Jon Lester goes on disabled list due to lat strain

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As anticipated from the moment the injury was announced. Jon Lester has been placed on the disabled list with a strained lat muscle suffered in the fourth inning of his start against the Blue Jays last night.

Reliever Scott Atchison has been called up to take his place on the roster.

Lester takes a 10-4 record and a 3.31 ERA with him to the DL.  The Red Sox will need to replace him in the rotation Sunday against the Orioles.  Depending on whether he’s needed out of the pen, Alfredo Aceves could make that start.  He’s 1-1 with a 5.14 ERA in his four starts this season.

An alternative would be Kevin Millwood, who would pitch on six days’ rest.  He gave up three runs over seven innings in his last start for Triple-A Pawtucket, and is 4-0 with 4.15 ERA overall in seven starts for the club.

Judging by the way Lester finished his outing last night, the strain he suffered couldn’t have been particularly severe.  The Red Sox haven’t provided a timetable for his return, but it’s possible he’ll miss just two or three starts.

It’s Lester’s first trip to the disabled list since 2007.

Brandon Belt, Jaime Barrios set new modern record with 21-pitch at-bat

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Angels starter Jaime Barrios and Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record with a 21-pitch at-bat in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Anaheim. Belt fell behind 1-2 and mostly kept fouling pitches off. The count ran full on the ninth pitch and Belt would foul off 11 more pitches before finally lining out to right field.

As Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle notes, the previous record was set on June 26, 1998 when the Indians’ Bartolo Colon and the Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez battled for 20 pitches. Gutierrez eventually struck out.