103.
Tampa Bay (30-11) beat the Yankees 8-6 to extend its lead in the East to 5 games. Boston is now only 3.5 games out of second place -- or the Yankees are 3.5 games out of fourth place.
Francisco Liriano / Jon Lester
Since April 18, when his ERA was 8.44, Lester has made five starts: 1.82 ERA in 34.2 innings. He has pitched at least seven innings in each of his last four outings.McDonald, CF
Liriano has gone at least six innings in all seven of his 2010 starts; he had a 23-inning scoreless streak in April. He lost to the Yankees (6-9-3-0-7, 101) last time out.
Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron batted 1-2 in Portland's lineup this afternoon. Ellsbury went 3-for-4, with a double, stolen base, and a run, while Cameron was 1-for-4 with an RBI double (he knocked in LBJ) and a run. The Sea Dogs lost 6-2. ... Lefty Felix Doubront was promoted to Pawtucket.
Red Sox/Yankees - Battle of the Back-Up Catchers
Top RBI per plate appearance among catchers (min. 20 PA):
0.219 - Ryan Hanigan, Reds
0.213 - Jason Varitek, Red Sox
0.210 - Francisco Cervelli, Yankees
0.197 - John Jaso, Rays
PA AVG OBP SLG OPS BABIPThe Cactus has thrown out only 19% of SB attempts (3 of 16), but Cervelli (who I guess will not be a back-up for the next 3-4 weeks) is worse: 1 of 13, 8%.
Varitek 47 .317 .404 .805 1.209 .304
Cervelli 81 .373 .442 .493 .934 .417