Cubs pitcher Lester sets batting futility record

Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester flies out against the Nationals during the second inning. By failing to get a hit in his first official at-bat, Lester set a major league record for most at-bats without a hit to start a major league career at 58.

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Chicago Cubs pitcher Jon Lester established a major league record Wednesday night for the longest hitless drought to begin a career.

Lester entered the game against the Washington Nationals tied with the San Diego Padres’ Joey Hamilton, who had also gone 57 career at-bats without a hit.

He established the new mark by flying out to deep center field in the second inning. He was struck out by Nationals ace Max Scherzer in the fourth to extend his career hitless streak to 59 at-bats.

Lester also gave up Bryce Harper’s 18th homer and was outdueled by Scherzer in a 3-0 loss.