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Felix Doubront to start Friday

Felix Doubront, on the DL since May 21, is 2-4 with a 5.12 earned run average in nine starts.FILE/ANN HEISENFELT/AP

OAKLAND, Calif. — In righthander Clay Buchholz, lefthander Felix Doubront, and right fielder Shane Victorino, the Red Sox have three important players on the disabled list. For two of them, the news was good on Thursday.

Doubront will come off the disabled list and start Friday night’s game against the Athletics, manager John Farrell said. Doubront, who has been out since May 21 with a shoulder strain, pitched well in three minor league rehabilitation starts.

“His last start [on Sunday] was much improved in terms of overall stuff,” Farrell said. “It was increased intensity, increased velocity, increased action to his pitches that are going to be required here.”


Doubront was 2-4 with a 5.12 earned run average in nine starts before he went on the DL.

“I’m feeling a lot better and excited to be back,” he said. “I think I have myself back together. Everything is good.”

Buchholz threw six scoreless innings for Triple A Pawtucket against Rochester Thursday. He allowed two hits, walked two, and struck out five while throwing 51 of 87 pitches for strikes.

It was the second rehab start for Buchholz and a significant improvement from June 14, when he allowed three runs over 4⅔ innings against Charlotte.

Buchholz will rejoin the Red Sox on Friday and his next start would be in the majors sometime next week.

“[Thursday] was very good,” Farrell said. “His changeup feel and execution was much improved and the shape to his overall pitches was consistent.”

Farrell said the rotation for next week is still under construction.

“We’ve got a number of things that are kind of moving parts,” he said. “As we get through this weekend those decisions will become more clear.”

Buchholz pitched well after disabled list stints in 2012 and ’13

“Unfortunate for Clay, there’s been some interruptions to his seasons in the past,” Farrell said. “Hopefully we’ve worked through a few things . . . and we have a guy who’s straightened out a little bit and ready to go.”


Victorino was scratched from Pawtucket’s lineup on Thursday and will not play on Friday. Farrell said Victorino was dealing with stiffness in his lower back.

“We kept him out and he went through a full day of treatment,” Farrell said. “We’re going to through another full day of treatment [Friday].”

Victorino is expected to play on Saturday and Farrell said it remains possible he could be activated before the end of the Seattle series next week.

Farrell would not call the situation a setback but said more treatment was needed.

Victorino has played only three games and had six at-bats on his rehab assignment. He is on the disabled list for the second time this season with a strained right hamstring. He has played only 21 games this season and is hitting .242.

Ortiz takes seat

David Ortiz was out of the lineup on Thursday, a day after his game-tying home run against the Twins in the 10th inning.

Farrell said it was planned day off and related to the team’s long flight here, a trip that was delayed three hours by mechanical issues at Logan Airport. The Sox did not arrive until after 1 a.m. local time.

“He’s got a day off. We try to manage his games played,” Farrell said.

Bard released

The Texas Rangers released righthander Daniel Bard, the one-time standout setup man for the Red Sox whose career may be over at 28 due to an inability to throw strikes.


Bard pitched in four games for Single A Hickory this season, facing 18 batters. He walked nine, hit seven, and had one strikeout. Bard was charged with 13 runs and was released on Thursday, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Bard pitched in 192 games for the Red Sox from 2009-11, posting a 2.88 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. He struck out 213 over 197 innings.

“If you flash back to 2009, 2010, you would never think this would be the case,” Farrell said. “He’s gone through a lot . . . It’s an unfortunate situation he’s trying to work through.”

But his career took a dramatic turn for the worse after the 2011 season.

Bard lobbied the team to become a starter that fall and was allowed to make the transition. He did not pitch particularly well in spring training in 2012 but started the season in the rotation and was 5-5 with a 4.56 ERA in his first 10 games.

On June 3, 2012, in Toronto, Bard could not get out of the second inning. He walked six and hit two batters before being taken out of the game and then optioned to the minors a few days later.

The Red Sox used Bard as a reliever late in that season and he allowed nine earned runs over 4⅓ innings and walked six.

In 2013, Bard appeared in 16 minor league games for the Red Sox and pitched 15⅓ innings. He allowed 11 earned runs on 14 hits with 27 walks and 11 wild pitches. Bard also pitched two games in the majors with poor results.


The Cubs claimed Bard off waivers last September but did not use him in any games. He signed with the Rangers in February after having thoracic outlet surgery to improve nerve function in his arm. Bard was hopeful the surgery would provide an answer to his problems but the results this season were more of the same.

Since the start of the 2012 season, in 70 major league and minor league games, Bard has a 7.56 ERA with 110 walks, 25 hit batters, and 21 wild pitches over 108⅓ innings.

“There’s still a pitcher in there somewhere,” Farrell said. “We’re hopeful and wish him the best.”

Holt first in line

Entering Thursday, Brock Holt’s .329 batting average led rookies with a minimum of 125 at-bats . . . Will Middlebrooks, who is on the disabled list and rehabbing with Pawtucket, had a scheduled day off on Thursday and will start on Friday at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre . . . Oakland shifted its rotation and will start lefthander Brad Mills on Friday and righthander Jesse Chavez on Saturday. Mills was obtained from Milwaukee for $1 (yes, $1) on Tuesday . . . Red Sox pitchers Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara, watching in the clubhouse, were avidly rooting for Japan during Thursday’s World Cup match against Greece. The teams played to scoreless draw.

Peter Abraham can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.