Boston Red Sox: Jon Lester Aims to Continue Cy Young Year Against Oakland Athletics

By Justin Söderberg

The Boston Red Sox have started out atop the American League East and have posted the best record, 13-7, in the AL through the first 20 games. A big factor to their recent success is the re-emergence of their two top pitchers, Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester. The Red Sox will call on the ladder to start Wednesday afternoon in the series finale against the Oakland Athletics.

Lester has started the 2013 season on a course to become the next AL Cy Young award winner. He has posted a 3-0 record with a 1.73 ERA and 23 strikeouts over 26 innings in his first four starts. The 29-year-old has not allowed more than two earned runs and has struck out at least five batters in his first four games, which is a welcome sight for the Red Sox front office and fans alike.

The left-handed starter is 3-3 with a 4.15 ERA over his career against the Athletics, although only four current A’s have faced the Red Sox starter in the past five years. Former teammate and outfielder, Coco Crisp is .400 with a home run and two RBI’ over his career against Lester.

Brett Anderson is scheduled to start for the Athletics. Anderson lasted only an inning in his last outing against the Tampa Bay Rays, exiting early due to a sprained ankle. However, he might of been happy to go to the clubhouse, as he had given up four runs on four hits and two walks while facing nine batters.

On the season, Anderson is 1-3 with a 5.95 ERA and hopes to rebound from the rough outing last Friday. Over his career against the Red Sox, the lefty is 5-2 with a 2.70 ERA.

After sweeping back-to-back series against the Rays and Cleveland Indians, the Red Sox fell 1-2 in a three-game series against the Royals over the weekend. With Tuesday night’s rain-shortened loss, the Athletics have evened up the series and the Red Sox will look for a series win on Wednesday.

First pitch for Wednesday is an unusual 4:05 p.m. ET start at Fenway Park in Boston.

Justin Soderberg is a Boston Red Sox writer for Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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