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Sources: Wakefield headed to the bullpen

04.22.10 at 7:16 pm ET

According to sources familiar with the situation, the Red Sox enter Thursday night’s game against planning to send Tim Wakefield to the bullpen when Daisuke Matsuzaka returns to the Red Sox’ starting rotation.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona said before his team’s series finale against the Rangers that Matsuzaka would be making his next start for the Red Sox after pitching for the Pawtucket Red Sox in his last three appearances while on a rehab assignment. Francona, however, would not disclose when Matsuzaka would be making his first start this season with the Sox, saying the team still had to speak to all the parties involved.

Wakefield last pitched out of the bullpen in the 2004 American League Championship Series, earning the win in Game 5 against the Yankees after pitching three scoreless innings. For his career the 43-year-old has made 141 regular season appearances, going 10-13 with a 3.75 ERA and 22 saves. The knuckleballer served as the Red Sox’ closer 1999 season, saving 15 games.

Wakefield is currently 0-1 with a 6.38 ERA in three starts this season. Barring any unforseen circumstances Clay Buchholz, who got the start for the Red Sox Thursday night, will remain in the starting rotation. He enters the game against the Rangers with a 1-1 mark and a 1.80 ERA.

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