BOSTON — Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester left Tuesday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays after just four innings due to a strain to his left lat, a muscle behind the shoulder that extends from the back to the side under the armpit.
Lester had struck out five and walked just one before the exit. He threw 50 pitches, 35 for strikes, in stretching his scoreless streak to 11 innings. Matt Albers took over for Lester to begin the fifth.
Boston can ill afford for Lester to miss much time. The club is already holding its breath on Clay Buchholz, who is seeing a back specialist Wednesday morning in North Carolina, and doing its best to absorb the inconsistencies of John Lackey.
Albers suffered a similar injury earlier in the year and was forced to hit the disabled list. However, he did return exactly 15 days later and has shown no ill effects since.
Lester, who picked up his 10th win of the year five days earlier in Philadelphia, leaves the game with a 3.31 ERA.
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