Boston will send left-hander Jon Lester to the mound against Cleveland tonight, marking the 23-year-old's first outing since being diagnosed with cancer last year. "I don't think it really has sunken in," said Lester, who put up a 3.89 ERA in his 14 games with Pawtucket this year. Manager Terry Francona said the move will send struggling starter Julian Tavarez to the bullpen.
In his rookie season, '06, Lester was 7-2 with a 4.76 ERA for Boston, and the team has taken a particular interest in his recovery. "It's been hard getting treated like you're in a glass bottle," Lester admitted yesterday, "so it'd be nice to finally break through and get to pitch again." The Sox are 7.5 ahead of the Yankees in the AL East.