Seattle, WA (Sports Network) - Jon Lester pitched eight impressive innings, leading the Boston Red Sox to a 5-1 win over the Seattle Mariners in the first of three games at Safeco Field.
Lester (17-8) allowed just one run on three hits and three walks, striking out 12 for the Red Sox, who won for the fourth time in seven games. The lefty, who is 6-1 over his last seven starts, struck out 10 or more for the fourth straight outing, a career-best.
Ryan Kalish added a two-run homer, while Lars Anderson hit his first career double and knocked in a run.
Chone Figgins had two hits, and Casey Kotchman drove in the lone run for Seattle, which has lost five straight. Doug Fister (5-12) was victimized for five runs, six hits and a walk in 7 1/3 frames to take the loss.
Boston got all the offense it needed with a three-run second inning. Adrian Beltre began the inning with a single, and Jed Lowrie followed with a double to right. Josh Reddick's groundout scored Beltre before Lowrie raced around on Daniel Nava's two-base hit for a 2-0 lead. Anderson's double knocked in Nava to give the Red Sox a three-run advantage.
That was all Lester needed, as the lefty thoroughly dominated the Seattle lineup.
Aside from Figgins, Lester didn't allow a baserunner. Figgins singled with one away in the opening inning, but Lester struck out Russell Branyan before inducing a fly out from Franklin Gutierrez.
After a perfect second and third, Figgins singled leading off the fourth and stole second with two outs, but Jose Lopez grounded out to third. Lester got through the fifth and sixth without a problem, including a strikeout of Figgins.
Seattle finally broke through in the seventh on Kotchman's RBI groundout. Gutierrez walked and Lopez singled to set up the play, but Adam Moore grounded out later in the inning with two runners on to end the threat.
Kalish quickly expanded Boston's lead, though, following a Marco Scutaro walk with a blast to right for a 5-1 lead in the eighth.
Lester struck out three batters in the home eighth to finish his outing, and Daniel Bard pitched a scoreless ninth to secure the win.
Lester has received a decision in 16 straight starts...Despite the win, the Red Sox are still seven games behind New York for the American League wild card with 18 games to play...Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki went 0-for-4 and still needs 14 hits in 18 games to reach 200 for the 10th consecutive season. He had a 13-game hit streak snapped..Boston leads the season series, 5-3.