Notes: Matsuzaka to pitch again; Morales most likely done

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Notes: Matsuzaka to pitch again; Morales most likely done

BOSTON With just over three weeks remaining in the 2012 season, it appears as though Daisuke Matsuzaka will pitch again this season and Frankin Morales won't.

Matsuzaka was shelled over the weekend for one of the worst starts of his career. But he threw a side session Tuesday and a small mechanical flaw might have been detected.

"He looked real good," said Bobby Valentine. "I talked to him today. I think we might have find something that (he feels good about) -- a little thing out of the stretch that he felt better about."

Asked if that fine-tuning could result in improved performance by Matsuzaka, Valentine chuckled: "Let's hope so. His command wasn't good out of the stretch the other day. Maybe his command will be better next time."

Meanwhile, the status of Morales officially remains uncertain, The lefty has been on the DL for the last few weeks with some left shoulder weakness, but Valentine hinted that he wouldn't take the mound again.

"I think, considering the whole situation, I don't think he needs to pitch anymore," Valentine said of Morales. "Maybe, but I don't think he needs to. If he really wants to and we see a reason for it, maybe. But I don't think that's going to be the program."

Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who's been dealing with a sore back, was out of the lineup for the series opener.

"I'd like to give him another day,'' said Valentine. "He threw, he hit, he felt OK. The medical staff thought after hitting and throwing, if he feels good tomorrow, maybe he can play.''

Ryan Lavarnway was the starter Tuesday, with reserve Guillermo Quiroz available as the backup.

Of the remaining 21 games for the Sox, all but three are against teams still in playoff contention. Valentine was asked if he approaches the games against the Yankees, Rays and Orioles differently than the ones with a losing team like Toronto.

"In some years, I think that might have been the case," said Valentine. "When you have an awful lot of young guys who really shouldn't be in that battle. But I don't think we really have that situation. We're going to do our best every second that we're out there. No matter who we're playing, we're going to try to give our fans and the organization everything that we think they deserve. That's a lot more than we've given them so far."

Red Sox score 7 in 7th to beat Rangers 9-4

Red Sox score 7 in 7th to beat Rangers 9-4

BOSTON (AP)  Dustin Pedroia waved home the tiebreaking run on a wild pitch, then singled in two more during Boston's seven-run seventh inning on Wednesday night and the Red Sox beat the Texas Rangers 9-4 for their third straight victory.

Chris Sale (5-2) struck out six, falling short in his attempt to become the first pitcher in baseball's modern era to strike out at least 10 batters in nine straight games in one season. He allowed three earned runs, six hits and a walk in 7 1/3 innings and received more runs of support in the seventh inning alone than in any previous game this season.

Sam Dyson (1-5) faced seven batters in relief of Martin Perez and gave up four hits, three walks - two intentional - and a wild pitch without retiring a batter. Mike Napoli homered for Texas, which has lost three of four to follow a 10-game winning streak.

David Price dodges media after 2nd rough rehab start

David Price dodges media after 2nd rough rehab start

If only David Price could pitch as well as he dodges the media.

The Red Sox lefty bailed on a typical post-start media session with reporters in Pawtucket on Wednesday, after his second minor league rehab outing in Triple-A was another dud.

As Price comes back from a nondescript elbow injury, difficulty retiring minor league hitters doesn't combine well with difficulty facing questions. He sat in the mid-90s in his second rehab start with Pawtucket, but allowed six runs, three earned, in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked one.

The PawSox were at home at McCoy Stadium against Triple-A Louisville, a Reds affiliate, and Price heard some heckling. Postgame, he wanted to hear nothing, apparently.

Per CSNNE’s Bill Messina, who was on site in Pawtucket, the media was waiting outside the clubhouse for Price, as is standard. 

PawSox media relations told the media to go to the weight room, where Price would meet them. As media headed that way, PR alerted reporters that Price was leaving and did not want to talk. Media saw a car leaving, but there was no interview.

On the mound, Price’s velocity is there, but the command is not. The Red Sox would be unwise to bring back Price before really two more minor league starts — one to show he can do well, another to show he can repeat it.

Price’s ERA in two starts for Pawtucket is 9.53. He’s gone 5 2/3 innings and allowed six earned runs, while striking out eight and walking two overall.