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Lackey could return to rotation on Sunday

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  April 23, 2013 05:08 PM

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It is 43 degrees and raining at Fenway Park. But Red Sox manager John Farrell seems to think there will be a baseball game tonight.

"Cold and wet is the forecast. But we fully expect to get tonight's game in," he said. "They're not calling for any heavy accumulations. But it's not going to be great, I can tell you that."

The Athletics have a game in Oakland Thursday, so a doubleheader on Wednesday wouldn't sit well with them.

As to other matters:

John Lackey had a solid 3.2 innings for Double A Portland Monday night. He was back at Fenway Tuesday and is scheduled to throw in the bullpen Thursday. His next start will be Sunday, and it sounds likely that it will be against the Astros.

"Provided he comes out of that, which we fully expect him to come out of that OK, we'll have an update on where his next start would be, and the potential to start here for us is a real one," Farrell said.

Lackey said he hopes his next start will be in the majors. He thought his appearance in Portland was enough of a rehab. The righthander went on the disabled list after straining his right biceps in a game against Toronto April 6.

"I definitely wasn't throwing as hard, but location was pretty good," Lackey told reporters. "Felt like I got some swing-and-misses, which is a good sign. I felt like I was locating the ball pretty good. Arm strength will come with just some reps."

David Ortiz is getting a day off and isn't injured, Farrell said. "Not hurting," said the manager. "Scheduled down day. Combination with the weather conditions. This was kind of a logical day."

Ortiz is 7 of 48 against Oakland starter Bartolo Colon with 15 strikeouts. Jonny Gomes is 5 of 13. That, too.

The Sox were never under the assumption that Ortiz would play every day.

"How he's feeling," said Farrell. "His guide in this and his involvement will go a long way in this. We've got to build in an occasional day off for him."

Gomes is on the regional cover of Sports Illustrated this week.

LHP Craig Breslow is scheduled for an inning with Portland tonight.

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