Jon Lester first pitcher to seven wins this season

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Incredibly, it took 30 days after Jered Weaver won his sixth gave for a major league pitcher to pick up his seventh win this season.  And the guy who did it was winless through three starts.

Jon Lester cruised through six scoreless innings in Boston’14-2 rout of the Indians on Wednesday to become the first pitcher to win seven games this year. 

It definitely is oddly late in the season for the league leader to just be getting his seventh win.   Ubaldo Jimenez already had eight wins by this time last year.   In 2009, Roy Halladay had eight by May 25.   In 2008, Brandon Webb had nine on this date and both Daisuke Matsuzaka and Joe Saunders had eight.

Weaver, who moved to 6-0 on April 25, seemed poised to have at least eight or nine already, but he’s gone 0-4 in his last five starts.   Trevor Cahill and Max Scherzer both already had two chances to win their seventh games but came up short (or, actually, their offenses did).

Lester has gone 7-0 in his last eight starts since opening the season 0-1 in three outings.

Brandon McCarthy wins final spot in Dodgers’ rotation

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We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.

McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.

Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.

Yankees re-sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

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The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.

Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.