Could more starting pitching help be on the way sooner than later?
It could, if Daisuke Matsuzaka's success in the minors continues.
Matsuzaka pitched 4 23 scoreless innings for AAA-Pawtucket Monday night, giving up just two hits and three walks, while striking out four. He left in the fourth inning after giving up a two-out double followed by a walk, the fourth and final ball being his 87th pitch.
The PawSox beat the Rochester Red Wings, 4-0, but Matsuzaka left with a 0-0 tie.
It's the second straight game that Matsuzaka has gone 4 23 innings. He did the same in AA-Portland, giving up a run on three hits and two walks, while striking out seven.
Mark Melancon pitched a scoreless ninth Monday night, giving up a hit and striking out the side.
The A.L. East-champion Red Sox, still fighting for playoff position, field their usual lineup as they open David Ortiz's final regular-season series tonight (7:10) against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox (92-67) are two games behind the Texas Rangers (94-65) in the race for the best record in the A.L., with the Cleveland Indians (91-67) a half-game behind Boston.
Rick Porcello (22-4, 3.11 ERA), the likely Game 1 starter in the ALDS, will try to add to his Cy Young Award resume tonight. He’ll be opposed by right-hander Marco Estrada (9-9, 3.53).
The Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles (both 87-72) are tied for the A.L. wild-card lead with the Detroit Tigers (85-73) 1 1/2 games back.
It’s the final regular season series for Oritz, with ceremonies planned to honor the retiring Red Sox DH prior to each of the final three game this weekend.
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Brock Holt 3B
Mookie Betts RF
David Ortiz DH
Hanely Ramirez 1B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Jackie Bradley CF
Sandy Leon C
Andrew Benintendi LF
Rick Porcello P
Eziquiel Carrera LF
Josh Donaldson 3B
Edwin Encarnacion DH
Jose Bautista RF
Russell Martin C
Troy Tulowitzki SS
Justin Smoak 1B
Kevin Pillar CF
Devon Travis 2B
Marco Estrada RHP