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Lester tries to keep Brew Crew bottled up in Friday home start

Jon Lester

MESA, Ariz. – Jon Lester takes on the Brewers and faces his fielding and throwing issues as he makes his big-pitch-count start of the spring Friday at Sloan Park.

Manager Joe Maddon said all he wants to see from Lester Friday is “the requisite number of pitches” with health intact.

But the start also could be Lester’s and catcher David Ross’ best test of the spring for handling the running game, assuming the Brewers reach base a few times.

The Brewers stole five bases against Lester in their last game against him, Aug. 13. It was a season-high allowed for the pitcher who led the majors with 44 allowed last year.

“We’re still working diligently on getting him better at fielding his position and throwing to bases,” Maddon said. “He’s been really proactive in that. He’s been very open about it, which I think is a big part of the healing process.”

Friday’s lineup vs. Brewers and Jimmy Nelson:

2B Ben Zobrist

CF Jason Heyward

3B Kris Bryant

1B Anthony Rizzo

LF Kyle Schwarber

RF Jorge Soler

C David Ross

SS Munenori Kawasaki

LHP Jon Lester