OAKLAND, Calif. — The Red Sox are dropping Opening Day starter Jon Lester back in their rotation once they return from the All-Star break.
Manager John Farrell said Sunday that his rotation for the Yankees series that starts Friday at Fenway Park would be Felix Doubront, John Lackey, and then Lester.
Ryan Dempster would start the fourth game after the break. The Red Sox haven’t named their fifth starter. But rookie righthander Brandon Workman likely earned another shot after carrying a no-hit bid into the seventh inning of a 3-2, 11-inning loss against Oakland Sunday.
Farrell wanted to use his two lefthanded starters against the Yankees with a righthander in the middle. Lester is 2-6 with a 6.27 earned run average in his last 11 starts. Doubront is 3-2 with a 2.70 ERA in his last 11 starts.
Doubront faced the Yankees on June 1 and allowed one run over six innings in an 11-1 Red Sox victory.
Lester has faced the Yankees twice and given up six earned runs over 11⅓ innings.
Lester will get a full week off between starts.
The Yankees will start Andy Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda, and CC Sabathia in the series.
Farrell wasn’t kidding when he said the Red Sox wanted to take a look at lefthander Drake Britton. He was called up from Triple A Pawtucket Sunday. The Sox, who were carrying an extra position player, optioned outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr.
Britton, 24, was 7-7 with a 3.77 earned run average as a starter in Double A Portland and Triple A Pawtucket. He pitched one game in Pawtucket before being promoted.
“We felt like we needed to add another arm for the bullpen,” Farrell said.
Britton said it was “big surprise” when the Sox called him Saturday.
“I didn’t know what to think at first,” he said. “My mind was going a million miles an hour. I was really excited.”
Britton was a 23d-round draft pick in 2007 out of Tomball, Texas, HS. He had Tommy John surgery after the 2008 season and appeared in only seven games in 2009. Britton was then 1-13 with a 6.91 ERA for High A Salem in 2011. But the Sox stuck with him and now he’s getting a shot in the majors.
“It’s awesome. I had the biggest smile on my face. Nobody could knock it off,” Britton said.
Britton was arrested during spring training for driving under the influence, among other vehicular charges. The matter is still moving through the Florida court system.
Farrell indicated that Britton would be with the team beyond the break.
“For now, yes. How long that is, barring any other changes internally or externally, he’ll be here for now.”
The Sox see Britton as being able to give them multiple innings out of the bullpen, a component they have lacked with all the roster moves being made in recent weeks.
The Red Sox are off for four days before facing the Yankees Friday.
Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, the Sox cannot hold a mandatory workout Thursday. But the park will be open late in the afternoon for any players who want to work out.
Many of the players returned to Boston on the team charter after the game. Others scattered to their homes across the country. Clay Buchholz, David Ortiz, and Dustin Pedroia will head for New York and the All-Star Game.
Lefthanded reliever Matt Thornton, who was acquired from the Chicago White Sox on Friday, had a different kind of break planned. Instead of going to a resort in Lake Geneva, Wis., Thornton will fly to Chicago and load up his car with essentials to stock a new apartment in Boston.
“I’ll meet my wife and we’ll drive to Boston and settle in there,” he said. “It’s a hectic time but that’s OK. I’m happy to be over here with this team.”
Plan for Drew
Stephen Drew, out since June 29 with a right hamstring strain, will start a minor league rehabilitation assignment with Double A Portland Thursday. He will DH the first game then play shortstop Friday. Barring something unexpected, Drew will rejoin the Red Sox Saturday. Farrell has said that Drew will return to shortstop once he is activated and Jose Iglesias will move back to third base . . . Buchholz threw in the bullpen before the game and is scheduled to do the same before the All-Star Game Tuesday. There are tentative plans for him to pitch in a simulated game later in the week to build up arm strength before a minor league rehab start . . . Home plate umpire Todd Tichenor ejected Jonny Gomes in the ninth inning. Gomes was at the plate when he asked for time. It was not granted and he struck out swinging at a pitch from Grant Balfour. Gomes argued the decision and was ejected for the first time since June 5, 2008. Gomes said he asked that time be called several times, which is what angered him.
Present for Papi
In recognition of his setting the record for most hits by a designated hitter last week, the Red Sox players presented Ortiz with a six-liter bottle of 2008 Orin Swift “Mercury Head” Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. All of the players signed the bottle, which has a Mercury Head dime imbedded in it. Gomes, who is a wine connoisseur, had the bottle delivered from Napa Valley to O.co Coliseum . . . The Red Sox passed righthander Alfredo Aceves through waivers and outrighted him to Pawtucket. He is now off the 40-man roster. Aceves is 4-1 with a 4.86 ERA in 11 major league appearances . . . The Sox finished 3-3 against the Athletics this season . . . Iglesias was 8 for 39 (.205) on the road trip . . . Koji Uehara, who pitched two scoreless innings, has been dominant since being named the closer in late June. In 12 games and 12⅓ innings, he has allowed one earned run on five hits with one walk and 18 strikeouts.