Dice-K roughed up in Triple-A outing

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Dice-K roughed up in Triple-A outing

BOSTON With strong performances from Clay Buchholz and Felix Doubront in the last two games, the urgency to get reinforcements for the Red Sox battered starting rotation has waned. For now, anyway.

But, if Daisuke Matsuzaka was going to be part of the solution, those hopes may have to be put on hold, or at least adjusted.

Matsuzaka had a shaky outing in his fourth rehab start, second with Triple-A Pawtucket, on Saturday. Matsuzaka went 5 13 innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and a walk, with five strikeouts, two home runs, and a hit batter. He threw 90 pitches, 54 strikes. He left with the PawSox trailing, but the Pawtucket offense saved him from a loss, pulling out a win over Columbus.

In four rehab outings one with High-A Salem, another with Double-A Portland, and two with Pawtucket Matsuzaka has posted a combined record of 0-1 with a 4.34 ERA, giving up nine earned runs over 18 23 innings, with four home runs, six walks, and 19 strikeouts. Opponents have hit .254 off him.

Looking at todays results, there are obvious areas that I need to work on, Matsuzaka told reporters through his translator after his Saturday outing. The command of my off-speed pitches to begin with. Most of the hits came off my off-speed pitches. Thats an area that I really need to improve.

Matsuzaka is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery in June. His 30-day rehab assignment is set to expire on May 22, which would mean he would likely have just one more rehab start.

Im not sure where Im going to be pitching for my next outing, but its probably going to be in the minors, is my assumption, Matsuzaka said. In that game, I need to work on my two-seam, which is supposed to be a pitch that is going to help me.

Matsuzaka said his elbow felt fine after the outing. He had had some discomfort in it after his first outing with the PawSox on Monday. If Matsuzaka is not ready when his rehab assignment expires, he can be returned to the DL but cannot pitch in minor league games.

Betts and Bradley Jr. combine for seven RBI, Red Sox roll to 9-2 win

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Betts and Bradley Jr. combine for seven RBI, Red Sox roll to 9-2 win

The Boston Red Sox put up six runs in the first inning and coasted to a 9-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.

Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. led the way for the Red Sox with four and three RBI respectfully. Both outfielders had two-run home runs in the Sox’ big first inning.

Knuckleballer Steven Wright gave up one earned run in four innings, his ERA for the spring is now 0.68.

The Red Sox are back in action again on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m when Rick Porcello makes his final spring training start against the Minnesota Twins.

Hernandez has chance at Red Sox opening day roster after Rutledge injury

Hernandez has chance at Red Sox opening day roster after Rutledge injury

Infielder Marco Hernandez may make the Red Sox roster after all.

Fellow infielder Josh Rutledge, the presumptive 25th man on the Red Sox, suffered a left hamstring strain on Tuesday against the Pirates, according to reporters in Florida, including Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald.

If Rutledge isn’t ready for opening day, Hernandez, a left-handed hitter, may have his crack. 

The question is whether the Sox would be comfortable without a right-handed bat to complement both Pablo Sandoval and Mitch Moreland on the corners. Rutledge was going to give the Sox that right-handed look they sought. (When Hanley Ramirez's shoulder will be healthy enough to play first base is unclear, but isn't expected to be too long.)

Neither Rutledge nor Hernandez has played first base in the majors or minors.

A big-league rookie last year, Hernandez has done decently against lefties at the upper levels of the minors, hitting .328 vs. them at Triple-A Pawtucket last season in 67 at-bats. He hit .315 in 54 at-bats at Pawtucket, with a .318 average against them that season in 88 at-bats for Double-A Portland.

Rutledge is a Rule 5 draft pick who has to remain on the major league 25-man roster the whole season or the Sox risk losing him. Placement on the disabled list doesn’t affect his status unless he’s on the disabled list for a very lengthy time.

An alternative option is Steve Selsky, who has first-base experience, but he's already been optioned.