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Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Doubront, Dice-K not done yet

By Joe McDonald

BOSTON -- After Red Sox starters Daisuke Matsuzaka and Felix Doubront continued to struggle in their last starts last weekend, manager Bobby Valentine had said there is a possibility that both could be shut down for the remainder of the season. On Tuesday, however, Valentine announced that Doubront will start on Thursday and Matsuzaka will follow on Friday. Matsuzaka tossed a bullpen Tuesday afternoon and the reports were good following the session.

"He looked really good. Talked to him today and I think we might have found something that feels good about him and he's going to pitch on Friday," Valentine said. "It was a little thing out of the stretch that he felt better about."

When asked if that tweak could make a difference for Matsuzaka, Valentine said, "Let's hope so. His command wasn't good out of the stretch the other day, so hopefully his command will be better next time."

Doubront, 24, has not recorded a win in his last seven starts and his 134 2/3 innings pitched this season are the most he's thrown in his pro career. Since he's healthy and says he feels fine, he will continue to pitch.

"Felix looks good and feels good," added Valentine.

Morales has MRI: Red Sox left-hander Franklin Morales had an MRI taken on his throwing shoulder, but Valentine said he has not seen the results. The manager did say he believes it's likely that Morales is done for the season. He posted a 3-4 record in 37 games (nine starts) with a 3.77 ERA this season.

"Considering the whole situation, I don't think he needs to pitch anymore," Valentine said. "Maybe, but I don't think he needs to. If he really wants to, and if we see a reason for it, but I don't think that's going to be the program."