Jon Lester exits no-hit bid with strained lat muscle


9:00 p.m. EDT: Lester left Tuesday’s game with a strained left lat muscle.  The Red Sox didn’t even try calling him day-to-day, so it sounds like he’ll be placed on the DL on Wednesday.  Michael Bowden could be called up to help out of the pen until a fifth starter is needed.

8:45 p.m. EDT: The Red Sox have gone an unusually long time without any update on Lester’s condition, which doesn’t seem like very good news.  Plus, Jose Bautista just broke up the Lester-Albers combined no-hitter that lasted 5 2/3 innings.


No word yet on what might be wrong, but Jon Lester was just removed from his start against the Blue Jays on Tuesday after throwing four hitless innings.

Lester showed no sign of injury on his final pitch of the fourth, a cutter that caught Adam Lind looking.  The Red Sox, however, got Matt Albers up in the bottom of the inning and brought him in to replace Lester in the top of the fifth.

Lester, who wasn’t picked for next week’s All-Star Game, is 10-4 with a 3.43 ERA this season.  He left with a 3-0 lead tonight, but since he didn’t go five, he’ll be ineligible for the victory.

If Lester joins rotation mates Clay Buchholz (back) and Daisuke Matsuzaka (elbow) on the DL, the Red Sox could pull Alfredo Aceves out of the bullpen to replace him.  Alternatively, they have Kevin Millwood in Triple-A.  Since a poor debut with Pawtucket, he has a 3.47 ERA and a 33/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings.

Danny Duffy exits spring training game with left shoulder tightness

Danny Duffy
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Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.

The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.

The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.