Sunday’s Red Sox-Athletics matchups: Jon Lester vs. Tommy Milone

June 22, 2014 - 4:15 am
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The Red Sox will conclude their four-game series against the Athletics in Oakland Sunday, sending Jon Lester to the mound against fellow lefty Tommy Milone. Baring a poor start on June 7 against the Tigers in which the left-hander allowed five earned runs over 4 1/3 innings, Lester (8-7, 3.20 ERA) has seemingly hit his stride in June. He has allowed one earned run or fewer in three of his four starts this month. In his last start on Tuesday against the Twins, Lester fought through a 33-pitch first inning en route to another great performance, surrendering just four hits and one earned run over 6 1/3 innings of work. "The approach doesn't change," Lester said after the game. "I think the biggest thing for me was a lot of foul balls tonight. You can't really change a whole lot on that. You just hope that they put a bad part of the bat on the ball and hit it at somebody or get a hit or just move on. No, I don't think your approach changes. You've just got to keep attacking and hopefully they hit it at somebody." Lester was dominant in his last start against Oakland on May 3, allowing just one hit and striking out a career-high 15 batters over eight innings of work. In 13 career starts against Oakland, Lester is 5-4 with a 3.77 ERA. Milone (5-3, 3.56 ERA) has been one of the steadiest pitchers in the American League this season, surrendering three runs or less in 11 of his 13 starts this season. Millone was solid in his last start Tuesday against the Rangers, allowing three runs over 5 2/3 innings in what resulted in a 10-6 Oakland victory. "Every game I just try to stay within myself and not do too much," Milone said after the game. "I'm trying to get those guys out and so far it's been working. When we're scoring runs, pitchers in general just attack the zone and throw strikes." Milone turned in his worst start this season in his last appearance against Boston on May 3, allowing six earned runs over four innings of work. Milone has not suffered a loss since his performance against the Red Sox -- a streak of eight starts in a row.  In two career starts against the Red Sox, Milone is 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA. Red Sox vs. Milone (LHP)  Mike Napoli (10 plate appearances): .111/.200/.111, 1 single, 4 strikeouts A.J. Pierzynski (7): .286/.286/.286, 2 singles, 2 RBIs David Ortiz (6): .750/.833/3.000, 3 home runs, 3 RBIs Dustin Pedroia (3): .400/.500/.600, 1 double, 1 walk Xander Bogaerts has one single in three plate appearances vs. Milone. Jackie Bradley Jr. has one strikeout in two plate appearances vs. Milone. Jonny Gomes (2): .500/2.000/2.500, 1 home run, 4 RBIs David Ross (2): .500/.500/2.000, 1 home run, 1 RBI Athletics vs. Lester (LHP) Alberto Callaspo (15): .154/.267/.231, 1 double, 4 strikeouts Coco Crisp (15): .154/.200/.385, 1 home run, 5 strikeouts Nick Punto (15): .200/.200/.200, 3 singles, 5 strikeouts Yoenis Cespedes (9): .125/.222/.125, 1 single, 3 strikeouts Josh Donaldson (9): .222/.222/.333, 1 double, 2 strikeouts Craig Gentry (9): .250/.333/.250, 2 singles, 2 strikeouts Jed Lowrie (9): .250/.333/.250, 2 singles, 1 strikeout Derek Norris (9): .200/.556/.800, 1 home run, 4 walks Kyle Blanks (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 single, 1 RBI Brandon Moss (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 single, 2 strikeouts

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