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 Morrow injured his back taking off his pants

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The Cubs’ bullpen got into trouble in the ninth inning on Tuesday afternoon during the first game of a doubleheader. Justin Wilson started the inning with the Cubs leading 3-2, normally a situation for closer Brandon Morrow. Wilson issued a leadoff walk to Austin Barnes, then gave up a single to Justin Turner. Morrow wasn’t warming up, curiously. Wilson ended up giving up a go-ahead two-run double to pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer and the Cubs went on to lose 4-3.

We now know why Morrow wasn’t available. He says his back tightened up taking off his pants early Monday morning, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports. Morrow said, “It’s frustrating any time you can’t get out there, especially when you can’t go for something as stupid as taking your pants off.”

Morrow, 33, has been terrific in the closer’s role this season for the Cubs. He owns a 1.59 ERA with a 25/9 K/BB ratio in 22 2/3 innings. He is also not available for the back end of Tuesday’s doubleheader, but it sounds like he won’t need to go on the disabled list.