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Jon Lester solid in A’s debut; thanks Red Sox fans in full-page ad

Starting pitcher Jon Lester #31 of the Oakland Athletics sits and looks on from the dugout prior to warming up for his start against the Kansas City Royals at O.co Coliseum on August 2, 2014 in Oakland, California.
Starting pitcher Jon Lester #31 of the Oakland Athletics sits and looks on from the dugout prior to warming up for his start against the Kansas City Royals at O.co Coliseum on August 2, 2014 in Oakland, California.
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Former Boston Red Sox ace Jon Lester has moved on with his new team, but he didn’t do so without acknowledging the fans of his old team. Lester, who was part of a blockbuster trade that sent left-handed pitcher to the Oakland A’s in exchange for Yoenis Cespedes, thanked Red Sox fans in a full-page ad and made his debut with the A’s on Saturday leading his new team to victory.

Although Lester wasn’t dominant, he pitched well enough to guide the Oakland A’s to an 8-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals. Lester gave up three earned runs and struck out just three batters. Lester was pulled with two outs in the top of the seventh after surrounding two of the three runs he allowed. As a pitcher who has spent his entire professional career with one team, the southpaw was able to battle through any jitters or distraction and give the A’s exactly what they were looking for when they obtained from the Red Sox on Thursday.

Ironically, it was former Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes who contributed to an eight-run fifth inning that helped Lester get the win in his A’s debut. The 30-year-old left-hander has opened a new chapter in his career, but didn’t do so without thanking the fans in Boston. He took out a full-page ad to express just how much he appreciated the fans and the city of Boston.

Lester’s message read: “I have a lifetime of great memories of Boston highlighted by 2 World Championships! Boston will always be home and the love that Red Sox Nation has shown me is something that I will forever cherish. You are truly the best fans in the world! I have been blessed to play with the greatest teammates who are family to me. I want to thank the Staff, Front Office and Ownership for always showing me respect and supporting me during the difficult times. The organization, the fans, and this city have embraced my family and me. My wife, my children and I will always be grateful for the love and kindness that we have enjoyed in Boston. Thank ya'll.”

Jon Lester will be a free agent once this season is over and is believed to just be a rental for the Oakland A’s. There are some who believe Lester can return to Boston, but that depends on whether the Red Sox will give him the type of offer he’s looking for. Lester is not ruling it out. During an introductory press conference on Friday, he said, “We’ll see where that relationship goes, but right now I’m an A and I’m going to go out here and perform for these guys and try to help bring a championship here.”