BOSTON — Jon Lester is proving he's Boston's ace again.
Lester pitched eight dominant innings, and the AL East-leading Red Sox dealt the Yankees' wild-card hopes another blow with a 5-1 win Saturday.
The left-hander is 6-3 since mid July with a 2.52 ERA in 12 starts after a rough stretch midway through the season.
"What he's done since the All Star break has been consistent with how he's started the season," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "A well above-average pitcher, a front-line starter and that's what Jon Lester is."
Lester mixed a sharp cutter with a well-spotted mid 90s fastball to earn his fourth win in six starts. Midway through the season, he went 0-4 in six starts with a 7.20 ERA.
"I knew after what I went through at the middle of the year that it's just a matter of time and things will take care of itself," he said.
The Red Sox won their 16th in 19 games and beat the Yankees for the fifth time in six meetings in just more than a week. They did all their damage against CC Sabathia, who lost his second straight start and third in five.
"It hasn't been coming along as quick as I want it to. It's very frustrating because everybody keeps telling me I'm close, but I don't see it. I want results," Sabathia said. "It's just tough not being able to deliver."