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“"We weren't using Oki all that much the way that things evolved lately,'' Epstein said. "Morales is someone with significant upside. If we can get him to repeat his delivery and throw strikes, he can be tough to hit. He's going to take that second lefty spot and see if we can get some results.'' Hill's performance -- he has yet to allow a run in four appearances spanning 4 2/3 innings, has allowed just two hits and walked one while striking out six -- freed the Sox to make the move with Okajima. "Rich has been throwing the ball well all year down in Pawtucket and got off to a nice start here,'' Epstein said. "He's certainly someone who matches up well against left-handed hitters. That second spot, not that we're experimenting with it, but it gives us a chance to capture some upside there that makes some sense for us.'' The Sox still have left-hander Felix Doubront, who performed in that role for a period of time last season, but he is currently on the disabled list with Triple-A Pawtucket because of a strained groin. Epstein also confirmed the signing of the 36-year-old Millwood to a minor-league deal, contingent on his passing a physical. "He'll start out in Fort Myers and throw a couple of sides before he goes to Pawtucket,'' Epstein said. The Yankees signed Millwood late in spring training to a minor league deal, one that allowed him to opt out if they didn't add him to the big league roster by May 1. Millwood, who could have made as much as $1.5 million if the Yankees had summoned him, exercised that opt-out after making four minor league starts (4.50 ERA) and was sitting at home. Millwood was counted upon by the Baltimore Orioles to anchor their rotation in 2010, the Orioles agreeing to pay $9 million of his $12 million salary in a trade with the Texas Rangers. Instead, he was a bust, going 4-16 with a 5.10 ERA. But he did make 31 starts last season, and in a pitching-poor environment could offer the Sox some insurance in the short term. Millwood has a similar out clause with the Red Sox as he did with the Yankees, according to a baseball source. The Sox have 10 days to either place Okajima on waivers, work out a trade for him or release him. If he clears waivers, he becomes a free agent and theoretically could accept an outright assignment back to Pawtucket. Okajima, who played a valued role in the Sox bullpen in his first three seasons here, told Japanese reporters he had no regrets about re-signing with the Sox. "I started the season down in the minor leagues, so I knew I had to regain the team's confidence in my pitching,'' Okajima told Japanese reporters. "It is my first time in this situation, so I'm not sure of what happens next. "Having re-signed with Boston during the offseason, it is disappointing that this is happening, but signing here was not a mistake. I am very grateful for the opportunity the Red Sox have given me over five years." Iglesias, widely regarded as the Red Sox shortstop of the future, appeared in six games for the Red Sox since his call-up May 8. In three of those games he appeared as a pinch runner, including Thursday night, when he was thrown out at the plate on a rare play, an apparent bases-loaded single to short left field on which Iglesias had to hold up to see whether it would be caught. The ball took a perfect hop to Tigers left-fielder Andy Dirks, who made a strong throw to nail Iglesias. Iglesias also appeared in two games as a defensive replacement and made one start, on May 11 in Toronto, going hitless in three at-bats. He had struck out but reached on a wild pitch in his first big league at-bat the night before. Gordon Edes covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com. Information from ESPNBoston.com's Jack McCluskey was used in this report.
Having re-signed with Boston during the offseason, it is disappointing that this is happening, but signing here was not a mistake. I am very grateful to the opportunity the Red Sox have given me over five years.” -- Red Sox reliever Hideki Okajima