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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Jon Lester Can't Contain Youkilis, White Sox

Kevin Youkilis tortured his former teammate Jon Lester last night at Fenway Park, launching a three-run blast (his eighth of the season) off the southpaw to lead the White Sox past their red counterparts in the second game of this four game set.

The transformation of Youk's play since being traded to Chicago has been absolutely stunning and just goes to show that chemistry inside a major league clubhouse is not meaningless, despite what some would like you to believe.

Most of Lester's problems Tuesday night stemmed from poor control as the lefty threw 27 pitches while allowing a pair of runs in the first inning. It was the same version of Jon Lester that we have seen for the most part of this season. The one that gets crushed by good offenses and works semi-magic against lowly hitting teams. Whatever the problem may be, it's not good for the Red Sox who need him to be dominant in order to achieve their goals.

It wasn't all bad for Boston though. In his second game this season, Carl Crawford picked up three singles, an RBI and three stolen bases. Jacoby Ellsbury had two hits in the game as well as a stolen base, his first of the year.

Adrian Gonzalez and Will Middlebrooks each picked up an RBI-single in the game and Kelly Shoppach hit a two-run bomb while batting in place of Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the eighth inning. None of it was enough to earn Boston a win though, as Kevin Youkilis made sure of that. There Bobby, chew on that.

Junichi Tazawa relieved Lester after the fourth inning, putting together four of his own, allowing four hits and one earned run to save Boston's bullpen from a mess in the coming days. His ERA with the Red Sox this year is .84 in limited innings.

After starting five games for the Red Sox, and pitching admirably, Franklin Morales was moved back to the bullpen where he made an appearance Tuesday. The southpaw pitched a perfect inning to lower his ERA to 3.10 on the season.

Boston will look to take the final two games of this series, starting tonight with Felix Doubront facing Pedro Hernandez. Maybe Doubront should be a bit more careful with former teammate Kevin Youkilis than Lester was.

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