John Lester silenced Philadelphia’s bats Thursday. (Darren McCollester/GETTY IMAGES)

After Cliff Lee (9 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 2 BB, 5 K) and Vance Worley (7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K) showed why the Phillies’ starting pitching staff may be the most feared in the majors, Lester returned the favor in Thursday’s matinee.

The 27-year-old lefty tossed seven scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and two walks while striking out five and old reliable Jason Varitek homered twice for Boston.

If this really was the World Series preview many suggested, don’t expect a lot of offensive fireworks in October.

The American League has historically dominated interleague play, winning more games in 10 of the 14 years of its existence coming into 2011 — including seven straight years dating back to 2004. So far, they’re neck and neck in 2011 with the AL holding a slight 103-99 advantage going into Thursday’s night games.