Happy Birthday to Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, who turns 62 today. Valentine, in his first season managing the Red Sox, ranks fourth among active MLB managers with 2,222 games and fifth in wins (1,131).
* The Red Sox made a roster move before the game, calling up Pawtucket first baseman Mauro Gomez and placing Darnell McDonald (right oblique strain) on the 15-day disabled list. Gomez hit .294 in 34 games with the PawSox, leading the team with 10 home runs, 33 RBI and 83 total bases. Jacoby Ellsbury, on the DL since April 14 with a right shoulder subluxation, was transferred to the 60-day DL in a corresponding move to make room for Gomez on the 40-man roster.
* Daisuke Matsuzaka was roughed up in his fourth rehab start, and second at Triple A Pawtucket, Saturday night against Columbus at McCoy Stadium, allowing five runs on five hits, including a pair of two-run homers, and one walks to go along with five strikeouts in 5.1 innings in a no decision.
“I didn’t think he was as good as he should be, but he was pain free,” said Valentine, who indicated Matsuzaka would make his fifth (and final) rehab start Thursday for Pawtucket. Matsuzaka is now 0-1 with a 4.34 ERA and 19 strikeouts in four rehab starts, including one in High A Salem and one with Double A Portland. He is due to come off the DL on May 23. “At that point, we’ll get together and review it,” Valentine said.
* With its three perfect inings in Saturday night’s 4-1 victory over the Indians, Boston’s bullpen has now strung together 116.1 innings, second most in the Majors behind Kansas City (121.2). Since April 23, Sox relievers lead the majors in ERA (1.47) and innings (73.2).
“We got guys who aren’t battle-tested yet,” Valentine said of his bullpen. “We found out Andrew Miller could pitch three days in a row. That’s what we’re trying to find out about guys. We’re trying to find out how often Rich Hill can pitch and what his bounce-back capabilities are.” Miller tossed a perfect seventh inning Saturday night against the Indians to earn his second hold in back-to-back games for the first time in his career, marking his first career stretch appearing on three consecutive days.
* Kevin Youkilis, on the disabled list with a lower back strain, continued to ramp up his baseball activity Sunday, taking grounders at third and incorporating some swings in the batting cage. “That’s another step up,” Valentine said.
Valentine said Youkilis “threw a little bit longer” Saturday. Valentine reported Ellsbury was “making regular progress, normal progress. Jacoby, he’s gotten to where the training people needs him to be, he’s feeling good.”