Lester on extra rest: 'Everything's fine'

BOSTON -- Jon Lester threw a 35-pitch bullpen session Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park and remains on target to start Tuesday at home against Tampa Bay.

Because of the All-Star break and a shuffled rotation to begin the second half of the season, Lester will have nine days between starts when he toes the rubber opposite Roberto Hernandez. And because Lester has struggled following a hot start this season, there was curiosity as to the reason for the extended rest.

The lefty insists there is no cause for concern.

“Just some midseason stuff, get a couple of extra days [off],” he said. “We have the opportunity to do it. Sat down, talked about it, just felt like it was a good time. Pitch Tuesday, everything’s fine. … Nothing out of the ordinary. Just a normal day in the life of me, I guess.”

When pressed on the matter and if he feels a kinship with Clay Buchholz and what he is going through, Lester was quick to affirm his good health.

“I think our situations are a little different. I don’t have an injury, haven’t missed any time,” Lester said. “We’re miles apart on that.”

Buchholz, who hasn’t pitched since June 8 due to lingering shoulder/neck issues, is slated to visit noted orthopedist James Andrews for a second opinion on Monday.

Lester, who finished the first half 8-6 with a 4.58 ERA, said that there is nothing bothering him other than the usual wear-and-tear.

Asked if anything was nagging him, Lester said, “Yeah, pitching. It looks weird with the start schedule when you get pushed back and all that. I’ve thrown a lot of pitches this year and, like I said, just trying to take advantage of the All-Star break. Felt like it was a good time to do that.”