Boston, MA – Daniel Nava hit a two-run double during a four- run seventh inning to back a near-perfect Jon Lester, as the Boston Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 5-0, in the opener of a three-game series at Fenway Park.
Lester (5-0), the last Red Sox pitcher to toss a no-hitter, retired the first 17 batters he faced before Maicer Izturis doubled down the left-field line in the sixth.
"Back then, I was such a thrower, not really a pitcher," said Lester about his no-hitter in 2008. "They're apples and oranges in comparison."
That was the lone Toronto player to reach base against the left-hander, who struck out five while hurling his third career shutout.
Shane Victorino had two hits, walked twice and scored a run for Boston, which ended a three-game losing streak and won for just the second time in its last eight tilts.
Ramon Ortiz (0-1), making his first big league start since July 10, 2011, gave up one run on four hits and five walks in five full frames for the Blue Jays, who have dropped three in a row.
"He did a tremendous job. He kept us right there. The game got out of hand in the seventh, but he did everything and more than we wanted to or expected. Good for him," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons.
The Red Sox had plenty of traffic on the basepaths, placing a runner in scoring position in each of the first seven innings.
However, they produced only one run through the sixth. That changed in the next frame.
Boston strung together three straight hits off Brett Cecil to open the seventh, with Jacoby Ellsbury scoring on a Dustin Pedroia single to right field that fell in front of a charging Jose Bautista.
After the next two batters struck out, Nava made it 4-0 by driving an offering from Mickey Storey off the left-field wall. He then scored on a double by Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
The Red Sox got on the board in the second. Nava worked a one-out walk and moved to third on a Saltalamacchia single before scoring on an error. The shortstop Izturis fielded a ball hit by Will Middlebrooks, but his throw to second couldn't be corralled cleanly by Mark DeRosa.
Lester, who tossed his 10th complete game, improved to 5-0 for the second time in his career. He also won his first five decisions in 2006 ... The Red Sox were 3-for-17 with runners in scoring position ... Toronto had won six consecutive games at Fenway Park ... Ortiz started against Boston for the first time since Aug. 7, 2003.