(Sports Network) - Going for their fifth consecutive victory, the Boston Red
Sox will try to capture a series win over the Oakland Athletics on Saturday
night in the middle contest of a three-game set.
With the score tied 2-2 in the eighth inning on Friday night, Dustin Pedroia
delivered the game-winning two-run single to lift the Red Sox to the 4-2
Pedroia finished with a pair of hits on the night, while Boston's other two
runs came in the second inning on a two-run single by Brock Holt.
John Lackey's (7-6) shockingly strong season continued, as he allowed two
earned runs in seven innings while striking out five. Lackey had Tommy John
surgery following a dreadful 2011 season (12-12, 6.41 ERA) and has bounced
back as strong as ever.
Koji Uehara struck out the side in a perfect ninth for his eighth save.
Jarrod Parker hung tough with Lackey all night for the Athletics, yielding two
runs over seven innings of work, but Sean Doolittle allowed both eighth-inning
runs and was saddled with the loss.
Jed Lowrie tied the game at 2-2 in the sixth inning with his seventh home run,
which was one of just three hits for the home team on the evening.
Boston will send Jon Lester to the hill on Saturday night. Despite sporting an
impressive 8-5 record, Lester has been largely disappointing this season with
a 4.60 ERA.
The left-hander has shown consistent struggles over the past several weeks,
surrendering four earned runs or more in seven of his past 10 starts. He
lasted just five innings his last time out on July 8 versus the Mariners,
yielding nine hits, two walks and five earned runs in the loss.
Lester has experienced moderate success against the Athletics during his
eight-year career, going 4-3 with a 4.21 ERA.
Toeing the rubber for Oakland will be A.J. Griffin, who's been a crucial
component to the A's stellar starting rotation, going 7-6 with a 3.94 ERA.
Griffin has won two of his last three outings, most recently defeating the
Royals on July 7 by allowing two earned runs in five innings of work.
The second-year right-hander endured his worst start of the season earlier
this year against the Red Sox, allowing nine runs (7 earned) in just four
innings in an April 22 loss.
Boston is now 3-1 versus Oakland this season.
The Sports Network