San Francisco, CA – Jon Lester was able to stop the bleeding for Boston with 8 1/3 scoreless frames and the Red Sox churned out a 7-0 win in Monday's three-game series opener with the San Francisco Giants.
With only three wins in their previous 10 games and the Tampa Bay Rays hot on their tail for the lead in the AL East, the Red Sox needed a strong performance and got it out of Lester (11-7), who limited Giants not named Andres Torres or Buster Posey to just one hit.
"Jon was exactly what we needed tonight," said Boston manager John Farrell.
Shane Victorino, Stephen Drew and Will Middlebrooks each supplied an RBI in support of Lester, with the trio leading the way in Boston's rattling of Tim Lincecum.
Over five-plus innings, Lincecum (6-13) was charged with five runs on nine hits and four walks. In the six starts since his no-hitter on July 13, Lincecum has a 5.40 ERA.
Torres had three hits and Posey had two for San Francisco, which has dropped two straight following a three-game winning streak.
"I do think we've had a tough year as far as travel goes. It has caught up with them at times. That pitcher out there makes you look flat because you're not doing anything offensively," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
The Sox loaded the bases to start the second and got on the board with Middlebrooks' sac fly. A balk by Lincecum allowed another run to come in and Boston held a 3-0 lead after a two-out RBI single from Victorino.
A two-out single by Daniel Nava in the fifth extended the inning, and Drew came through with a double into center that plated Nava and gave the Sox a four-run cushion.
Lincecum was relieved after Jacoby Ellsbury reached him for a single to start the fifth. Ellsbury eventually came around to score when reliever Guillermo Moscoso had a pitch get away from him and bounce to the backstop.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia had an RBI double in the ninth and later came in to score on Nava's base hit to make it 7-0.
Lester tried for his second complete game of the season, but served up a pair of one-out singles and was removed from the game. Brandon Workman notched the last two outs to preserve the win.
The Red Sox made a bevy of moves on Monday, most notably selecting the contract of highly touted shortstop prospect Xander Bogaerts from Triple-A Pawtucket. Bogaerts did not get into the game. The team also activated catcher David Ross from the 60-day disabled list and recalled pitcher Brayan Villarreal from Pawtucket. Catcher Ryan Lavarnway, infielder Brock Holt and pitcher Rubby De La Rosa were optioned to the Triple-A affiliate, while the Red Sox transferred pitchers Andrew Bailey and Clay Buchholz to the 60-day disabled list ... The Giants have lost 18 of their last 25 home games.