Doubront feels 'pretty good' after return to mound

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Doubront feels 'pretty good' after return to mound

BOSTON Left-hander Felix Doubront returned from the disabled list to make his 23rd start of the season on Sunday. Although he was not involved in the decision, the Red Sox improved to 15-8 in his starts.

Doubront went five innings against the Royals, giving up four runs on six hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. It was his ninth game with at least seven strikeouts this season. He is the only Sox left-hander other than Jon Lester to record seven or more strikeouts in at least nine games in a season since Bruce Hurst had nine such games in 1988.

But, Doubront also gave up a three-run home run to Lorenzo Cain with two outs in the fourth inning, briefly giving the Royals a lead.

After retiring the first two batters in the inning, Doubront allowed the next five to reach before ending the inning.

Felix started and he had the one tough inning, two outs nobody on, and made some pitches over the middle and threw an inside fastball for a three-run homer, said manager Bobby Valentine. Other than that he was pretty good.

Doubront had been on the DL since Aug. 10 (retroactive) with a right knee contusion. He acknowledged he might have been a little rusty.

A little bit, he said. Because I was trying to throw fastball, four-seamer down in the zone and sometimes I was opening my shoulder a little bit.

I feel pretty good. My arm, my knee feel great. Just missed a couple pitches that allowed those runs . . . Good day, though

Manager Bobby Valentine earned his fifth ejection of the season and 42nd of his major league career arguing with first base umpire Dan Bellino when Pedroia was called out. Replays appeared to show Pedroia was safe. It is not the first time Bellino has ejected a member of the Sox. In May, he ejected Mike Aviles for arguing a call third strike. And, in one of the stranger ejections in recent history, on Aug. 25, 2010, Bellino ejected Adrian Beltre for talking to Seattles Felix Hernandez between innings.

Valentine, when asked if he thought he would be managing the Sox in 2013:

Yeah.

Why?

I have a contract for next year, obviously.

With James Loney and Pedro Beato making the Red Sox debuts, the Sox have now used 52 players this season. Last year, they used 49 over the entire season.

Mark Melancon pitched a scoreless ninth for his first save of the season, and first save in the American League. He had 20 with the Astros in 2011.

The Sox lead the AL, going 25-16 against left-handed starters.

Scott Podsednik extended his hitting streak to six games, matching a season high. He has hit safely in 24 of 28 starts with the Sox, going 40-for-103 (.388).

Mike Aviles went 2-for-4 with a double, and has now hit in all nine career games against his former team, batting .310 (13-for-42) with three doubles and a home run.

Craig Breslow has allowed six of 13 inherited runners to score with the Sox.

Pomeranz gives up three runs in Red Sox loss to Blue Jays

Pomeranz gives up three runs in Red Sox loss to Blue Jays

Starter Drew Pomeranz gives up three runs on five hits in four innings of work in the Red Sox' 3-2 loss to the Blue Jays on Friday.

Lou Merloni breaks down Pomeranz's start and explains why he should be in the starting rotation to begin the season.

Sox' lack of homegrown starters an understandable problem to Yanks' Cashman

Sox' lack of homegrown starters an understandable problem to Yanks' Cashman

The dearth of homegrown starting pitching for the Red Sox is talked about almost as much as every Tom Brady post on Instagram.

Red Sox fans may take some solace in knowing their team isn’t the only one dealing with this problem.

In an interview with MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman didn’t talk about his team’s pitching problems in context of the Red Sox. But the explanation the longtime Yanks boss offered should sound familiar. 

In the biggest of markets, time to develop properly is scarce.

“Yeah. It's a fact,” Cashman said when asked if criticism of their pitching development was fair. “I think part of the process has been certainly where we draft. Because we've had a lot of success, we've not been allowed to tank and go off the board and therefore get access to some of the high-end stuff that plays out to be impactful. Part of it is we can't get out of our own way because we don't have the patience to let guys finish off their development, because if you possess some unique ability that stands out above everybody else -- whether it was Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, now [Luis] Severino and before that [Bryan] Mitchell and Shane Greene -- we're pulling them up before their development is finished.

“Teams like Tampa Bay, for instance, they're going to wait until they have their four pitches down and their innings limits are all exceeded at the minor-league level; they're very disciplined in that approach as they finish off their starters. For us, if I'm looking at my owner and he says, ‘What's our best team we can take north?’ 

“Well, ‘We could take this guy; he's not necessarily 100 percent finished off, but we can stick him in our 'pen. He can be in the back end of our rotation, because he's better than some of the guys we already have,’ and then you cut corners, so I think that probably plays a role in it.”

Not everything is circumstantial, though -- or a deflection. 

“And sometimes we don't make the right decisions, either, when we're making draft selections and signings and stuff like that,” Cashman continued. “On top of it all, playing in New York is a lot different than playing anywhere else.”

We’ve heard that last part about Boston too, here and there.

Cashman was complimentary of his current Sox counterpart, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, whose team Cashman has compared to the Golden State Warriors.

On his feelings when he first heard the Sox were getting Chris Sale:

“When that trade was consummated, that was the first thing I thought about, which was, 'Wow, look at what they've done,' ” Cashman said. “I know how it's going to play out for them. Listen, Steve Kerr does a great job managing that team -- oh, I mean John Farrell. It's a lot of talent and with talent comes pressure to perform. I think Dave Dombrowski has done everything he possibly can to provide that city with a world championship team. They've got 162 games to show it.”