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Red Sox and Lester take care of Giants, 5-1

Game over: Red Sox 5, Giants 1

What a game by Lester, who went the distance and retired 17 of the last 18 batters he faced. He threw 103 pitches.

Sox were 3-3 on their trip and are 46-31. Best stat of the day: Lester saw 24 pitches in his four ABs. Even the Sox pitchers work the pitcher.

Back with more later on.

Middle of the 9th: Red Sox 5, Giants 1

Beltre, who came in for defense in the seventh inning, homered to left. He has 12 jacks and now 52 RBI. What a season for him.

Lester out for the ninth.

Top of the 9th: Red Sox 4, Giants 1

Lester set down the Giants in order again. He has retired seven in a row and 14 of the last 15. He’ll get a chance at the complete game, having thrown only 97 pitches.

Middle of the 8th: Red Sox 4, Giants 1

McDonald doubled with two outs but Lester struck out after seeing six pitches. The Sox have whiffed 14 times today.

Top of the 8th: Red Sox 4, Giants 1

Nava had a single off Jeremy Affedt to lead off the seventh before the Sox went down. Lester then dispatched of the Giants in order in the bottom of the inning. He has thrown only 90 pitches.

Top of the 7th: Red Sox 4, Giants 1

The Red Sox are running out of All-Star candidates. Pedroia is hurt. Buchholz is hurt. Martinez could use the time off.

But Lester deserves is. He is toying with the Giants today. His line so far:

6 innings, 5 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts and only 81 pitches. His ERA s down to 2.94.

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Middle of the 6th: Red Sox 4, Giants 1

Sox kicked away a scoring chance there. Drew led off the inning with a triple as he lined a rocket off the bricks in right field. But Hall struck out before McDonald popped to second. Lester worked a great at-bat and walked. Scutaro had a chance to make it hurt but popped up.

Top of the 6th: Red Sox 4, Giants 1

Three up and three down for Lester. He has thrown only 65 pitches. This is just what the bullpen needed. Then a day off tomorrow and everybody starts fresh on Tuesday.

Middle of the 5th: Red Sox 4, Giants 1

Be careful what you wish for (ain’t that the truth?) as Runzler has struck out five of the six Red Sox he has faced since replacing Lincecum. he just fanned Ortiz, Youkilis and Varitek in the fifth. The good news is the Giants will pinch hit for Runzler now.

Lester back out having thrown a tidy 57 pitches.

Top of the 5th: Red Sox 4, Giants 1

Lester did it again, leaving two runners stranded as he struck out Sandoval and got Schierholtz to pop to short.

Middle of the 4th: Red Sox 4, Giants 1

Scutaro singled with one out. But was was thrown out stealing as Nava struck out. Poor Nava is 0 for his last 11, 1 for 15 and 4 for 23. It doesn’t take big league scouts and pitching coaches long to find holes. Now we’ll see how he adjusts back.

Victor Martinez is out of the game after taking that foul ball off his left foot. We’ll update his status when information becomes available.

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Top of the 4th: Red Sox 4, Giants 1

Lester stranded two runners by striking out Huff. He has thrown 42 pitches.

Ubaldo Jimenez and Tim Lincecum against the Red Sox this week: 8.2 innings, 15 hits, 10 earned runs.

Some cat named Runzler in to pitch for the Giants. You have to wonder if something i wrong with Lincecum. His fastball never got to the mid 90s and his command was lacking.

Middle of the 3rd: Red Sox 4, Giants 1

I don’t know about you. But it’s hard for me to take the National League too seriously. The Sox scored another run off Lincecum as Youkilis singled, Drew walked and Hall singled to left. Hall is 2 for 2.

Lincecum has thrown 79 pitches in three innings and was just pinch hit for. He’s done.

Top of the 3rd: Red Sox 3, Giants 1

Lester retired the side in order. But Sandolval fouled a ball off the left foot of Martinez and it appeared to hit the same toe he took a ball off of in Tampa back on May 24. Victor hobbled around in pain and went to one knee but stayed in the game.

Victor is a tough dude. That must have hurt like crazy.

Middle of the 2nd: Red Sox 3, Giants 1

The Red Sox are basically spitting at Tim Lincecum’s stuff. Martinez drew a five-pitch walk before Hall doubled down the left-field line. McDonald was intentionally walked to load the bases and get to Lester.

Lester swung at a 3-1 pitch and crushed it to the gap in right. It was tracked down but a run scored. Scutaro hit the next pitch into center for an RBI single.

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How about the Sox pitchers? 5 for 15 with five sacrifices and two RBIs in nine interleague games. Can any of them play the outfield?

Top of the 2nd: Red Sox 1, Giants 1

That was ugly. Torres reached on an infield single as Youkilis had a do-or-die play on a slow roller with some spin on it. Torres then stole second and third before scoring on a groundout to second base by Huff.

The ball slid under Ortiz’s glove but an alert Bill Hall was behind him and yelled at Ortiz to get back to the bag and he did, just in time. So much for the classic pitchers duel so far.

Middle of the 1st: Red Sox 1, Giants 0

Tim Lincecum was nasty, striking out Nava (1 for his last 13) and Youkilis. But Ortiz took him deep, blasting a 3-2 changeup into McCovey Cove. David took a tight 2-2 pitch then connected for No. 15 on the season.

It was the 72nd “splash hit” at AT&T Park, the first this season.

Ortiz now has 275 homers as a member of the Sox, putting him alone in fifth place in team history. Dwight Evans (379) may be hard to catch.

In his career, David has 333. That puts him 90th all time, tied with Adam Dunn. David had been tied at 91st place with Moises Alou and Bobby Bonds.

Top of the 1st: Red Sox 0, Giants 0

It is a beautiful day in San Francisco. Not a cloud in the blue sky and a big crowd is filing in. Just saw one of my friends from UMass with her kids, three of the many, many Red Sox fans in the house today.

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Hope you enjoy the game, it could be a great one with the pitchers on the mound.

Lincecum is warming up to Light My Fire by The Doors. How great is that?

A few pregame notes for you:

* Buchholz had a little bruising behind his left knee. It’s more of a lower hamstring injury then a knee. All indications are that he will stay off the disabled list. The Sox have a lot of flexibility in terms of when they start him.

* Jed Lowrie has been seeing a doctor in Atlanta to treat his mono and apparently to make sure that is what he has. He’s still some time away from joining Lowell to start a rehab assignment.

* Jacoby Ellsbury is not ready to come back from Arizona. He could “visit” the team later this week or perhaps go on the next road trip with them. Or maybe he’ll stay in Arizona or head to Fort Myers. Terry Francona said the medical staff and all the doctors who have treated him and trying to decide what would be best.

One thing is certain: he’s a long way from playing again.

* Mike Cameron was schedule to get a day off today. This gives him two days off in a row. He was moving slowly this morning after playing three days in a row. You have to give the guy a ton of credit for persevering and being willing to play hurt. He is building up a lot of credibility in the clubhouse.

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* Terry Francona was in a good mood before the game, talking about how cold it was at Candlestick Park when the Giants played there and laughing about how he hated it. He also said, jokingly, that he pinch hit John Lackey for Ramon Ramirez yesterday becauae “Ramon stinks” as a hitter. And Clay Buchhoz was “a dumb-ass” because he was supposed to take a pitch and had a single instead.

It was good stuff. With everything going on, he stays in good spirits.

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