Lester makes All-Star case with strong outing

Lester makes All-Star case with strong outing

NEW YORK -- Red Sox lefty Jon Lester will make one more start before the All-Star rosters are announced. His body of work thus far has definitely put him in strong position to earn a trip to Minneapolis for the Midsummer Classic, which will be played on July 15.

Though his record is an unspectacular 9-7, Lester's 2.92 ERA and .248 batting average against is a much better indicator of how he has pitched this season.

Saturday at Yankee Stadium, Lester outpitched Masahiro Tanaka, 2-1, in a classic duel.

"He's been our ace," said John Farrell, who will manage the American League All-Star team. "He's been the guy we've looked to every time he's walked to the mound to give us an opportunity to win."

A two-time All-Star, Lester feels he's having the season people have come to expect.

"I mean, I don't want to be a [wise guy], but I've been pretty good for about eight years. I don't think this is any surprise for people," said Lester. "There have been times this year when I've gotten out of trouble, like tonight, keep runners from crossing home plate and make big pitches when I need to. But as far as pitching well, I think I've done that pretty much my whole career."

The Yankees would agree.

"He just cuts it, he sinks it, he throws his curveball," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "He lives on the corners; he just did what he always does. He locates and he pitched extremely well tonight, he really did."

Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15 on FOX.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.