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OAK@BOS: Doubront details struggles vs. A's

The Red Sox hope they can string together a few quality starts at home, and they'll look to do so against the Indians on Saturday.

Boston starter Felix Doubront will take the mound following Clay Buchholz's strong 6 1/3-inning performance in Friday's 7-5 victory against the visiting Indians. But good starting pitching has been few and far between for the Red Sox, especially at Fenway Park.

Despite Friday's win, Boston has dropped eight of its last 10 games. To make matters worse, the Red Sox are in last place in the American League East at 13-19, and are 2-11 in their last 13 home games since April 16.

"Very disappointed," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. "Couldn't be more disappointed is the bad news. And the good news is it's going to get a lot better, and I think it's going to do that real soon. I see the fight in the guys. I see what we have out there. Against the competition, I think we will prevail."

Still, Boston snapped a three-game losing skid Friday, winning for just the second time in May. The Red Sox's bullpen, though, has kept the team in games when the starters struggle.

"I think the bullpen has been outstanding," Valentine said. "We're going in the right direction there. You know, I think our starters have to get it together. They're capable and have quality."

Cleveland's three-game win streak ended on Friday, but the Indians remain in first place in the AL Central at 18-14.

The Indians originally had slated Josh Tomlin for this start, but he was scratched due to right wrist soreness.

Starting in his place will be RHP Zach McAllister, who will be making his sixth big league start tonight after picking up his first MLB win on May 7 against the White Sox.

Indians: Damon still searching for swing
Leadoff man and former Red Sox center fielder Johnny Damon still hopes to find his swing in his old ballpark.

Damon singled in the seventh inning on Friday, extending his hitting streak at Fenway Park to seven games since Aug. 16, 2011. But the veteran is hitting .171 in 10 games since joining Cleveland on May 1.

"I've got to get the bat going," Damon said.

Damon did not participate in Spring Training and did not sign with the Indians until April 17. Cleveland manager Manny Acta believes the late start may be contributing to Damon's struggles at the plate.

"He's had some good swings," Acta said. "He's hit some balls hard. Hopefully he starts contributing for us."

Red Sox: Matsuzaka scheduled for latest rehab start
Starter Daisuke Matsuzaka is scheduled to pitch for Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday in his fourth rehab outing as he continues to recover from Tommy John surgery.

Valentine said Matsuzaka's pitch limit would be about 90, depending on how his outing goes.

Valentine believes the right-hander is close to a return to the Major Leagues.

"He's done everything except for string the innings together," Valentine said. "He's worked on all of his pitches. He's happy with his pitches, he's happy with his velocity, his strength, his ability to field, pitch out of the stretch, wind up."

Matsuzaka began his rehab assignment on April 23. The latest possible date for him to pitch in the Minors is May 22.

Worth noting
• The Indians are 11-9 against Boston over the past three seasons, including a 5-5 record at Fenway Park.

• Cleveland is 10-4 away from home this season.

• The Red Sox have stranded 24 runners on base in the first two games of the series.

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