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Posted at 07:15 AM ET, 06/18/2011

Leading off: Boston Red Sox starter Jon Lester aims for 10th win of the season against Milwaukee Brewers

Game of the day: Milwaukee at Boston, 7:10 p.m. Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester (9-2) will aim to become the first 10-game winner in the majors in this interleague matchup of first-place teams. Lester has earned a win in five of his last six starts, even though his ERA is a pedestrian 4.78 during that stretch. Veteran left-hander Randy Wolf (4-4) will start for Milwaukee, sporting a season ERA (3.20) that is actually more than a half-run better than Lester’s (3.73). Wolf has taken four straight no-decisions, but has allowed one earned run or fewer in three of his last four starts. Lester is 8-2 with a 2.99 ERA in 14 career interleague starts.

Other game to watch:

Pittsburgh at Cleveland, 7:05 p.m. This regional matchup features small-market clubs who are both exceeding modest expectations nearly halfway through the season. The Indians have cooled off considerably after their 30-15 start, but they are still hovering near the top of the American League Central. It’s the middle of June, but Pittsburgh is still above .500 and only a few games out in the National League Central. Left-hander Paul Maholm (3-7) will start for Pittsburgh, coming off scoreless outings in his last two starts and three of his last four. Cleveland right-hander Carlos Carrasco has also thrown two straight scoreless starts, earning 1-0 victories in each of his last two times out.

Games you should have seen

Kansas City 5, St. Louis 4. Albert Pujols made a crucial fielding error in the top of the eighth inning that led to the Royals’ winning run in this all-Missouri battle. Alcides Escobar hit a groundball that got through Pujols to score Mike Moustakas with the go-ahead run. Lance Berkman hit a three-run double early in the game for St. Louis, who has now lost seven games in a row.

Toronto 3, Cincinnati 2. Adam Lind hit a two-run home run to break a 1-1 tie in the top of the seventh, leading the Blue Jays to a win over the Reds. Lind has now homered in four consecutive games. Drew Stubbs hit an inside-the-park home run for Cincinnati, and Scott Rolen also homered for the Reds. Blue Jays starter Jo-Jo Reyes won for the third time in four starts after snapping a string of 28 starts without a victory.

Stat you should know: 1-16. Florida’s record in its last 17 games after a 5-1 loss Friday to Tampa Bay. On May 31, the Marlins were 31-22, in second place in the National League East only two games behind Philadelphia. When their game ended Friday, the Marlins were 32-38, last in the NL East and 12 games behind the Phillies.

Star of the night: Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton went 4 for 5 with a home run and three RBI in Texas’s 6-2 win over the Braves. Hamilton’s two-run homer gave Texas a 3-1 lead in the top of the fifth. He also hit an RBI single in the ninth.

Chatter: “I don’t want to go on pitching with inflammation and mess something up. If my shoulder is a little off, I guess it’s best to give it a rest.” — Braves right-hander Tommy Hanson, who went on the disabled list Friday with inflammation in his pitching shoulder.

By Greg Schimmel  |  07:15 AM ET, 06/18/2011

 
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