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10/02/08 2:23 AM ET

Terry Francona postgame interview

Manager says Lester went after batters with a vengeance

Terry, how do you feel about Lester's performance, particularly after you got the lead?

TERRY FRANCONA He came with a vengeance and struck out the side. Early he established his fastball in. Opened up the plate and as he got into the middle innings, started spinning that breaking ball, didn't necessarily work ahead a ton or even on the 1-1 counts but never gave in, used the breaking ball, the two seamer, went out of the zone when trying to maybe, you know, when they were in an aggressive mode, trying to slow 'em down a little bit. Really competed. And, again, like you kind of alluded to, once we took the lead he really went after 'em.

Terry, he had thrown 100 pitches through six, what went into the decision to let him go into the seventh, Lester?

TERRY FRANCONA Because he was throwing the ball well, he was fine, there was no reason to take him out, he didn't look tired to me.

Jason's first two at bats how much was that -- was Lackey pitching really well and what adjustments did Jason make in his third at bat?

TERRY FRANCONA He threw him some good breaking balls. Lackey -- it wasn't like we knocked him out of the ballpark.

He was throwing a breaking ball that was coming off his fastball and really had some good break to it and very deceptive, did it to some of our hitters, some of them were strikes and some of them were in and out of the zone and such a good breaking ball, and he tried to throw it past Jason and unfortunately he didn't. Because at that point he held us down, we weren't doing anything. Jacoby starts the game with a double and we didn't do a whole lot after that.

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Could you talk about the defense, especially in that eighth inning?

TERRY FRANCONA Ellsbury on Mark Teixeira's ball leading off the inning I thought he had no chance. He closed ground, that's -- again, I really didn't think he had any chance to catch that ball, it looked like it was in no man's land and then he gets the pop up down first baseline, Youk makes a good effort and couldn't come up with it, keeps his head and comes up with it on one hop.

They're always going to be aggressive. When the ball doesn't end up where it's supposed to, they score. That's how they score their runs. We give 'em an extra out and they scored, that's the type of team they are. The ball ends up where it's supposed to.

Terry, how big was it for Lester to get through the seventh also and allow you to do what you wanted to do with your bullpen?

TERRY FRANCONA I didn't think there was a reason to take him out. He looked strong, and as he got into the flow of the game he actually gets stronger. But it was nice because it set up -- it really does set up an inning when you have Masterson facing right handers, except for Mark Teixeira. Again, but I think there are guys down there we feel like can get outs, it just didn't seem like there was a reason to take him out.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.

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