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Lester sharp in tuneup

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  March 20, 2008 03:27 PM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester, who did not accompany the team to Japan yesterday, faced minor leaguers today in a final tuneup before his start against the As in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Lester threw five innings in a "camp game," not allowing a hit while striking out eight and walking none. He stuck out the final six batters he faced and threw an additional 10 pitches in the bullpen after the outing, bringing his pitch count for the day to 80.

He is leaving for Japan tomorrow morning at 7 a.m., traveling overseas on a commercial flight. The Red Sox told him to sleep during the trip, which is the opposite of the advice they gave the rest of the members of the Sox during their recently completed overnight flight.

"I'm going to take a couple of Ambien and sleep most of the flight," Lester said.

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