BOSTON The Red Sox rotation, which had been in some flux with Josh Becketts and Clay Buchholzs time on the disabled list, has been set for the four-game series in Seattle.
Left-hander Franklin Morales will start the first game, on Thursday, followed by Aaron Cook, Josh Beckett, who will be activated from the DL, and Felix Doubront. Beyond that, however, remains to be seen.
Manager Bobby Valentine said before Tuesdays game he would go with a six-man rotation at least through the All-Star break, which begins July 9. Daisuke Matsuzaka started Tuesday night against the Blue Jays, with Jon Lester pitching Wednesday afternoons homestand finale. Either of the two could start Monday, the first of three games in Oakland.
Rather than flying ahead of the team, as is sometimes the case for long flights, Morales, Thursdays starter, will fly with the team after Wednesdays game. With a day game, Valentine was hopeful that the Sox would arrive in Seattle at a decent hour.
Valentine was satisfied with the change Matsuzaka made to his warm-up routine before Tuesdays start:
Yeah I really think they found something there, Valentine said. The first at-bat, those were all quality pitches and we havent seen that. And the second at-bat were quality pitches. There wasnt this let me feel my way through the first inning look to the situation.
Carl Crawford is scheduled to continue his rehab assignment with the Gulf Coast League team in Fort Myers on Wednesday. Crawford will play left field.