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.
The Reds got shelled by the Diamondbacks on Thursday afternoon, dropping the game 12-2. The pitching staff gave up four home runs, including two to Jake Lamb. Gregor Blanco and Ketel Marte also went yard.
That brings the Reds’ total on the season up to 166 through 95 games. That prorates to 283 over 162 games, which would shatter their own major league record for home runs allowed by a team in a season. Last year, the Reds’ pitching staff yielded 258 dingers.
After Thursday’s action, the Reds’ pitching has a major league worst 5.31 ERA, which is exactly in line with its major league worst 5.31 FIP. According to FanGraphs, the pitching staff is worth 0.2 Wins Above Replacement, which is by far the worst in baseball. The Twins’ staff is next-worst at 2.7 WAR. It’s been a rough year in Cincinnati.
Update (7:33 PM ET): There’s a deal in place, per Jon Morosi. The Braves will be receiving a minor leaguer from the Twin, MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports.
The Twins are close to acquiring starter Jaime Garcia from the Braves, Ken Rosenthal reports.
Garcia, 31, is owed the remainder of his $12 million salary for 2017 and can become a free agent at season’s end. Through 17 starts with the Braves, the lefty has a 4.33 ERA with an 81/40 K/BB ratio in 106 innings.
The 48-46 Twins find themselves just a half-game behind the Indians for first place in the AL Central, so this is certainly an attempt to gear up for the stretch run.
Aaron Blair was scratched from his start with Triple-A Gwinnett, so he could be on his way up to the majors to fill Garcia’s spot in the Braves’ rotation.