Jon Lester threw an imperfect game Thursday night, but it was plenty perfect for the A's.

Oakland's newest starter, the ace of aces, made his second appearance since the stunning July 31 trade that sent Yoenis Céspedes to Boston and threw his first shutout since May 10, 2013, beating the Twins 3-0.

"The biggest thing is to feel welcomed," Lester said. "We all know what Céspedes did for this organization, how well he's liked. You want to make the trade look like it had a purpose and it was good. You don't want to come halfway through the year after these guys have been battling their butts off to be in first place and screw that up."

Lester was perfect for five innings, finally surrendering a hit to his first batter in the sixth, a single by former A's catcher Kurt Suzuki. After Lester completed his three-hitter, he got a big cheer from 22,108 at the Coliseum but hardly showed emotion, calmly shaking catcher Derek Norris' hand and high-fiving the rest of his teammates.

"Obviously, I'm excited and glad I got to finish the game," Lester said, "but I'm not going to jump around like an imbecile out there. I've always been a big believer in acting like you've done it before."

He has. For example: In his past 10 starts, including eight with the Red Sox, Lester is 6-0 with a 1.21 ERA.