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Lester stays in rotation, will start on Saturday

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  July 24, 2012 12:41 AM

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ARLINGTON, Texas The Red Sox are sticking with Jon Lester, Bobby Valentine saying after the game that the struggling lefthander will stay in the rotation. Lester's next game will be on Saturday against the Yankees in the Bronx.

Lester will have a change in routine, however. Instead of his usual bullpen session on Wednesday, he will face some hitters in a simulated game.

Weve got a nice proactive plan, said Valentine, who met with Lester before tonight's 9-1 loss. He says he feels great and is throwing the ball as well as hes thrown the ball in a couple of years. Weve just got to get him at a point where his good stuff if getting hitters out and he says hes ready to do that.

Lester is 5-8 with a 5.46 earned run average. Of the 42 qualified starters in the American League, only three have a higher ERA. He has lost his last three starts, giving up 21 earned runs on 25 hits and 10 walks over 12.1 innings.

Lester had the worst start of his career on Sunday against Toronto, allowing 11 earned runs before being pulled in the fourth inning.

Lester faced the Yankees on July 8 and allowed five runs (four earned) on nine hits. He did not get out of the fifth inning in a game the Red Sox lost, 7-3.

Meanwhile:

Not much to say about the game. The Sox were stuffed by replacement starter Scott Feldman. They had 10 hits and it seemed like three, that's how meaningless most of them were.

At 48-49, the Red Sox are back under .500 for the first time since June 16. They have not had a losing record this late in the season since Oct. 3, 2001.

Weve got to keep fighting. Nobody said this is going to be easy. It never is here, said Dustin Pedroia, who had three hits but also committed a costly error. Well find a way. I think were all miserable. Nobody in here likes losing. We want to win every single one of us.

It was a poor defensive night for the Sox, who committed two errors. With runners on second and third in the third inning, Elvis Andrus hit a ball up the middle. Pedroia, who usually makes that play as well as any second baseman in the game, threw the ball over the head of Adrian Gonzalez at first base.

Pedroia had gone 65 games without an error, the longest streak in his career and the longest for a Red Sox second baseman since Bobby Doerr went 73 games between errors in 1948.

I got to it and I really didnt get a good grip on the ball. Elvis runs real well. I tried my best to get rid of it, Pedroia said. It just sailed. Gonzo tried to stay on the base and get the out. The thinking was right on both ends. It seems like nothing is going our way.

Said Gonzalez: I knew if I jumped, the runner is safe. I was trying to stay on the bag and the ball went higher than I thought.

Carl Crawford had a bad error in the sixth inning when he let a single get under his glove. He also is hitless in in his last 11 at-bats.

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