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BOS@CLE: Lester fans five over seven innings for win

The Red Sox are atop the American League East mainly because of strong starting pitching.

Boston is 8-0 in games started by Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz. Lester will look to continue the streak on Wednesday, when he takes the mound in the rubber match of a three-game series against the Athletics at Fenway Park.

Lester has gone seven innings in each of his last three outings, allowing three runs total and striking out 16. Buchholz has four wins, tied for the most in the Major Leagues, and has gone at least seven innings in all of his starts.

"They've been everything we've needed because we've had other starts where a number of innings have had to be picked up by the bullpen," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "So they give the bullpen a rest, we've won when they've walked to the mound, and I don't know that you can ask for anything more than what they've done. They're back to their levels of what they've done here previously."

The Red Sox took Monday's opener, 9-6, before the A's romped in the rain on Tuesday night for a 13-0, seven-inning victory to snap a four-game losing streak.

Brett Anderson is scheduled to start for Oakland despite leaving Friday's start against the Rays after the first inning because of a sprained right ankle. On Monday, the left-hander said he was "good to go for Wednesday."

Anderson threw a bullpen session on Sunday and was pleased by how his ankle responded.

"Everything is on schedule at this point for him," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said.

Anderson is 5-2 with a 2.70 ERA in eight career starts against the Red Sox. In four career starts at Fenway, he's 2-1 with a 4.09 ERA.

The Red Sox are 2-3 on their current 10-game homestand, while the A's are 1-4 on a six-game East Coast swing that ends Wednesday.

Athletics: Wells could make first start
Casper Wells made his A's debut on Tuesday and could be in the lineup on Wednesday with a left-hander on the mound. Wells was acquired on Monday from Toronto in exchange for cash.

In his first Major League action since Spring Training, Wells went 0-for-1 on Tuesday and played left field. He pinch-hit for Coco Crisp in the sixth inning.

Wells, 28, had been working out at a local high school in Seattle after being designated for assignment twice since the end of Spring Training.

"You have to keep a solid mindset, not let any outside distractions in or get off track from what you want to accomplish," Wells said. "I'm glad Oakland took a chance on me here."

Red Sox: Ortiz likely to return to lineup
David Ortiz was out of the lineup on Tuesday after starting three straight days since returning from the disabled list on Saturday.

Management is being cautious with the slugger, who missed 15 games with an injured right Achilles. Ortiz is expected to return to the lineup on Wednesday.

"How he's feeling, his guide in this and his involvement will go a long way in this," Farrell said. "I think we've got to build an occasional day off for him."

The Red Sox are 11-6 without Ortiz, but 2-1 when he's in the lineup. The designated hitter had two hits in his season debut on Saturday, three more on Sunday and went 1-for-4 with a double and two runs on Monday.

Worth noting
• Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli is 4-for-10 (.400) in his career against Anderson with two doubles, one homer and four RBIs.

• The A's lead the Majors with 119 runs in 21 games. Comments