If Jon Lester was hoping that the second half of the season represented a fresh start for him, he didn't get one Tuesday night.
Instead, it was more of the same for Lester: allowing runs early and showing an inability to preserve leads. Lester was shelled for seven runs in just four innings as the Sox dropped a 7-5 contest to the Chicago White Sox.
The outing marked the third time this season that Lester, 5-7, has allowed seven runs this season. The big blow off him came in the fourth when Kevin Youkilis mashed a ball into the Monster Seats for a three-run homer.
Lester allowed two runs in the first and another in the second, the latter after the Sox had rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the first.
In his last two starts, Lester has failed to get through the
Carl Crawford (three hits, three steals) and Adrian Gonzalez had run-scoring singles off
Chicago starter Philip Humber in the first. The Sox were then blanked until the eighth whenWill Middlebrooks had a run-scoring double and Kelly Shoppach added a pinch-hit two-run homer.
OXON HILL, Md. - Aroldis Chapman found a spot in a most familiar bullpen - a very rich spot, too.
The hard-throwing closer reached agreement to return to the New York Yankees on Wednesday night with the highest-priced contract ever for a relief pitcher, an $86 million deal for five years.
A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that the contract was pending a physical. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet complete.
Once it's done, the 28-year-old lefty whose fastballs routinely top 100 mph would shatter the previous richest contract for a reliever - that was the $62 million, four-year deal Mark Melancon signed with San Francisco just a couple days ago during the winter meetings.
Chapman was acquired by New York from the Cincinnati Reds last offseason, then missed the first 29 games of the season due to a domestic violence suspension from Major League Baseball. The Cuban was traded to the Chicago Cubs in late July and helped them win the World Series, becoming a free agent when it was over.
Chapman went 4-1 with 36 saves and a 1.55 ERA in a combined 59 games for the Yankees and Cubs. He struggled some in the postseason as the Cubs beat Cleveland for their first championship since 1908.
With the Yankees this season, Chapman teamed with Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances in one of the most dominant bullpens in baseball history. Miller was later traded to Cleveland, but Betances is still with New York.
Earlier this week, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team was interested in both Chapman and fellow free agent closer Kenley Jansen. The Yankees had already made one deal at these meetings, signing slugger Matt Holliday, before paying a lot more to bring Chapman back to the Bronx.
Fox Sports first reported the agreement.
Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu are back together.
The two Cuban natives were teammates in 2012 when they played for Cienfuegos in Cuba, and now they'll be in the same dugout once again — this time in Chicago.
"To get the opportunity to play with him right now in the United States, it's an honor for me," Moncada said through a translator on a conference call Wednesday. "I'm thrilled with that."
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