Lester in Portland 2005I had some other things planned to write but this news supersedes anything I was going to write about.

Much to my surprise and I am sure everyone else’s, the Red Sox have sent down Jon Lester to Double-A Portland and have recalled Javier Lopez from Pawtucket. Julian Tavarez will take Lester’s spot in the rotation on Sunday.

Red Sox PR spokeman John Blake said the reason for him going to Portland was that his day to pitch lined up better with Portland’s rotation. Very interesting considering Portland is fighting to be in the playoffs with New Hampshire, who coincidentally is Portland’s opponent for the next four games.

Lester has struggled in his recall to the Red Sox. He was 2-0 with a 5.67 ERA in 6 starts for the big club.

”We wanted to figure out a way for Javy Lopez to get back and be part of our bullpen,” said Terry Francona. ”It’s helpful to have another left-hander other than [Hideki] Okajima.”

When asked if Lester’s demotion was related to the poor performance in his last start in Tampa, Francona said: ”No, we didn’t say we’re disappointed with him. Like a lot of young pitchers, there’s been some inconsistency. But this is just one start.”

[Redsox.com] [ProJo SoxBlog]