Jon Lester pumps his fist after Royals Willie Bloomquist flied out to center to end the eighth inning. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

With Brian Bannister putting up zeroes on the scoreboard for the Kansas City Royals, Jon Lester was doing the same for the Boston Red Sox. You sat there and wondered who would be the first one to give in. Fortunately for the Red Sox, it was Bannister.

Mark Kotsay broke through with a hit and was pinch-run for. In a play that will go unnoticed, Nick Green laid down a 2-strike bunt (of course he failed on the first two tries) to move Aaron Bates over. J.D. Drew couldn’t get the job done but the reigning AL MVP, Dustin Pedroia did, causing Lester to give the fist pump of approval from the dugout.

The game-saving play of the night though belongs to Rocco Baldelli, who took over for Jacoby Ellsbury after he was ejected from throwing his helmet.

With runners on 1st and 2nd and no outs, Miguel Olivo hit a deep fly to center. Rocco reeled it in and threw the ball back in quickly and got Mark Teahan, who had 3 of the 4 hits Lester allowed, at second as he was trying to advance. Had Ellsbury been in the game, the outcome may have been different since his arm isn’t as strong as Rocco’s.

With the win last night and the Yankees loss to the Angels, the Red Sox now find themselves back in first place by a game in the AL East.

I posed this question on Twitter last night. Were you one of the people who thought the Red Sox should have traded Lester for Johan Santana?

I will admit that that I was one of them because at the time there was a lot of unknown with Lester. I can honestly tell you that I’m glad I was wrong because Lester is quickly emerging as one of the best lefties in the game.

His stuff was nasty last night. He had good command on all of his pitches and he worked all areas of the plate. He’s had great success against the Royals especially at Fenway Park. In three starts, he hasn’t given up a run in 25 innings and only allowed five hits and eight walks with 21 strikeouts.

Pedroia delivers late for Sox [Boston Globe]

Jon Lester stifles Royals [Boston Herald]

Lester edges Bannister in classic duel [Providence Journal]

Red Sox Win Pitchers’ Duel On Pedroia Hit [Hartford Courant]

Pitchers had it their way at Fenway [Boston Globe]

Jacoby Ellsbury tossed after tag play [Boston Herald]

Red Sox Journal: Rest does Lowell’s body good [Providence Journal]

Baldelli’s Play May Have Saved Red Sox [Hartford Courant]

After toss, Baldelli was thrown into action [Boston Globe]

’Pen no pal during club’s struggles [Boston Herald]

Red Sox get in on the Halladay sweepstakes [Providence Journal]

Pair of diamond thieves go on the record [Boston Herald]

Pedroia: The new Mr. Clutch [Full Count]

Dustin Pedroia delivers when team needed it most [Boston Herald]

Five Things We Learned: Lester Has Entered Elite Company [Rob Bradford –]

Deep thoughts by David Ortiz [Boston Herald]

Red Sox Win 2-0! [Center Field]

For more slices of Boston Red Sox goodness, head over to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, and Providence Journal websites.

And if the enemy papers are more you flavor, you can check out the Kansas City Star and Topeka Capital-Journal websites.