Morning sports update: Jon Lester on Boston: ‘100 percent, it’s hard to play there’

"You can’t run from it."

Cubs Jon Lester
Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester delivers to a San Diego Padres batter. –AP Photo/Alex Gallardo

The MLB All-Stars combined for a record 10 home runs as the American League beat the National League 8-6 in extra innings on Tuesday night. Boston’s J.D. Martinez singled and struck out in his two at-bats.

Jon Lester on Boston: ‘100 percent, it’s hard to play there’

Jon Lester spent 12 years in the Red Sox organization, eight and a half of them under the bright lights in Boston. Lester thrived in the spotlight, compiling a 110-63 record and slipping on two World Series rings. But he also experienced the other side of that media glare in the aftermath of the chicken-and-beer collapse in 2011.

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On Tuesday, at his fifth All-Star Game, the now three-time champion talked about what it’s like to play in Boston.

“Is it hard to play there? One hundred percent, it’s hard to play there,” Lester said, per WEEI. “It was a grind for me at times. I think when I look back at my time there, do I regret anything that I did or I said? No.”

The 34-year-old Chicago Cubs ace noted he tried to answer every question from reporters as truthfully as he could, and “however that is portrayed in the media or by the fans, so be it.”

Lester recognized that for better or for worse talk radio has a lot of time to talk.

“It is what it is. It comes with the territory,” he said. “There’s nothing you can do. You can’t run from it.”

Boston traded the left-hander to the Oakland Athletics in July 2014. One of his successors at the top of the Red Sox rotation, David Price, has had success on the mound but not quite as much dealing with the media. Lester, who came up through the Red Sox farm system, acknowledged superstars have to adjust to the higher expectations in a major-market.

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“You’re making a lot of money and you’re going to have stuff that comes up and whether that’s fair or not fair, I can’t answer that,” he said. “It’s you guys’ job, it’s what you do and that’s what people should expect when they’re in Boston and New York.”

As for Price’s struggles against the major-market next door, Lester said his fellow southpaw just needs to try and execute one pitch at a time.

“No, I don’t think David Price needs to reinvent himself,” he said. “He’s a pretty darn good pitcher and he’s been one for a while. I’m sure from what I’ve heard about him as far as work ethic and how he goes about his craft he will figure out the Yankees at some point.”

The Spurs and Raptors are reportedly finalizing a deal for Kawhi Leonard: San Antonio and Toronto are close to finalizing a trade that would send Leonard to the Raptors and shooting guard DeMar DeRozan to the Spurs. ESPN reported an agreement in principle could be reached as early as Wednesday. (Boston.com)

Photos: Red Sox All-Stars — and family — hit the red carpet: Mookie Betts, Chris Sale, J.D. Martinez, Craig Kimbrel, and Mitch Moreland were all spotted on the red carpet before the 89th annual MLB All-Star Game. (Boston.com)

Comparing 5 historical examples to a rare All-Star feat achieved by the 2018 Red Sox: The Red Sox had the starting pitcher as well as the leadoff and cleanup hitters for the AL on Tuesday. Here’s a look at the few times a single team has achieved this feat, and how those teams fared in the second half of the season. (Boston.com)

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