KANSAS CITY -- Despite using eight pitchers -- nine, if you count outfielder Darnell McDonald -- in Sunday's marathon loss to the Baltimore Orioles, the Red Sox didn't bring any pitching reinforcements up from Pawtucket for the first game of their three game series with the Royals.
"It would have meant taking someone who doesn't deserve to go down off the roster," said manager Bobby Valentine. "And, considering no one pitched consecutive days other than (Scott Atchison) . . . we'll see what we have. We might have enough. Hope so."
Valentine said he would check with pitching coach Bob McClure about the availability of other relievers: "I'll have to check. You can't just go on the numbers. You have to go on how a guy feels. Sometimes a guy throws 15 pitches and he's stressed; sometimes a guy throws 28 and he's feeling good the next day."
Not only is the bullpen taxed, but Monday's starter, Felix Doubront has yet to pitch past the sixth inning in his first five starts this season, thanks mostly to escalating pitch counts.
In his last start, Doubront threw 94 pitches in just four innings.
"It's a concern," acknowledged Valentine. "But he's had a little longer rest and there might be an opportunity to throw him a couple of more pitches."
Doubront is pitching with an extra day thanks to the off-day in the schedule last Thursday.