CHICAGO (AP) -The Boston Red Sox sent left-hander Jon Lester to Double-A Portland on Thursday and recalled lefty reliever Javier Lopez from Triple-A Pawtucket.
Lester, who underwent chemotherapy treatments for lymphoma during the offseason, is 2-0 with a 5.67 ERA in six starts since Boston called him up from Pawtucket on July 23. Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Lester will be back with the club next month and start Sept. 2.
Lester yielded just one run in seven innings against the Devil Rays on Aug. 14 but struggled in his last start, allowing five runs in 5 1-3 innings at Tampa Bay on Tuesday.
Julian Tavarez, who pitched very well in a spot start last Sunday, could take Lester's spot in the rotation in Sunday's series finale at the Chicago White Sox.
Last season, Lester was 7-2 with a 4.76 ERA for Boston in 15 starts as a rookie.
Lopez had pitched well out of the bullpen this year but was sent to the minors on Aug. 5 to make room on the roster for Curt Schilling, who came off the disabled list and pitched on Aug. 6. In 44 appearances this season, all in relief, Lopez was 2-1 with a 2.87 ERA.
The Red Sox also signed veteran infielder Royce Clayton to a minor league contract, and assigned him to Triple-A Pawtucket. Clayton batted .254 with a homer and 12 RBIs in 69 games with the Blue Jays this season before he was released Aug. 6.
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