The throw happened in the second inning, with the game tied at three. The runner, Reds shortstop Zack Cozart, was thrown out at third on the play. Lester also threw to first in the first inning.
"This really wasn't a big issue until somebody brought it up on TV," a perturbed Lester said. "Now I'm sitting here answering questions about it. I don't know. I think I had eight or nine or 10 stolen bases off me last year — it was not a lot."
Lester had 16 bases stolen off him last year, which was tied for 24th-most in the league. In the season opener, the Cardinals stole three bases, and on Monday night, Reds rightfielder Jay Bruce stole a base off the pitcher in the first inning.
The Cubs tied the game at six in the bottom of the eighth on a two-run home run by rightfielder Jorge Soler.
The Cubs and Reds will play the second game of the series on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field.
- Sarah Barshop