"Yeah," said Lester. "Really, our division is pretty open. You look at all the injuries. You look at the Blue Jays, they played well there for a month, month and a half and now they're struggling with some injuries. Baltimore has done a good job to combat that.
"They lost a big piece in Matt Wieters and they're finding a way to stay up there. You're talking about nine games, you're talking about a homestand where things can be very, very different if we get on a roll and we start playing better. I think you saw that the last five or six games from us. The offense has started swinging the bat a lot better lately. If we continue to keep our guys in games, we're going to win more games and hopefully those one-run games are going to change for us."
Closer Koji Uehara took some optimism out of the stretch before the All-Star break, when the Sox won four out of their last five.
"I feel that the way we finished off the first half and how many games there are left in the season, I certainly think that we have a shot," said Uehara.
Given that he is eligible for free agency at the end of the season, Uehara is a player who could be attractive to another team if the Red Sox go into seller's mode.
Uehara was traded from the Orioles to the Rangers at the Trade Deadline in 2011.
"I think I can keep myself in a calm kind of situation, certainly because I had that kind of experience three years ago," said Uehara. "I'd certainly love to continue my career with the Red Sox, but it's really not up to me. We'll see."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.