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BOSTON -- With one ace already on the disabled list, the Boston Red Sox werent taking any chances when their other star pitcher landed awkwardly after a pitch late in the game. By that point, though, Jon Lester had more than done his job. Lester pitched into the eighth inning before jamming his right hip and leaving the game, and Dustin Pedroia homered during a seven-run second to help the Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-4 in the opener of a four-game series Thursday night. "I slipped a little bit. I guess the doctors were kind of calling it a little jammed hip, a type of zinging sensation down my leg." Lester said. "It just didnt feel normal and like I said, at that point in the game, especially with that offence -- they can score some runs in a hurry -- so theres no point in trying to be a hero. Weve got a long way to go the rest of the season." Toronto, which reeled off 11 straight wins this month, had won 12 of its past 14 games and 15 of 19 to close within 6 1/2 games of the AL East-leading Red Sox. Then the Blue Jays ran into Lester. The left-hander retired 10 straight to begin the game and didnt allow a hit until the fifth. But he exited the game with a 7-2 lead after giving up consecutive singles to start the eighth and running the count to 3-0 on Emilio Bonifacio. Farrell came darting out of the dugout as the infielders crowded around Lester. Moments later, Lester walked off the field and Junichi Tazawa came on in relief. "The final pitch that he threw, his landing foot kind of gave way and he jammed his hip," Farrell said. "Given where we were in the ballgame and the number of pitches he had thrown, he clearly had done his job and we werent going to take any chances." It was quite a scare for Red Sox Nation. Clay Buchholz, who is 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA, hasnt pitched since June 8 because of neck stiffness and a sore shoulder. Lester, however, isnt concerned about his leg. He has experienced this before and doesnt think he will miss any starts. "Im not too worried about it. The doctors didnt seem worried about it," he said. "I actually feel fine now. Walking off the field, it just kind of stays with you for a little while, and then after the docs looked at me, I feel normal. Hopefully that will carry over to tomorrow and we wont have to worry about it." The Blue Jays capitalized when Lester left the game, cutting the deficit to 7-4 on a sacrifice fly by Jose Reyes and a groundout by Jose Bautista. Koji Uehara preserved the lead with a perfect ninth for his third save. Lester (8-4) was charged with four runs on five hits with five strikeouts and three walks in winning for just the second time in his last eight starts. "I feel that responsibility to go out there and save the bullpen and thats what we tried to do tonight," Lester said. "Obviously would have liked to give (Tazawa) a little better situation than what he came into, but he kept us with the lead and thats the main thing." After starting the season 6-0 with a 2.72 ERA through his first nine starts, Lester struggled over his past seven, going 1-4 with a 7.30 ERA. He returned to form just in time to face baseballs best team in June -- and Bostons bats provided him all the support he needed. The Red Sox jumped all over Chien-Ming Wang, tagging the right-hander for seven runs while batting around in the second. Wang (1-1) lasted just 1 2-3 innings, allowing all seven runs on six hits with two walks and no strikeouts. "They dropped seven on us," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "Against a good pitcher, you are never going to catch that. Too much to overcome." Lester needed only 30 pitches to get through three innings and didnt allow a baserunner until Bautista walked with one out in the fourth. Melky Cabrera singled for Torontos first hit with one out in the fifth and moved to second on a base hit by Rajai Davis. Maicer Izturis drove them both home with a double to left-centre. Yet it wasnt enough to make up for Bostons blistering start. Wang allowed the first seven batters to reach base during the drawn-out second. David Ortiz and Mike Carp walked, Daniel Nava delivered an RBI single off the Green Monster in left field and Jarrod Saltalamacchia followed with an RBI single up the middle to make it 2-0. Stephen Drews double to right scored Nava, and consecutive base hits by Jose Iglesias and Jacoby Ellsbury stretched the lead to 5-0 before Wang even managed an out. It got even worse. After inducing a double play, Wang served up Pedroias fifth homer of the season, a two-run shot that landed in the first row of Green Monster seats and ended Wangs evening after just 45 pitches. "We swung the bats well," Pedroia said. "A lot of guys strung together some quality at-bats. It was a huge inning for us." NOTES: The Red Sox played their 81st game, marking the 16th consecutive season Boston has owned a winning record halfway through the season. ... Red Sox RHP Clay Buchholz, on the DL with a neck strain, has been shut down for two to three days with lingering soreness in his right shoulder, according to Farrell. Buchholz (9-0, 1.71 ERA) underwent an MRI on Wednesday that revealed inflammation in the bursa sac area, but no structural damage. Farrell said he hopes Buchholz will resume throwing this weekend. ... Ellsbury has hit safely in eight straight games and 22 of the past 25. ... Wang fell to 6-7 in 16 career appearances against the Red Sox. ... 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He was replaced by Joe Soto (15-2), who was scheduled to fight the undercard against Anthony Birchak. Dillashaw and Soto are set for a five-round bout headlining UFC 177 on Saturday night in Sacramento, a little more than 80 miles from where the current champ grew up in Angels Camp. Birchaks new opponent was not immediately announced. The change of plans shouldnt derail Dillashaws determination. By nearly taking Barao the distance before scoring one of the biggest upsets in MMA history, Dillashaw proved to be more than a fly-by-night power puncher and established himself as a force in the division and all of UFC. Now hes out to prove it was no fluke against Soto, who has won six consecutive fights. A 10-to-1 underdog for the first fight, Dillashaw became an instant celebrity following his dominant performance that began with a first-round knockdown of Barao after a hard overhand right to the head. Barao went down again in the fifth round shortly before the fight was stopped at the 2:26 mark, ending Baraos 22-fight win streak. Along the way, Dillashaw landed 140 significant strikes, fourth-most ever by any fighter in a UFC championship bout. "It went a lot smoother than I expected but (I was) not shocked at all,"t; Dillashaw said.dddddddddddd "I was confident going into the fight, I broke the guy down many times in my head and I visualized myself winning." Since winning the title from Barao at UFC 173, the 28-year-old Dillashaws life has changed dramatically. He got married to his longtime girlfriend not long after the fight then went back into the gym and had been busy promoting the rematch. Dillashaw certainly looks the part, too. During a press conference this week, the Sacramento area native wore a tan sports jacket and matching shirt that has his initials sewn into the cuffs. He sported sunglasses and smiled for pictures while alternately talking about his win over Barao in May and Saturdays rematch. "Its definitely an adjustment but Im excited to do it," Dillashaw said. "The whole goal is to have all the eyes on you and become champion of the world and have all these problems of the media bugging you too much." Soto is a relative unknown who was scheduled to make his UFC debut on the undercard. Now hes got an unexpected shot at the bantamweight title with a chance at pulling off an upset that would make Dillashaws win over Barao seem minor in comparison. The 27-year-old Northern California native, who has won six consecutive fights, was mildly surprised when he received a telephone call Friday afternoon informing him of the change. "Dillashaws tough but Im going to go out there and give it my all," Soto said in a statement on the UFC website. "I actually trained with him not too long ago, and hes good. Hes a champion and its going to be a tough fight." 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