Former Red Sox starter Jon Lester made his first start for the Oakland A’s on Saturday, two days after the deadline deal that saw he and Jonny Gomes shipped to Oakland in exchange for Yoenis Cespedes.
The A’s got a good taste of what the two-time World Series champion will bring to their pitching staff, as the lefthander went 6 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on nine hits with one walk and three strikeouts as the A’s beat the Kansas City Royals 8-3 and Lester picked up his 11th win of the year.
Lester also saw what it was like to play for a 2014 team that will give their pitcher ample run support; the A’s offense scored eight times for their starter to give him an 8-1 lead going into the sixth inning. He left in the seventh to a standing ovation from the O.co Coliseum crowd.
Lester and the Red Sox had been hoping the two sides could reach a deal to keep the southpaw in Boston, but as the trade deadline approached and no extension was close, GM Ben Cherington decided to deal away his most valuable asset.
Gomes also performed well in his debut for the A’s, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored after starting in left field for Oakland.
Prior to the trade, Lester had been 10-7 with a 2.52 ERA in 21 starts for the Red Sox and was named to his third career All-Star team. Gomes had seen time in 78 games for the Sox in 2014, hitting .234 with six home runs and 32 RBIs.
Cespedes, the power hitting outfielder the Sox got in return from Oakland, went 1-for-4 with a run scored in his first game in a Red Sox uniform. He was hitting .256 with 17 homers and 67 RBIs in 101 games for the A’s before being sent to Boston.