Dice-K strikes out 7 in rehab start

Daisuke Matsuzaka took another positive step in his recovery from Tommy John surgery, going 4 2/3 innings Saturday afternoon in a rehab start for Double-A Portland.

Matsuzaka threw 76 pitches, 44 for strikes, falling one out short of earning the win in the Sea Dogs' 9-1 triumph over Reading, the Phillies' affiliate.

He allowed one run on three hits and two walks. Dice-K struck out seven and induced 3 ground-ball outs (no flyouts).

“He did pretty good,” Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine told reporters in Chicago. “For some reason he didn’t pitch that 15th out, but sounds like he did well. And Andrew Miller (who is out with a hamstring injury) struck out three, so that’s good.”

Valentine, who said he had a long conversation with general manager Ben Cherington earlier in the day, was unsure whether Matsuzaka would make his next start with Portland or move up to Triple-A Pawtucket.