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Lester stays sharp, pitches Boston to 8-1 win
The fans roared as the Red Sox ace walked slowly toward the dugout, tipping his cap. He had given them plenty to cheer about all night.
On another chilly October night six years earlier, Lester won the final game of the World Series with 5 2-3 shutout innings as Boston completed a four-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies with a 4-3 victory.
He struck out eight, walked one and left after retiring Matt Carpenter on a routine fly to left field on his 112th pitch.
Lester had struggled going into the All-Star game. He was 2-6 in his last 11 starts before the break. But he took nine days off between starts, fixed what he was doing wrong and has been outstanding ever since. He was 7-2 in his last 11 regular-season starts and continued his success in the postseason with a 3-1 record and 1.67 ERA in four games.
Staked to a 5-0 lead after two innings, Lester allowed one hit and struck out four in the first three.
He ran into trouble in the fourth when he walked leadoff batter Jon Jay and struck out Matt Holliday. But St. Louis loaded the bases on singles by Allen Craig and Yadier Molina. Then Lester took matters into his own hands, getting David Freese to ground the ball back to him.
Lester threw home for one out and catcher David Ross fired the ball to first baseman Mike Napoli, completing the double play.
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