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07/03/2012 - 1:39am
More neck woes for Matsuzaka in loss

Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka told reporters in Oakland that he is once again dealing with discomfort in his neck, a condition that afflicted him both in spring training and at the end of May, when he required a cortisone injection that prolonged his stay on the disabled list as he made his way back from Tommy John surgery. The right-hander said that he wasn't able to throw a bullpen session between starts, but believed that he could give the Red Sox a serviceable start. Instead, he was battered for five runs while pitching just one-plus inning, dropping to 0-3 with a 6.65 ERA on the year.

"Leading up to the start, my neck tightened up a little bit. I ended up not being able to throw a bullpen. I focused on getting myself in condition to be able to pitch tonight. I went out there tonight, but I ended up not being able to get my arm through," said Matsuzaka, whose fastball velocity was mostly in the high-80s. "[The injury is in]...

07/03/2012 - 1:05am
Daisuke done in: A's pound Matsuzaka

Daisuke Matsuzaka retired just three batters and was knocked out of the game in the second inning after allowing five runs as the Red Sox fell to the A's, 6-1. Matsuzaka permitted two homers, both to ex-Red Sox -- with Josh Reddick taking the right-hander deep in the first inning and Brandon Moss doing the same with a three-run last in the second that broke a 1-1 tie and gave Oakland a lead it would not relinquish -- and his velocity faded over the course of his 28-pitch night. He lacked power (his fastball was in the high-80s for much of the night, and he did not get a single swing and miss) and his control was a struggle, as he walked a pair.

While reliever Clayton Mortensen stabilized the game by limiting Oakland to a run in five innings, the Sox offense could muster almost nothing against Jarrod Parker and the Athletics bullpen. The team plated a run in the first when Daniel Nava led off with a double and Dustin Pedroia followed with an RBI single,...

07/02/2012 - 9:22pm
DL stint possible for Middlebrooks

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine told reporters in Oakland that while third baseman Will Middlebrooks has shown signs of improvement in the injured hamstring that forced him out of Sunday's game, it was too early to rule out the possibility that the rookie would end up on the disabled list as a result of the injury. Valentine anticipated that, at a minimum, with Middlebrooks sidelined for "some days," it is likely that the Red Sox make a roster move to increase their bench options until the 23-year-old is ready to return to the majors.

"The latest on Will is that he feels better today than he did yesterday and better than he expected to be today. That’s the only news we have. That’s good. It’s not discolored, and that’s good. But it’s going to be some days," Valentine told reporters. "We won’t let the calendar dictate [his return]. We’ll just see how he feels. Maybe DL, maybe a few days,...

07/02/2012 - 8:03pm
Ellsbury homers in GCL rehab game

Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury went 1-for-2 with a homer and a walk while playing six innings in center field for the Rookie Level GCL Red Sox. In three games in the GCL that started on Friday, Ellsbury is 2-for-6 with a double, homer, four walks and two strikeouts.

The 2011 American League runner-up in MVP voting has been out since suffering a subluxation of his right shoulder while sliding into second base on April 13. With Ellsbury out for all but seven games this year, the Red Sox' production from their center fielders has ranked among the worst in baseball, as the players at that position have combined to hit .253/.294/.337/.630 with four homers and four steals.

For complete Red Sox coverage, visit weei.com/redsox.


07/02/2012 - 7:33pm
Middlebrooks out, Punto at third

One day after he suffered a hamstring injury that forced him out of Sunday's game, third baseman Will Middlebrooks is out of the lineup for the Red Sox as they start their three-game series in Oakland. In his place, the Sox will feature Nick Punto at third base against Athletics right-hander Jarrod Parker.

Parker will face off against Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka, who is still seeking his first win of 2012. He is one victory short of becoming the third Japanese pitcher to win 50 games.

For batter vs. pitcher matchup histories, click here. For complete Red Sox coverage, visit weei.com/redsox.

RED SOX LINEUP

Nava, LF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Saltalamacchia, C
Gonzalez, 1B
Ross, RF
Kalish, CF
Aviles,...

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