BOSTON -- Daisuke Matsuzaka's rehab clock began again on Saturday, when the right-hander threw five innings of one-hit ball for Triple-A Pawtucket.
Matsuzaka struck out two and gave up just one walk and no runs, a positive jump from his previous two outings with Pawtucket. Saturday was his first game since he received a cortisone shot in his right trapezius muscle, around the shoulder and neck, on May 20.
"Daisuke used his fastball most of the time. He had much better command of it," manager Bobby Valentine said. "He felt good during and after the performance."
Pawtucket defeated the Tigers' Triple-A team, Toledo, 8-5.
Triple-A manager Arnie Beyeler and pitching coach Rich Sauveur told Valentine that Matsuzaka's mechanics were "much better" and that Matsuzaka was throwing 92 mph.
Matsuzaka has 30 days, including Saturday, to pitch in Minor League games, and he is going to be on a five-day schedule. That puts his next start on Thursday at home against Norfolk.
Matsuzaka already went through a 30-day stretch that ended on May 22 as he came back from Tommy John surgery. He's able to have another 30 days because a different injury situation arose, leading to the cortisone shot.
Sweeney set to return on Monday
BOSTON -- All signs point to outfielder Ryan Sweeney's activation on Monday from the seven-day disabled list.
"Hit, run, throw, field -- all baseball activities to get ready to see if he's going to be activated for tomorrow," manager Bobby Valentine said. "He's doing it as we speak."
Said Sweeney: "It's just getting that baseball feeling back now."
Sweeney is the first player the Red Sox have put on the seven-day DL instituted this season for concussions. The danger of such head injuries has been a hot-button topic, particularly in football, but it's applicable to the baseball world as well.
Sweeney was hurt making a game-saving dive in right-center in a 7-5 win over the Phillies eight days ago.
"I was concussed. I kind of liked it," Valentine said. "I didn't know you weren't supposed to like those things. It was kind of an 'oooh' type of thing. And I'm sure I had them in baseball.
"All the world of sport has understood you don't shake it off and get back in there. And they also understand that some people have dodged bullets by shaking it off and getting back in there. It's a serious situation that needs to be addressed properly. I think baseball and all of sports are trying to set the right example for kids and others."
Valentine explains pulling of Gonzalez
BOSTON -- The decision to pinch-run for Adrian Gonzalez on Saturday was a matter of instinct for manager Bobby Valentine.
"I don't know that there's a rule of thumb here. It's kind of a feel, I think," said Valentine, who pulled Gonzalez in a then-scoreless game against the Rays that the Sox won, 3-2. "I wish there was a rule of thumb. I wish there was a history to go by. I wish there was a pattern to a situation that has presented itself in my experience that I can reach back on. I don't have that. It's pretty unique right now. Uncharted waters. Kinda fun."
Gonzalez, of course, is one of Boston's best hitters. He also was playing right field and, for the first time in his Major League career, right field at Fenway Park. No fly balls had been hit to him, but Valentine said that more chances might not have made a difference in his decision.
Valentine said, too, that he watches Gonzalez's first steps in the outfield often, and that fielding isn't an issue.
"I thought it was going to be a one-run game," Valentine said. "I didn't want that one run to happen to be a run that fell somewhere that he wasn't going to get to. I could play three-run games in that scenario. Because [displaced third baseman Kevin Youkilis, who was playing first base] comes up one time before him, I decided to go that way and keep Youk in."
Gonzalez didn't exactly see it coming.
"Yeah, I was [surprised]," Gonzalez said. "But he's the boss. He takes me out -- I've got to come out."