Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/24/12

For now, at least, Boston Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester will make his next start Saturday at Yankee Stadium.

After meeting with Lester before Monday night's game, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine decided the struggling ace wouldn't benefit from additional time to correct his problems. Lester is 5-8 with a 5.46 ERA. On Sunday, Lester was tagged for 11 runs in four innings against the Toronto Blue Jays in one of the most dismal starts in Red Sox history.

"He's going to start Saturday," Valentine said.

The Red Sox have maneuverability with their rotation because of a day off Thursday, and facing the homer-happy Yankees in their bandbox ballpark isn't necessarily the cure for a struggling pitcher. However, Lester is scheduled to throw his between-starts bullpen session Wednesday in Texas.

Over his last three starts, Lester has allowed 21 earned runs in 12 1/3 innings. His ERA in 12 starts at Fenway Park is 7.39. Overall, his ERA is the fourth-worst among qualifying American League pitchers, better than only the Kansas City Royals' Bruce Chen, the Baltimore Orioles' Jake Arrieta and the Los Angeles Angels' Ervin Santana.

Valentine downplayed his meeting with Lester while expressing to reporters during a pregame interview session Monday that he has faith in Lester bouncing back over the season's final two months.

"I believe in him," Valentine said before Boston lost 9-1 to the Texas Rangers. "I know nobody else in this (office) does, but I do. That's a good start. Maybe if he's sitting in here, it'll be two of us by the time he leaves."

Asked if Lester is a candidate to be placed on the disabled list, Valentine reacted with surprise.

"Jon Lester? No, he's not hurt, that's for sure," Valentine said. "He said he feels fine. The plan is to talk with him here after batting practice, have a little piece of pizza with him, see if we can make a plan to get him straightened out, going on the right track."

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