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Jon Lester showed no ill effects from his injury last week and was splendid in a final tuneup for the playoffs, pitching into the seventh inning and leading the Boston Red Sox to a 3-0 win over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday night.
Boston snapped its season-high six-game skid.
Lester (15-8) gave up just two hits, walked one and struck out seven in 6 1-3 innings. He left after walking Jhonny Peralta with one out in the seventh.
The 25-year old left-hander was knocked out of last Friday night's loss to the New York Yankees by a liner off the bat of Melky Cabrera in the third-inning. He sustained a bruised quadriceps when the ball hit near his right knee.
Michael Brantley led off the fourth with a single after Lester retired the first nine batters. In the fifth, Lou Marson's hit a ground-rule double down the right-field line.
Reliever Daniel Bard loaded the bases after Lester left, but got Andy Marte on an inning-ending, double-play grounder.
Jonathan Papelbon worked a perfect ninth for his 38th save.
Lester is in line to be Boston's Game 1 starter against the Los Angeles Angels next week, but the team hasn't made an announcement yet. He was the club's best starter last postseason.
Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco (0-4) left the game in fourth after getting hit on back of leg by Jacoby Ellsbury's line drive. He was helped off the field after dropping to the ground behind the mound. The club said he has a bruised left quadriceps.
Red Sox catcher Victor Martinez, playing his first game against his former team since being dealt for right-hander Justin Masterson and two minor league pitchers on July 31, went 2 for 4 with a double and single.
Indians manager Eric Wedge, fired Wednesday but allowed to stay on through the remainder of the season, started his final series of a seven-year tenure with the club.
The Red Sox had most of their starting lineup back a day after resting all but two starters - DH David Ortiz and shortstop Alex Gonzalez - Wednesday. They clinched the wild card when the Texas Rangers lost to the Angels on Tuesday night.
Boston took a 1-0 lead when Ellsbury singled leading off the first, stole his major league leading 68th base, advanced on Martinez's fielder's choice before scoring on Kevin Youkilis' sacrifice fly.
Ortiz and Jason Bay had RBI singles in the third.
Carrasco gave up three runs on nine hits in 3 1-3 innings.
This program aired on October 2, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.
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