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Saturday, May 19th (All times Eastern)
Boston Red Sox (18-21) at Philadelphia Phillies (21-19), 7:15 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston - Jon Lester (2-3, 3.71) Philadelphia - Joe Blanton (4-3, 2.96)
(Sports Network) - Going for a seventh straight victory, the Philadelphia Phillies have a tough task on their hands tonight when they face Boston's Jon Lester.
The five-time defending National League East champions are still in the basement of the NL East but have risen to two games over .500 thanks to their latest surge of offense. That includes last night's 6-4 win in which the Phillies received homers from Freddy Galvis and Hunter Pence in the opener of the three-game series.
Tonight could be a different story, though, as Lester has dominated the Phillies in three previous starts, going 2-0 with a 0.43 ERA. That's just one run allowed over 21 innings. Not only that, but those three starts came at Citizens Bank Park. The lefty is also coming off a complete-game win against Seattle on Monday, when he fanned six without walking a batter.
Joe Blanton counters for the Phillies. The righty is on a hot streak, going 3-0 over his last four starts. That includes a three-hit shutout at Atlanta on May 3. In his most recent appearance, on Monday, Blanton limited Houston to a run over seven-plus innings.
Over his career, Blanton is 3-3 with a 4.70 ERA in 10 games against Boston.
Carlos Ruiz drove in two runs for the Phillies last night. Ty Wigginton and John Mayberry added an RBI apiece.
Cole Hamels (6-1) worked seven solid innings, allowing six hits and three runs while striking out nine.
"It was nice to get some runs right off the bat," said Hamels, whose club staked him to a 4-0 lead when he went out for the second inning. "I was able to go out and keep the momentum and wear down the opponents."
Jonathan Papelbon continued his great start with his 12th save in as many chances, this time against his former team.
"It wasn't much different -- just a little more juice in the ballpark," said Papelbon about facing the team for whom he helped win two World Series. "But it was just another ballgame and another big save."
Mike Aviles, Cody Ross and Adrian Gonzalez went deep for the Red Sox, who have dropped two of three.
Daniel Bard (3-5) departed after five frames, charged with five runs and three hits while issuing five walks.
"I'm still in reliever mode and I have to learn how to be more aggressive," Bard said of his disastrous opening frame. "This one is on me."
Boston dropped the 2011 set against Philadelphia, losing two of three games at Citizens Bank Park. The Red Sox own a 27-20 advantage vs. the Phillies since interleague play began in 1997.
05/19 10:35:35 ET
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