Colorado cleanup hitter Carlos Gonzalez experienced back spasms Saturday and was scratched from the Rockies’ game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Noel Cuevas replaced him in right field and Trevor Story moved up a slot to replace Gonzalez in the lineup.
Before the game, the Rockies also recalled left-handed pitcher Sam Howard from Triple-A Albuquerque to take the roster spot of left-handed reliever Harrison Musgrave, who was placed on the bereavement list following the death of his grandfather.
Manager Bud Black said Musgrave is expected back Wednesday.
Lester (7-2) allowed a two-out triple in the third to Austin Meadows, then retired Marte on a groundout. The left-hander struck out five and walked two in seven innings, improving to 5-1 in his past six starts.
Justin Wilson worked a perfect eighth, Steve Cishek retired all three batters in the ninth for his second save and the Cubs remained a half-game behind NL Central-leading Milwaukee.
Nick Kingham (2-3) allowed both runs and four hits in 6 1/3 innings. Pittsburgh lost for the sixth time in seven games and has dropped seven straight series. The Pirates are 5-16 following a 26-17 start.
Buehler began Friday with four perfect innings and was still cruising in the sixth when manager Dave Roberts became concerned about a drop in Buehler’s velocity. Roberts and a trainer ran to the mound and spoke with Buehler before removing him. Roberts said Buehler was having some difficulty breathing.
The team plans to have Dr. Neal ElAttrache review CT scans and X-rays of Buehler’s ribs.
A timetable, right now, is really wide open because we don’t want to jeopardize anything with his mechanics or anything to be compromised, Roberts said. We want to make sure he’s in a good spot physically and mentally before he makes another start.
The Dodgers have been plagued by injuries, especially to the starting rotation. Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Dennis Santana are all on the disabled list. Santana was transferred to the 60-day disabled list Saturday with a right rotator cuff strain.
It’s possible Buehler could land on the DL, too.