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.

Flubbed popup opens floodgates, helps Blue Jays beat Red Sox, 8-6

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Flubbed popup opens floodgates, helps Blue Jays beat Red Sox, 8-6

BOSTON -- Justin Smoak hit a pair of homers and Steve Pearce drove in two runs when Boston second baseman Brock Holt lost his popup in the sun, and the Toronto Blue Jays held on to beat the Red Sox 8-6 on Thursday.

The teams split the four-game series. Including the 15-inning game on Tuesday with Toronto, the AL East-leading Red Sox played 76 innings in about 144 hours - the equivalent of 8 1/2 games in six days.

Dominic Leone (2-0) earned the win. Starter Francisco Liriano got just five outs, allowing three runs in the second, but Toronto came back with four in the third to take a 5-3 lead against Doug Fister (0-4).

Roberto Osuna pitched the ninth for his 24th save.

Smoak has 26 homers this season. His previous career high was 20, in 2013.

It was 7-3 in the seventh when Dustin Pedroia, in the lineup at designated hitter after the long week, hit a three-run homer - his third hit of the day and his fourth homer in 11 games.

Smoak, who also had an RBI single, added his second homer of the game in the ninth.

Farrell says Red Sox clubhouse anticipating trade

Farrell says Red Sox clubhouse anticipating trade

BOSTON — John Farrell might have stopped short of actually stumping for a deal. Still, the Red Sox manager on Thursday morning spoke highly of the potential impact of a trade and indicated his players are waiting to see what this front office can add to a first-place team.

From a morale perspective, Farrell sees a potential boon in an acquisition.

“I think it’s always a plus,” Farrell said. “It’s a strong sign that everyone is aligned to support, add to, fortify — however you want to describe it — an area of need. And I think there’s a lot that goes into — there’s almost an injection of maybe that support or, further momentum that, OK, this is going to better equip us to go deep into the season.”

The players, Farrell said, have an anticipation for the possibility of a trade as well.

“I think there is. I think players carry that,” Farrell said. “They’re well in tune. Maybe some of them might be wondering OK, am I out?...So there’s a tentative period of time that we’ll go through here in the next 10-14 days. But adding to [the team] I think is always a positive.”

A day earlier, Farrell noted the improvement the Yankees made in their trade for Todd Frazier, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle.