Cole Hamels and Jon Lester were cruising through what appeared to be a pitchers duel.
But a line drive off the bat of Adrian Gonzalez changed the pace of the game, ending Hamels’ day. The rest was history as Boston won, 5-2, and prevented the sweep in Philadelphia.
Gonzalez’s liner rocketed off Hamels’ glove hand. The left-hander had the presence to finish the play and the inning but was immediately yanked after four innings. He had x-rays during the game which were negative and Hamels was diagnosed with a right-hand contusion. He will make his next start.
David Herndon replaced Hamels and allowed three runs in the next two innings and Boston was able to get themselves out of a pitcher’s duel and get Lester his 10th win of the season.
Boston got on Herndon in the 5th with some small ball. Josh Reddick hit a one-out triple before being driven in by Drew Sutton to make it 1-0. Marco Scutaro then moved Sutton to third on a single and he was brought home by Jacoby Ellsbury to make it 2-0.
A solo home run by Jason Varitek in the 6th made it a 3-0 game, all off Herndon.
Andrew Carpenter took the next two innings for the Phils. He got into an early jam in the 7th but got out of it. But then he allowed back-to-back solo home runs to Dustin Pedroia and Varitek in the 8th.
Lester was spectacular, pitching seven innings and holding the Phils to only two hits and two walks while striking out five. Only Chase Utley and Ryan Howard managed to get hits off Lester, who is now 10-4 and dropping his ERA to a 3.43.
The Phils ended the Sox’s shut out bid and made it a little interesting when Howard hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the 9th off Bobby Jenks, his 17th of the season.
Shane Victorino followed up with a five-pitch walk to end Jenks’ night and bring in closer Jonathan Papelbon. But Raul Ibanez held the bat on his shoulder as Papelbon ended the threat for his 15th save.
HR: Howard (17)
WP: Lester (10-4). LP: Herndon (0-2). S: Papelbon (15)