CHICAGO — Jon Lester is 4-5 with a 5.43 earned run average in 10 career starts against the White Sox. That’s more than half a run higher than it is against any other team in the American League.
“I don’t know,” Lester said when asked what it was about the White Sox after a 6-4 Red Sox loss Monday night. “I don’t know. It’s just one of those teams. You have those teams.”
Even when Lester played it smart in the first inning, it backfired. With a runner on second and two outs, Lester pitched carefully to Paul Konerko, a righthanded hitter who was 10 for 23 against him with three home runs.
Konerko walked on five pitches. Lefthanded hitting Adam Dunn, 1 for 6 against Lester, was next. Lester fell behind him and left a pitch over the plate that was crunched deep into the stands in right field.
“Just didn’t do a good job there. Ended up leaving a guy who’s got stupid pop a cutter that’s down the middle. He did what he was supposed to do with it,” Lester said.
Lester (6-1) left after six innings trailing 6-2. He allowed seven hits with three walks and two strikeouts. The two strikeouts, naturally, were his fewest of the season. The five earned runs matched Lester’s most for a start this season.
Lester knows the White Sox hit him hard. But he can’t change the way he pitches for one team.
“I’m not going to shy away from me. That’s what they want me to do,” Lester said. “They want us to overthink things and get us even more then. You just have to ... see what happens.”
A few other notes:
• Dustin Pedroia extended his streak to 12 games. He is 22 of 49 in the streak.
• Jarrod Saltalamacchia is 13 of 34 with six extra-base hits in his last 11 games. He is up to .270
• Jacoby Ellsbury grounded to second base four times and accounted for five outs. He is 3 for 24 on the road trip and is now hitting .241 with a .303 on-base percentage. He has gone 162 at-bats without a home run.