Lester (2-2) allowed one run and seven hits for his second straight win after opening the season with two losses. The left-hander struck out nine and walked none, winning an impressive pitchers’ duel with White Sox ace Chris Sale.
“(Lester) was very good. Threw pitches for strikes, was down in the strike zone. He established an outstanding rhythm right from the start,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “As well as Sale was pitching it needed everything that John gave us tonight.”
The game was tied at 1 when Mike Napoli and pinch-hitter Mike Carp had consecutive one-out singles in the ninth for the Red Sox. Ross then had a double to right against Ronald Belisario (1-2), driving home Napoli.
“Obviously when you’ve got a guy going like Sale on the other side and he’s throwing the ball as well as he did tonight, it’s good to grind out those innings and get some runs on the board late for us,” Lester said.
Koji Uehara picked up his third save in three tries with a scoreless ninth, getting pinch-hitter Jose Abreu to ground to third to end the game.
Sale struck out 10 and threw a career-high 127 pitches in seven innings. The left-hander was trying to become the first White Sox pitcher to start 4-0 since Jose Contreras in 2006.
“Going out there any giving everything you got,” Sale said about the number of pitches. “A team rolls in there like this you can’t have any consternation with that, you can’t shy away from that.”
Sale and Lester provided a big lift for the tired bullpens on each team. The Red Sox used seven pitchers in a 6-4, 14-inning win on Wednesday, while the White Sox used nine, including infielder Leury Garcia for one inning.
The White Sox had a chance to grab the lead in the seventh but Adam Dunn was thrown out at the plate when he tried to score from first on Alejandro De Aza’s two-out double into the right-field corner.
Sale got some help from center fielder Adam Eaton in the first inning. With two out, David Ortiz drove a 2-2 pitch to deep left-center field, but Eaton jumped and took a home run away by making a one-handed grab.