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Briefs

A’s want Lester to be ace

– Jon Lester walked through the Oakland clubhouse doors to quite a greeting, from the snappy, patriotic marching tune on the sound system to the handshakes and hellos from every corner.

And even the familiar friendly face of his former pitching coach in Boston, Curt Young.

Lester landed Friday with baseball’s winningest team and the small-budget Oakland Athletics, who are counting on him to be an instant ace on a rotation full of No. 1 starters.

Around the leagues

Major League Baseball says it got the replay call right in ruling that the Miami catcher blocked the plate, but it took too long. The disputed play happened Thursday night in Cincinnati’s 3-1 victory over Miami. … Philadelphia placed left-hander Cliff Lee on the 15-day disabled list with an elbow strain. … San Francisco right-hander Matt Cain says he needs surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow. … Minnesota first baseman Joe Mauer and starter Ricky Nolasco are scheduled to begin minor league rehab stints next week.

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