Lester wins 8th straight, Pedroia, Youkilis homer to lead Red Sox over D’Backs

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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BOSTON — Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis homered, and Jon Lester scattered four hits over seven innings to earn his eighth straight victory and lead the Boston Red Sox to a 6-2 victory over Arizona on Wednesday night.

It was the Diamondbacks’ franchise-record 12th straight road loss.

Lester (8-2) gave up Justin Upton’s two-run homer in the second inning and then just a pair of singles before leaving. He walked three and struck out seven, giving him a share of the AL lead for strikeouts with 96.

After Ramon Ramirez put two men on in the ninth, Jonathan Papelbon got the last out for his 15th save.

Rodrigo Lopez (2-6) lost his fourth straight decision, allowing six runs, 10 hits and two walks in seven innings. He struck out three. Sam Demel, acquired Tuesday in a trade with Oakland, made his major league debut in relief and pitched a perfect eighth.

The Fenway Park crowd broke into the now-obligatory chant of “Beat L.A.!” in support of the Celtics, who will play Game 7 of the NBA finals against the Lakers on Thursday night. More surprising was the sound of a vuvuzela — one of the buzzing horns made famous from the World Cup — coming from the stands.

Marco Scutaro singled to lead off the bottom of the first, then Pedroia hit a line drive over the Green Monster for his ninth homer. It was Pedroia’s first homer since May 14; he singled and scored in the third inning for his fifth multi-hit game in six tries.

The Red Sox scored two in the third, but Chris Young avoided more damage when he leaped against the centre-field wall to take an extra-base hit away from Victor Martinez. Young came down with his hat crooked, and apparently in a bit of pain, but he stayed in the game.

The next batter, J.D. Drew, hit a line drive to Young’s right, but he couldn’t get to it and played it off the Green Monster. Pedroia scored, then David Ortiz scored on Adrian Beltre’s infield hit to make it 4-2.

Youkilis added a two-run homer in the seventh. It was his 13th homer.

Lester is 8-0 with a 2.01 ERA in 11 starts since opening the season 0-2.

NOTES: The Red Sox announced that LHP Felix Dubront will start on Friday in place of Daisuke Matsuzaka, who is on the disabled list with a forearm strain. ... The Red Sox signed 10 draft choices, including first-round selection INF Kolbrin Vitek and second pick OF Bryce Brentz. Both players were assigned to the single-A Lowell Spinners. Also agreeing to terms with the club were right-handed pitchers Garrett Rau, Keith Couch and Michael Gleason; shortstops Nick Robinson and James Kang; outfielder Luke Yoder, catcher Jayson Hernandez and first baseman Trygg Larsson-Danforth. ... Scutaro was back in the lineup at shortstop after he missed a game because of a sore neck.

Organizations: Boston Red Sox, Diamondbacks, Celtics NBA Lakers Nick Robinson and James Kang

Geographic location: BOSTON, Arizona, Oakland Fenway Park

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