Notebook: Another Pawtucket start coming for Matsuzaka

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Notebook: Another Pawtucket start coming for Matsuzaka

BALTIMORE Daisuke Matsuzaka will make at least one more rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket after a healthy outing on Wednesday night.

Matsuzaka gave up five runs on five hits and two walks with five strikeouts in 5 23 innings while taking a loss against Scranton Wilkes-Barre after his pitch count rose to 97. Matsuzaka has a 4.02 ERA in four rehab starts for the Pawtucket while coming back from a right upper trapezius strain, and is scheduled for another rehab appearance without restrictions on Monday.

Im very encouraged by what I heard. They thought it was his best command and his best stuff during his rehab, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said of Matsuzaka, who hes been texting back and forth with in his rehab stint. Hes going to make another start. Then well talk about taking it to the next level and seeing what we have.

Valentine said there wont be any limitations on Matsuzaka in his next start, and the Japanese righthander is getting close to a return trip to Boston. Whether that has to wait until Sept. 1 probably depends on what happens with Felix Doubront in his next start in Boston now that hes been skipped one turn in the rotation.

Matsuzaka is 0-3 with a 6.65 ERA in his time with Boston this season, and has looked nothing like the confident strikeout artist that the Sox brought over from Japan back in 2007.

Daniel Nava is much better as he comes back from a sore wrist, and he told Valentine that he feels like hes at 60 percent in terms of strength and full health. The Sox skipper indicated Nava would probably need a rehab assignment before returning to the Sox. If so, that might just also put him in the Sept. 1 call-up category once he goes on rehab.

Valentine said that lefty reliever Rich Hill looked good after his second rehab appearance on Wednesday with the Red Sox Rookie Gulf Coast League. Hill struck out two in one inning against the Gulf Coast Orioles.

Pomeranz 'pretty comfortable' with potential move to bullpen

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Pomeranz 'pretty comfortable' with potential move to bullpen

NEW YORK -- If Drew Pomeranz is going to be part of the Red Sox' postseason plans, the team will likely have a better idea about that question by Thursday afternoon.

Pomeranz, who was scratched from his final scheduled start on Thursday because of soreness in his left forearm and general concern about his 2016 workload, will throw a 30-35 pitch bullpen.

If he responds well, he could then see some relief action over the final weekend at Fenway to determine his readiness for the playoffs.

"Before we even begin to map out a potential relief appearance over the weekend,'' said John Farrell, "we've got to get through that next step.''

Pomeranz pitched well in his last start at Tropicana Field over the weekend, but has been dealing with some discomfort in his forearm.

"I've had some soreness here, late in the year,'' Pomeranz said. "I've thrown more innings than I have ever (before), so we kind of sat down and talked about the best course of action the rest of the way.''

Pomeranz described what he felt as "just some soreness, probably from never covering this time of the year. It's a spot I've never been in before. We just decided the best thing to do was not making this last start and talk about maybe sliding into the bullpen.''

The lefty is no stranger to the bullpen, having pitched there as recently as last season while with Oakland.

"I've had the benefit of doing pretty much everything (in terms of roles),'' he said. "I'm pretty comfortable in any situation. If they see me helping there, obviously, that's where I want to be. But I don't know if it's a sure thing. We'll have to see how it goes.''

Meanwhile, another sidelined starter, Steven Wright, is expected to rejoin the team in Boston Friday. Wright threw a bullpen off the mound earlier this week in Fort Myers as he attempts to come back from inflammation in his shoulder.

 

Wednesday's Red Sox-Yankees lineups: Second try at clinching A.L. East

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Wednesday's Red Sox-Yankees lineups: Second try at clinching A.L. East

The Red Sox try again to nail down the A.L. East crown tonight, sending Clay Buchholz to the mound against the Yankees while needed just one victory -- or one Toronto defeat -- to clinch the division.

Tonight's lineups:

RED SOX:
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Brock Holt 3B
Andrew Benintendi LF
Sandy Leon C
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Clay Buchholz P

YANKEES:
Brett Gardner LF
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Gary Sanchez C
Brian McCann DH
Starlin Castro 2B
Didi Gregorious SS
Mark Texeira 1B
Chase Headley 3B
Mason Williams RF
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Bryan Mitchell P