The Red Sox have recalled righthanded pitcher Michael Bowden from Triple A Pawtucket, a team source confirmed to the Globe's Nick Cafardo this afternoon.
Bowden, whom the Sox will use out of the bullpen, replaces reliever Fernando Cabrera on the roster. The righthander was designated for assignment.
Bowden, who turns 23 next month, is 4-6 with a 3.20 ERA in 22 starts for the PawSox this season. In 115.1 innings, he has allowed 91 hits, while walking 44 and strikeout 82. He has held opposing batters to a .223 average.
Bowden will begin this stint with the Red Sox as a reliever, "tying to not just maybe protect our bullpen, but enhance it," manager Terry Francona said. Bowden described his role as "security," but he also gives the Sox a potential spot starter.
"Going forward, he does give us flexibility in what we want to do," Francona said. "But for the time being, he’s in the bullpen. We’ll go from there."
In the past month, the Red Sox have added a handful of pitchers from their minor league system, from Marcus McBeth to Billy Traber to Clay Buchholz to Junichi Tazawa, etc. Each time, Bowden hoped he would receive his second call of this season.
"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little disappointed in a few situations," Bowden said. "But I understand. Who wouldn't be? But they needed somebody else in different situations. I understand that. I had to keep taking care of my business down there, and hopefully I'll get the next opportunity."
He learned he had landed this one late last night. After Pawtucket's game, their 10th straight loss, Bowden was shaving his head in the bathroom. Pawtucket manager Ron Johnson poked his head in and told him when he was done, he needed to visit him in his office so Johnson could tell him about his promotion. "He already blew the surprise," Bowden said. "So I took my time."
Bowden, who entered the season ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the organization according to Baseball America, made a cameo with the Red Sox this season against the Yankees, their opponent in a three-game set beginning tonight. He pitched two perfect innings of relief in the Red Sox' 4-1 win April 26, striking out two.
His only other big league appearance came last season, when he earned the victory in his debut in the Red Sox' 8-2 win over the White Sox last August 30. Bowden, the starting pitcher, allowed seven hits in two earned runs in five innings. He walked one and struck out three.
Also, the Sox activated outfielder Rocco Baldelli from the disabled list. Outfielder Brian Anderson has been optioned to Pawtucket.