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Starters advancing toward Grapefruit debuts

JUPITER, Fla. -- Three-fifths of the Red Sox's starting rotation is moving closer to appearing in the Grapefruit League.

Left-hander Jon Lester threw a 38-pitch, three-inning simulated game against Minor Leaguers back at the team's complex in Fort Myers, Fla., on Wednesday morning, while the team sent a contingent to face the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium. He is set to make his Spring Training debut on Monday against the Rays, with manager John Farrell saying he would be on track to throw three to four innings and 55 to 60 pitches.

Lester, who threw in front of pitching coach Juan Nieves, took a one-hopper off his heel at one point but is "fine," according to Farrell.

Righty John Lackey will throw his own simulated game on Thursday, and if all goes well, he also will be cleared for game action.

Righty Jake Peavy, who has been dealing with a laceration on his left index finger, went through a bullpen session.

"We're still in that period where we're trying to be careful with how much he sweats and the potential for infection there," Farrell said. "Everything's still on course with him."

Farrell had said Tuesday that if Peavy needed to begin the season on the disabled list, lefty Chris Capuano or righty Brandon Workman would be the most likely replacements. Capuano got the start on Wednesday, his Red Sox debut.

Andrew Simon is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.
Read More: Boston Red Sox, Jon Lester, Jake Peavy, John Lackey