More adversity for Lester

Jon Lester, a lymphoma survivor who won the World Series-clinching game for Boston last fall and pitched a no-hitter last week, revealed that his father, John, recently was diagnosed with cancer.

John Lester's cancer is highly treatable, the pitcher told ESPN before the Red Sox' first trip of the season to Seattle. His parents live in nearby Tacoma, Wash.

The last word

Texas outfielder Josh Hamilton was ejected yesterday for arguing a third strike in the sixth inning against Cleveland and went 1 for 3, ending his streak of multi-hit games at eight, one shy of Rusty Greer's team record, set in 2000.

Hamilton thought he checked his swing on a 2-2 pitch from Indians starter C.C. Sabathia, but third-base umpire Dale Scott ruled otherwise.

Hamilton returned to the batter's box and showed where he had stopped the bat, then waved at Scott, who waved back - as plate umpire Bill Hohn tossed the .333 hitter, whose 53 RBIs lead the majors.

"I probably shouldn't have put my bat back over the plate," Hamilton said. "I didn't go off or anything, though the wave probably didn't help. I didn't say a word.

"I said a little more than 'Why?' after I was tossed, though."

History lesson

The Tampa Bay Rays are just the fifth team - joining the 2001 Phillies, 1999 Arizona Diamondbacks, '92 Orioles, and '88 Cleveland Indians - to be 10 games or more above .500 to start play on Memorial Day after losing at least 95 games the previous season.

For the record

David Ortiz's homer in Boston's loss to Oakland was his 236th as a designated hitter, breaking a tie with Harold Baines for third place on baseball's career list. Only Oakland's Frank Thomas and Edgar Martinez have more.


Boston has won 10 straight at Fenway Park but has lost seven straight on the road. . . . Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis extended his major-league record with his 231st game without an error. . . . Lyle Overbay walked in the second against Kansas City, setting a Blue Jays record by reaching base for the 12th straight plate appearance. Tony Fernandez reached in 11 straight in 1999. The streak ended in the fourth when Overbay flied out to left. . . . Jays teammate Rod Barajas (remember him?) has hit in 10 straight. . . . Yankees catcher Jorge Posada expects to play four or five games in extended spring training to rehabilitate his injured throwing shoulder. He said he hopes to back June 3. . . . Indians pitcher Fausto Carmona is expected to be sidelined four weeks with a strained left hip, said Lonnie Soloff, Cleveland's head athletic trainer.