Eric Hartline/USA Today Sports

Brian Johnson exits with shoulder discomfort

Rob Bradford
June 14, 2017 - 9:30 pm

Brian Johnson still hasn't escaped his string of bad luck.

The Red Sox lefty had seemingly found his path to the major leagues this season, having earned the opportunity to take Eduardo Rodriguez's spot in the starting rotation while the Rodriguez recovered from a knee injury. But injury bug came back to bite Johnson once again, this time forcing him from his start against the Phillies after just 2 2/3 innings due to left shoulder discomfort.

Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters after his team's 7-3 win that Johnson is heading back to Boston for more tests, relaying that the club was hopeful it caught the pitcher's ailment before it became more serious.

On his 44th, and final, pitch, Johnson allowed a double to Philadelphia's Tommy Joseph. Red Sox head trainer Brad Pearson immediately met the pitcher on the mound before escorting him to the visitors' clubhouse.

"Warming up in the bullpen I felt a little tightness and the more and more I threw it got a little bit more uncomfortable," Johnson told reporters. "When Carl [Willis] came out I said something."

Johnson hadn't allowed a hit until the third inning, when he gave up three runs on four hits, including a two-run homer run by Aaron Altherr.

The 26 year old has experienced elbow issues in the past, while also dealing with a hamstring ailment while with Triple-A Pawtucket earlier this month. Johnson also missed time in 2016 while dealing with anxiety issues.

"Not concerned at all," Johnson told reporters. "I’ve been through worse for sure but I think it’ll be quick for me hopefully. I’ll come in tomorrow and see how it feels."

Hector Velazquez, who was recalled from Triple-A earlier Wednesday, came on for Johnson and pitched extremely effectively. Velazquez gave up just one hit over 3 1/3 innings, leaving with the Red Sox holding a 6-3 lead.

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