Lester pleased with extended session

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Red Sox pitching staff put in a lot of work on Wednesday afternoon at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Jon Lester, who is scheduled to start Saturday against the Yankees in New York, tossed an extended bullpen session with hitters standing in the batter's box. The left-hander is 5-8 with a 5.46 ERA this season and he’s trying to make the necessary adjustments.

“Lester had a long throwing session and said he felt great, and to me he looked great,” Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. “I talked to the hitters and they said, ‘We saw great stuff.’ It wasn’t like they saw anything that made them think he should change anything.”

Lester said he was pleased with the session

“It is what it is. I’ve made some adjustments and I’ll go from there,” he said.

* Daisuke Matsuzaka, currently on the DL with a trapezius strain, also tossed a bullpen session.

“Daisuke threw the best he’s thrown in a long time,” Valentine said.

The Red Sox will wait to see how the right-hander feels on Thursday before deciding whether he’ll toss another bullpen or begin a minor league rehab assignment.

* Reliever Andrew Bailey tossed a live batting practice session in the afternoon and reported he felt great afterward. He’s scheduled to toss another session on Saturday.

“Everything went great,” Bailey said. “I threw 20 to 25 pitches and everything felt good -- fastball, curveball, cutter, changeup. It went well.”

Bailey, who tore a ligament in his thumb during spring training then sustained a recurrence of a forearm strain that plagued him in 2011, threw with no limitations or hesitations on any of his pitches. He said he accomplished everything he wanted to and deemed both is thumb and forearm completely healthy.

“Today was very encouraging,” he said. “I felt great. It was nice to see hitters in the box. I’m just anxious to get back out there and help this team win.”

After the next live BP session, the plan is for Bailey to begin a minor league rehab assignment.

“We’re going to take it a step at a time, but today went great,” Bailey said.

* Rich Hill (left elbow strain) has been throwing on flat ground and did so again on Wednesday.

“He’s been throwing great on flat ground,” Valentine said. “I’ve got nothing but good reports.”