This game marks the debut of newly-acquired Athletics pitcher Jon Lester, whom the Red Sox traded to Oakland at the deadline along with outfielder Jonny Gomes for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and a competitive balance draft pick. Lester is a very, very good pitcher who has dominated the Royals in his career. In 11 career starts he is 7-3 with a ridiculous 1.43 ERA against the Royals including a no-hitter back in 2008. Lester tossed eight shutout innings against the Royals just two weeks ago in Boston in a 6-0 Red Sox win.
Returning for the Royals is left-hander Jason Vargas, making his first start since undergoing an emergency appendectomy on July 9. Vargas is very familiar with O.co Coliseum from his days as a division rival with the Angels and Mariners, and he has performed admirably with a 3.35 ERA in nine games, including a pair of complete games.
Some Royals numbers against Jon Lester:
Billy Butler is 4-22 with 5 walks and 9 strikeouts
Raul Ibanez is 5-15 with a home run and 6 strikeouts
Alex Gordon is 2-19 with 8 strikeouts
Alcides Escobar is 5-13 with 3 walks
Mike Moustakas is 3-7 with 2 walks.
Last night the Royals won ther first game in Oakland since June 3, 2012. Let's ride the Raul Ibanez train all the way to Sweepsville.