Friday, January 19, 2018
Sports

Lester finds his groove to keep Red Sox rolling

CHICAGO — Jon Lester outdueled Jake Peavy on Saturday, lifting the Red Sox to a 1-0 win over the White Sox for their sixth straight win.

Lester, who had allowed 12 runs over his previous two starts, ended a career-worst streak of losing five straight decisions and going eight starts without a win dating to Sept. 11 of last season. He gave up five hits and one walk, striking out seven.

"Sometime, either yesterday or today, (Lester) asked what he had to do," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. "I told him to pitch like an ace. Tonight, he pitched like an ace."

The Red Sox, who started the season by losing five of their first six, evened their record at 10-10.

"Any win is satisfying, but those games are fun," Lester said. "It's just a battle. I've been on the other end of those. You feel like you do everything you can to put your team in position to win, and the other guy just does a little bit more."

Peavy failed in his bid to win a fourth straight start for the first time with the White Sox but threw a complete game for a second straight start for the first time in his career.

Peavy hasn't had more than one complete game in a season since 2006, when he was with San Diego.

Peavy shut down Oakland on Monday in his last start, a 4-0 win in which he faced four batters over the minimum. Saturday, he lowered his ERA to 1.72, limiting Boston to four hits, and striking out six while retiring the last 12 batters he faced.

"I'm giving you all I got," Peavy said. "That's a great team across the way, as you see. When Jon Lester puts it all together, he's mighty tough. I wish I could have done a little more to keep that run off the board and give us a chance."

Ryan Sweeney hit a bloop double leading off the fourth, the ball falling in after White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham made a diving attempt for it near the rightfield line. One batter later, Adrian Gonzalez lined a single up the middle to score Sweeney.

The run ended Peavy's run of 17 scoreless innings.

"(A .500 record) is not a goal, but we rebounded off the bottom," Valentine said. "I think we still have a lot of work to do."

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