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Jon Lester injury ‘doesn’t seem to be anything lingering’

06.27.13 at 11:28 pm ET
By
Jon Lester

Jon Lester

When Jon Lester walked to the dugout in the eighth inning with an apparent injury, the Red Sox starting rotation looked as if it was about to take another hit. With Clay Buchholz already taking longer than expected to return from swelling in his shoulder, an injury to Lester would have left Boston without its top two starters.

However, Lester appears to be just fine after the injury, and should be ready to keep his normal role in the rotation according to Red Sox manager John Farrell. Lester said that the injury was a jammed hip that he felt after he slipped on his delivery.

“It’s a kind of zinging sensation down my leg,” said Lester, who first reported the sensation to catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the seventh inning. “It’s something I have had before in years past on particular nights when you slip and you overstride, but this was a little different.”

Lester left the game with a five-run lead in the eighth inning with runners on first and second and nobody out. While the Blue Jays were threatening to score in the inning — and eventually did add two runs — the situation was not one that Farrell felt the Red Sox needed Lester to pitch through. He had already thrown 94 pitches in the game and had gone as deep into a start as he had since May 25.

“Given where we were in the ballgame — the number of pitches thrown — he had clearly done his job and we weren’t going to take any chances,” Farrell said. “Just checking with him after the game here, there doesn’t seem to be anything lingering.”

The early exit was certainly not the way Lester wanted to leave the game Thursday night — especially with the way he had been pitching. Lester did not allow a hit through four innings, and kept his pitch count low through the first seven innings.

Going this deep into a ballgame was something Lester had focused on in recent starts, and he finally had more success Thursday night. Lester had not pitched into the seventh inning in any of his last three starts, in which he had a 9.98 ERA.

“I feel that responsibility to go out there and save the bullpen,” Lester said. “That is what we tried to do tonight… anybody as far as a competitor wants to stay in there, but I think the right thing to do is what we did.”

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