FORT MYERS, Fla. — Jon Lester was pleased that he reached his pitch count in the humid conditions. He was less than thrilled with his fielding after a costly error.

Lester pitched six innings Friday in his fifth spring start, leading the Boston Red Sox to a 3-2 victory against a Toronto Blue Jays split-squad.

“(He was) strong,” Manager Terry Francona said. “Sometimes trying to be too strong. And again, we didn’t make a couple of plays behind him. But I think he’s raring to go.”

Boston third baseman Mike Lowell left in the first inning with a bruised left knee after fouling a pitch off his leg. X-rays were negative.

“He’s going to be pretty sore,” Francona said. “But he’s intact. He’s just going to be sore.”

Lester allowed two unearned runs and six hits, struck out five and walked two. He committed a throwing error in the third, leading to a run, but was feeling strong after throwing 90 pitches.

“It was awful muggy today, which I think is a good thing,” he said. “You get a day like that and you get through some difficult innings with it, I think it helps you in the long run. But I felt pretty good. I felt like I could keep pitching, which is a good thing. I felt pretty good as far as stamina and keeping my legs under me.”

Jonathan Papelbon, Hideki Okajima and Ramon Ramirez finished up with a scoreless inning apiece for Boston.

Brett Cecil tossed five scoreless innings for Toronto in his first spring start. He yielded two hits, struck out four and walked one.

David Ortiz had an RBI single in Boston’s three-run ninth inning.

Brad Emaus had three hits and drove in two runs for the Blue Jays. Randy Ruiz went 2 for 4.


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