John Lackey scratched from final regular season start

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From beat reporter Sean McAdam of CSN New England comes word that Red Sox righty John Lackey has been scratched from his scheduled start in Sunday’s regular season finale against the Orioles for the purpose of rest. Boston has already secured the American League East title and the top spot in the American League playoff seeding, so there’s nothing left to gain on Sunday at Camden Yards.

Allen Webster is going to start in Lackey’s place.

Lackey, 34, will finish the 2013 regular season with a cool 3.52 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 161/40 K/BB ratio in 189 1/3 innings. The Red Sox will open their five-game ALDS this Friday at Fenway Park against the winner of the American League Wild Card Game.

The Red Sox are calling up Rafael Devers

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Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox are calling up third base prospect Rafael Devers. He’ll be in Seattle for the start of the three-game set between the Sox and Mariners.

Devers, 20, is the top prospect in the Boston system according to MLB Pipeline. He has spent most of his season with Double-A Portland, where he hit .300/.369/.575 with 18 home runs and 56 RBI in 320 plate appearances. He was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket after the All-Star break. In eight games with Pawtucket, Devers hit .355/.412/.581 with two home runs and four RBI.

There is still just over a week until the non-waiver trade deadline, but perhaps the Red Sox seem confident Devers can be the answer to the third base problem.

Stephen Strasburg exited Sunday’s start with an apparent injury

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It’s not a good day if you’re a star starting pitcher. First Clayton Kershaw, now Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals’ right-hander lasted only two innings in Sunday’s start against the Diamondbacks, leaving with an apparent injury. Strasburg held the D-Backs to a hit and three walks with two strikeouts without allowing a run. Matt Grace relieved him in the third inning.

Including Strasburg’s two innings on Sunday, he’s carrying a 3.25 ERA with a 141/37 K/BB ratio in 121 2/3 innings.

The Nationals should pass along word on Strasburg’s condition shortly.