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Lester eager to put difficult stretch in past

Lester eager to put difficult stretch in past

Lester eager to put difficult stretch in past play video for Lester eager to put difficult stretch in past

BOSTON -- Due to the fact Jon Lester has struggled in recent weeks and had his first start after the All-Star break pushed from Sunday to Tuesday, there was bound to be some speculation that he is pitching through an injury.

However, Lester, who threw a 35-pitch bullpen session on Sunday, maintained that his problems aren't physical.

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Anything nagging him, Lester was asked?

"Yeah, pitching," quipped the Red Sox left-hander. "I mean, honestly, I don't know how to answer these questions. Honestly, I know it looks weird just with the schedule and you get pushed back. But I've thrown a lot of pitches this year. Like I said, we're just trying to take advantage of the All-Star break and a couple of extra days we have thrown in there. We felt like it was a good time to do that."

Lester is eager to make his start against the Rays on Tuesday.

In his first nine starts of the season, Lester went 6-0 with a 2.72 ERA. In his last 11, he is 2-6 with a 6.27 ERA.

"Obviously, yeah, I'm not pitching the way I feel like I should or want to be," said Lester. "At the same time, I think there are a lot of positives within some of those games that I try to take. I just have to keep trying to build off those. Some of those games really came down to two pitches. If I could minimize those two pitches into positives and limit some of those runs, we're talking about a different deal right now. I feel good with where I'm at the last couple starts. I feel like I've thrown the ball a lot better. I just try to build off that."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. Michael Periatt is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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