Friday's Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: Jon Lester vs. Esmil Rogers

September 20, 2013 - 6:37 am
Jon Lester faces off against right-hander Esmil Rogers and the Blue Jays on Friday in the opening game of the Red Sox'€™ final home series of the regular season. Lester (14-8, 3.75 ERA) comes off a pair of fantastic starts vs. the Yankees. He lasted eight innings in a Sept. 8 no-decision, allowing three runs at Yankee Stadium. Then on Sept. 14, Lester again tossed eight innings, allowing just one run to earn a victory at Fenway. Before Lester'€™s last start vs. the Blue Jays on Aug. 14, his ERA (4.37) and WHIP (1.35) at the time looked more like his disastrous 2012 season (4.82 ERA, 1.383 WHIP), than the numbers he averaged in his four-year apex between 2008 and 2011 (3.33 ERA, 1.241 WHIP) However, starting with a solid outing on that day -- he allowed two earned runs in 6 1/3 innings -- Lester reversed the course on his season. His ERA is 1.94 since his start at Toronto and it was 62 innings ago since Lester last allowed a home run. '€œI knew after what I went through at the middle of the year that it's just a matter of time and things will take care of itself,'€ Lester said after his latest start against New York. '€œI think anytime you take someone that's had some success, your confidence is high. When you struggle, that kind of varies from certain starts.'€ Lester has faced the Blue Jays five times this season, with three wins under his belt. He has a 2.80 ERA and a .849 WHIP. Rogers (5-7, 4.47 ERA) has been hot in September, posting a 1.35 ERA. He did not give up a run in wins over the Diamondbacks and Twins to start the month. In his last time out, Rogers pitched six innings and allowed three runs on five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts vs. the visiting Orioles on Saturday. He did not factor in the decision as the Jays rallied for a 4-3 victory. A five-year veteran who is in his first year in Toronto, Rogers comes in with a 5.11 ERA in night games this season vs. a 2.97 ERA during the daytime. He started the season in the bullpen but was moved into the rotation in late May. In six appearances (two starts) vs. the Red Sox this season, Rogers has an 0-1 record and 4.40 ERA, with 13 strikeouts, six walks and three home runs. Blue Jays vs. Lester (LHP) J.P. Arencibia (43): .195/.233/.390, 2 HR, 2 doubles, 7 RBIs, 2 walks, 16 strikeouts Rajai Davis (37): .303/.378/.576, 1 HR, 2 doubles, 2 triples, 5 RBIs, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts Adam Lind (30): .103/.133/.138, 1 double, 1 walk, 12 strikeouts Brett Lawrie (25): .136/.240/.318, 1 HR, 1 double, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts Mark DeRosa (18): .188/.278/.500, 1 HR, 2 doubles, 4 RBIs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts Colby Rasmus (15): .200/.200/.200, 1 RBI, 5 strikeouts Jose Reyes (13): .083/.154/.083, 1 walk, 1 strikeout Moises Sierra (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout Kevin Pillar (3): .000/.000/.000 Munenori Kawasaki and Anthony Gose each have one strikeout in three plate appearances. Mike Nickeas, Josh Thole and Ryan Goins have not faced Lester. Red Sox vs. Rogers (RHP) Dustin Pedroia (10): .500/.500/.700, 3 doubles, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts Stephen Drew (9): .333/.333/.556, 1 triple, 2 RBIs, 1 strikeout Mike Napoli (9): .222/.222/.556, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 3 strikeouts Jonny Gomes (7): .400/.571/.400, 1 walk David Ortiz (7): .333/.429/.833, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 1 strikeout Jacoby Ellsbury (6): .167/.167/.167, 1 strikeout Daniel Nava (6): .000/.500/.000, 3 walks, 1 strikeout Shane Victorino (6): .200/.333/.400, 1 double, 1 walk, 1 strikeout Jarrod Saltalamacchia (5): .400/.400/.600, 1 double, 3 strikeouts Will Middlebrooks (4): .333/.500/.667, 1 double Quintin Berry (3): .333/.333/.667, 1 double, 1 strikeout John McDonald (1): .000/.000/.000 Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. ,Mike Carp, Brock Holt, Ryan Lavarnway, David Ross and Brandon Snyder have not faced Rogers.