Saturday, February 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Lester, Red Sox shrug off ball-doctoring accusation

BOSTON — Red Sox LHP Jon Lester says there was nothing but rosin — which is perfectly legal — on his glove when he beat the Cardinals on Wednesday in Game 1 of the World Series.

A Cardinals minor-leaguer posted a screen shot on Twitter showing a green substance on Lester's glove. Tyler Melling, a 25-year-old pitcher in the Florida State League, wrote: "Jon Lester using a little Vaseline inside the glove tonight?"

Lester said Thursday night that "I can honestly tell you that all I use is rosin. So, it's obviously frustrating that after a night like (Wednesday) night, we should be having fun and running around with some energy today and I've got to stand here and answer questions about it."

Lester pitched 7⅔ scoreless innings in Boston's 8-1 victory.

Manager John Farrell also said Lester uses only rosin, which is provided on the pitcher's mound, to get a better grip.

"If you know Jon Lester, he sweats like a pig and he needs rosin," Farrell said. "I don't see this as anything at all."

Major League Baseball said in a statement Thursday that "we cannot draw any conclusions from this video. There were no complaints from the Cardinals, and the umpires never detected anything indicating a foreign substance throughout the game."

Section 8.02 of the Official Baseball Rules says a pitcher "shall not apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball" and says the penalty for a violation is ejection and an automatic suspension.

BELTRAN PLAYS: Cardinals RF Carlos Beltran was in the starting lineup and batting second a day after hurting his chest while making a running catch.

Making the first Series appearance of his 16-year career, Beltran, 36, was hurt Wednesday when he hit the rightfield wall while robbing Red Sox DH David Ortiz of a grand slam. Beltran left the game and was taken to a hospital for X-rays and a CT scan, which were negative.

PEAVY FIRST: Farrell said he will probably start RHP Jake Peavy in Game 3, followed by RHP Clay Buchholz in Game 4. Farrell said he will likely give Buchholz another day of rest. Buchholz, who missed much of the season with shoulder issues, has been subpar in the postseason. The Cardinals will counter in Game 3 with rookie RHP Joe Kelly.

RATINGS UP: Boston's Game 1 win drew an 8.6 fast national rating and 14.4 million viewers, Nielsen Media Research said. The rating was up 13 percent from the 7.6 for the Giant's 8-3 victory over the Tigers last year, which was a record low for a World Series opener. Wednesday night's game was seen by 14.4 million viewers, up 18 percent from 12.2 million last year and the most-watched Series opener since the Giants' 11-7 win over the Rangers in 2010.

AROUND THE MAJORS: Commissioner Bud Selig said Ray Davis will succeed Nolan Ryan as the controlling owner of the Rangers. Ryan plans to resign effective at the end of the month and will sell his ownership stake to Davis and Bob Simpson, the team's co-chairmen. … The Giants and Marlins are under investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor for possible federal wage-law violations.

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