Lester's leg OK; Bailey replacing Aceves?

Jon Lester turned in another solid outing before leaving with leg discomfort in the eighth. Jim Rogash/Getty Images

BOSTON -- When Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester limped off the field in the top of the eighth inning, it seemed like just another case of bad luck for this club.

After the Sox's 4-3 win over the Kansas City Royals, Lester explained it was only a cramp in his left hamstring and he was fine. He improved to 8-10 this season after working seven innings (plus three pitches in the eight), allowing only three runs on six hits with four walks and six strikeouts. He tossed 96 pitches (61 for strikes).

"I'm fine. It just cramped up on me," Lester said. "I was battling a little bit since the fifth inning with it. It got a little worse as the game went on. I probably should have said something after pitch one [in the eighth] or my warm-ups."

Lester was removed with the Red Sox holding a 4-3 lead and was replaced by right-handed reliever Vicente Padilla. In fact, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine used a total of four pitchers in that inning. After Padilla allowed a single to the Royals' Billy Butler, and then recorded a strikeout, lefty Andrew Miller was summoned from the bullpen and retired the lone batter he faced. Red Sox right-hander Andrew Bailey replaced the southpaw and retired the only batter he faced to end the inning.

After the Red Sox were retired in order in the bottom of the eighth, Bailey remained in the game and earned his first save as a member of the Red Sox.

"I'm comfortable in that role, and from here on out, whatever they want to do is fine by me," Bailey said.

After the game, Valentine and GM Ben Cherington had a closed-door meeting with current closer Alfredo Aceves. When the meeting concluded, Aceves was clearly upset about something and slammed the door when he left the clubhouse.