(Sports Network) - Boston Red Sox sizzling starter Jon Lester will try to win his seventh straight start when he takes the mound tonight in the finale of a four-game series against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.
Lester is 6-0 with a 1.76 ERA in his last six starts and has won eight of his previous nine outings, including last Saturday's 7-3 decision over the host New York Yankees. Lester held the rival Yankees to a pair of hits over seven scoreless innings and struck out eight batters. He also extended his scoreless innings streak to 15 and is trying to become the first Red Sox lefty to win 20 games in a season since Mel Parnell won 21 back in 1953.
The big lefty is 19-8 with a 2.96 ERA in 31 starts this season and 2-1 in four career starts against Chicago. Boston hasn't had a 20-game winner since Josh Beckett went 20-7 in 30 starts in 2007.
Boston hopes Lester can help salvage the finale of this Windy City set after losing the last two portions, including Wednesday's 5-2 defeat behind a subpar showing from Beckett. Beckett was touched for four runs and 11 hits over six innings and struck out five batters in the loss.
"I thought it was a heck of a lot more good than what probably shows up in the line score in the paper," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said of Beckett.
The White Sox are also out of the playoff picture and have won six of their last seven games. In last night's win over the BoSox, Freddy Garcia pushed his 2010 mark to 12-6 with seven innings of two-run ball.
"He came back to be one of the more consistent pitchers we had all year long," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "A lot of people talk about (John) Danks and (Gavin) Floyd and all those guys, but I think the best pitcher we had every five days was Freddy."
A.J. Pierzynski homered and both Omar Vizquel and Alexei Ramirez knocked in runs for Chicago, which got three hits from Alejandro De Aza. Pierzynski, Ramirez and Brent Morel all finished with two hits.
Taking the ball for Guillen's club tonight will be Danks, who is 14-11 with a 3.74 earned run average in 31 starts this season. Danks was 0-2 in three starts before beating the Angels on the road last Saturday, as he held the hosts to a pair of runs and seven hits in eight innings.
Danks topped the Red Sox on Sept. 4 at Fenway Park with seven innings of one- run ball. He is only 2-4 in six career starts against Boston.
Chicago swept a three-game set from the Red Sox from Sept. 4-5 and has won nine of the previous 11 tilts in this series.