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.

Gerrit Cole second-fastest to 200 strikeouts in a season

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Astros starter Gerrit Cole dominated the Athletics on Monday night, limiting them to one run on two hits and a walk while striking out 11. It marked his 12th start out of 22 this season with double-digit strikeouts, giving him 205 total on the season.

It is no surprise, then, to hear that Cole is the second-fastest in baseball history to reach 200 strikeouts in a season, per MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. Cole got there in 133 1/3 innings. The only pitcher faster than Cole was Randy Johnson, who reached 200 K’s in 130 2/3 innings back in 2001 with the Diamondbacks.

Along with the 205 strikeouts, Cole holds an 11-5 record with a 3.03 ERA across 136 2/3 innings. Among qualified starters in the American League, only Charlie Morton (2.61), Mike Minor (2.86), José Berríos (2.96), and teammate Justin Verlander (2.99) have a better ERA than Cole, who has twice finished in the top-five in Cy Young Award voting.