Better late than never, Jon Lester has morphed back into an ace.

It took four months and a brutal beating by the Toronto Blue Jays last month at Fenway Park, but at last, Lester has regained his swagger. It was one thing to mow down the Indians last Sunday in Cleveland. It was quite another to flummox the dangerous New York Yankees for seven innings yesterday in the Bronx.

Lester worked out of trouble in the first inning, then completely controlled the game in a 4-1 victory at Yankee Stadium, the site of his first step in turning around his season three weeks earlier. Yesterday marked the first time he has won back-to-back starts since May 14 and 19.