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Steven Wright gets the nod for Sunday start

Steven Wright, who has two appearances with the Sox this year, was 2-1 with a 3.24 ERA in four starts for Pawtucket.STEVEN SENNE/ASSOCIATED PRESS/File 2014

SEATTLE — Since the end of spring training, Steven Wright was the sixth pitcher in a five-man rotation for the Red Sox. He knew his opportunity to start would eventually come, he just didn’t know when.

Wright was on the Opening Day roster and lined up to start the fifth game of the season against the Yankees but the Sox decided to activate Joe Kelly off the disabled list.

Then Wright returned to the roster as a long reliever.

Now the door has opened for Wright. Justin Masterson was placed on the 15-day disabled on Thursday with shoulder tendinitis and Wright will start against Seattle Sunday afternoon.


“I wish it were under different circumstances. But I feel like I’m ready,” Wright said.

Wright went 5⅔ innings in relief of Masterson Tuesday, allowing three runs on six hits with three walks and four strikeouts.

Wright has pitched twice in the majors this season, giving up five runs over 10⅔ innings. The knuckleballer was 2-1 with a 3.24 ERA in four starts for Triple A Pawtucket.

Wright is 2-0 in two appearances against Seattle in his career, throwing 8⅔ scoreless innings.

“There’s a little bit of a comfort level. I know what it looks like from the mound,” Wright said. “I’m not getting out there for the first time.”

Masterson is 2-2 with a 6.37 earned run average.

After pitching fairly well in his first four starts, Masterson lasted only 6⅔ innings in his next two games, allowing 10 earned runs on 13 hits — three of them home runs — and seven walks.

On Tuesday, Masterson gave up six runs in 2⅓ innings against Oakland. Sox manager John Farrell suggested that night that Masterson would go on the DL. The pitcher said on Wednesday he wasn’t happy with the decision and felt he could continue to pitch.


Masterson was given anti-inflammatory medication and temporarily shut down from throwing.

Once he starts pitching again, Farrell said Masterson would need at least one minor league rehabilitation start before returning to the majors.

“Clearly we’ve seen over the last two starts it’s had a negative effect on the overall stuff and action of his pitches. It was time to back him out of the rotation,” Farrell said.

Ross returns

Lefthanded reliever Robbie Ross Jr. was recalled from Pawtucket to take Masterson’s spot on the roster.

Ross was on the Opening Day roster and was largely ineffective in 13 appearances. He had a 6.17 ERA, a 1.71 WHIP, and opponents hit .340 against him with a .952 OPS.

Ross has a 6.20 ERA in 40 major league appearances since the start of last season.

Ross was optioned to Pawtucket Sunday and made one appearance, giving up a run over two innings on Monday.

Mariner roots

David Ortiz was signed by Seattle in 1992 then traded to Minnesota in 1996. He still has fond memories about his time in the Mariners’ organization.

Ortiz also enjoys showing Seattle what it missed. Going into this series, he had a .972 OPS at Safeco Field. For players with a minimum of 200 plate appearances at the park, only Vladimir Guerrero (.976) is higher.

Ortiz had reached base safely in 45 of 47 starts at Safeco since he joined the Red Sox, including 27 in a row going into Thursday’s game. That was the longest such streak by a visiting player.


Ortiz doesn’t hurt the Mariners nearly as much as he does the Twins. He has a career .1.117 OPS in 60 games against Minnesota, 1.615 in 14 games at Target Field.

Tribute planned

The Red Sox and Mariners will pay tribute to Negro Leagues players on Saturday when they wear throwback 1946 uniforms.

The Red Sox will be dressed as the Boston Colored Giants in a gray uniform with black trim and “Boston” in block letters across the front. They will wear plain blue caps.

The Colored Giants, organized in 1923, were often called the Philadelphia Royal Giants. They played teams from across the Northeast, including industrial teams in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire.

The Royal Giants featured pitcher Cannonball Jackman. The submarine pitcher was a barnstorming player until the age of 52, playing teams across New England and winning an estimated 200 games. He died in 1972 in Marion, Mass.

The Mariners will wear the uniform of the Seattle Steelheads, a short-lived team in the West Coast Negro Baseball League.

Defensive slide

According to statistics from Baseball Info Solutions, entering Thursday night’s game, the Red Sox were tied for 27th in baseball in DRS (defensive runs saved) at minus-15. Left fielder Hanley Ramirez was at minus-6 with Xander Bogaerts, Mike Napoli, and Pablo Sandoval also on the negative side after 34 games. Mookie Betts was at plus-5 in center field . . . Sandoval, who is 2 for 34 with 12 strikeouts against lefthanders, was out of the lineup against lefty Roenis Elias. Farrell said Sandoval would start against lefthander J.A. Happ on Friday . . . The Red Sox have 75 starts from Betts, Bogaerts, and Blake Swihart. Only the Cubs, with 86, have more starts from players age 23 or younger.


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