CHICAGO – There’s a season-long trend that makes Jon Lester happy and helps make his job easier: The Boston Red Sox crank up their offense when he pitches.

Lester pitched eight strong innings Saturday night and the Red Sox used two big innings, homers from Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis, and three RBI from Marco Scutaro to beat the Chicago White Sox, 10-2.

“These guys, there aren’t going to be too many games where they’re held down. It’s fun to watch. We get kind of spoiled pitching behind those guys,” said Lester, who entered the game with an average run support of seven this season.

“They swing the bats great, play good defense — it was a good game all around for us.”

Lester was efficient, had a low pitch count for most of the night — he finished with 97 — and had command of the game in just his second outing since coming off the disabled list with a latissimus strain.

He also helped the Red Sox end a seven-game losing streak against the White Sox.

“It was obviously good. Pitch count was down against an aggressive team,” Lester said, crediting catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia for calling a good game.

“Salty did a great job back there, mixing off-speed pitches both ahead and behind in the count. For the most part I was able to keep my fastball down. It’s always good to keep the fastball down and get bad contact.”

Lester (11-4) allowed two runs and four hits with a walk and eight strikeouts to get his first victory since June 30. He lost the shutout in the seventh when Paul Konerko hit his 25th homer, and he also gave up a solo shot to Gordon Beckham in the eighth.

Boston put it away with five runs in the ninth. The Red Sox finished with 15 hits.

Gonzalez, who missed Friday night’s game with a stiff neck, hit his 18th homer in the ninth, a two-run shot off reliever Brian Bruney. His first homer since July 7 gave him 89 RBI this season.

Youkilis then followed with his 15th homer to push the lead to six. Saltalamacchia added an RBI double and Scutaro a run-scoring single.

“We have a knack for (scoring in bunches). We didn’t do a whole lot early,” Boston Manager Terry Francona said. “We still worked the count and once we got the opportunity, we kept the line moving. We just kept going.”

Chicago scored seven runs and drew five walks off Lester in 5 2/3 innings when they faced him at Fenway Park in late May, winning 7-3.

“Today he was around the plate. Last time we faced him in Boston he was all over the place. His command was wild,” White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen said. “Today he threw a lot of strikes.”

NOTES: The Red Sox signed catcher Jordan Weems, a third-round draft pick this year, and third baseman Nick Moore, selected in the 30th round.


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