Though the Red Sox entertained the possibility of removing Daisuke Matsuzaka from the rotation after he yielded five runs in 1 1/3 innings on Saturday, the team will have him make another start on Friday in Toronto against the Blue Jays. Matsuzaka, according to manager Bobby Valentine, threw a bullpen session on Tuesday afternoon in which he "might have found something that feels good. ... [It's] a little thing out of the stretch that he felt better about."
Matsuzaka, 31, is 1-5 with a 7.20 ERA in eight starts this year. Opponents are hitting .284 with an .858 OPS against him this year, including .315 with a .403 OBP and .884 OPS with men on base.
Felix Doubront, meanwhile, came through his most recent bullpen session without incident, and so he will start on Thursday against the Yankees. However, Franklin Morales' season likely is over as the left-hander deals with shoulder discomfort. While Valentine had not yet heard the results of Morales' shoulder MRI, the team sees no reason to push him to get back on the mound with 21 games remaining.
"I don't think he needs to pitch anymore," Valentine said. "Maybe, but I don't think he needs to. If he really wants to, if we see a reason for it, then maybe. But I don't think that's going to be the program."
Morales is 3-4 with a 3.77 ERA in 37 games (including nine starts). The 26-year-old struck out 76 and walked 30 in 76 1/3 innings, a career-high workload in the big leagues.
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