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Matt Thornton joins Red Sox, Steven Wright optioned

07.13.13 at 10:17 pm ET
By
Steven Wright

Steven Wright

Left-hander Matt Thornton has joined the Red Sox for Saturday night’s game in Oakland. In order to make room for Thornton, acquired from the White Sox in a trade on Friday night, knuckleballer Steven Wright was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Wright pitched in one game for the Red Sox during his most recent promotion, turning in a stellar 5 2/3 innings in relief of Ryan Dempster Thursday against Seattle. The knuckleballer allowed no runs and just three hits while allowing the Sox to comeback for an 8-7 win. Red Sox manager John Farrell wouldn’t rule out Wright returning to the Red Sox in order to make a start after the All-Star break.

Farrell noted prior to Saturday night’s game that despite Thornton flying in from Chicago earlier in the day, he was hopeful the newly-acquired reliever would be available for action in the series’ second game against the A’s.

The manager also talked about how the Red Sox would potentially be using Thornton, telling reporters, “There was a little bit more matching up this year. His numbers against left-handers have been very good. I think it’s been a little bit more matchup than he being the eighth-inning or seventh-inning guy, from the usage that I’ve seen, just looking at his daily log. He’ll serve a similar role here for us.”

Thornton met with reporters prior to Saturday night’s game, explaining how he found out about the deal to send him to the Red Sox in exchange for minor-leaguer Brandon Jacobs.

“Well, it was about 10 o’clock last night. [White Sox general manager] Rick Hahn gave me a call. He was bummed that it had to happen,” Thornton said. “I had a good relationship with everyone over there. You know, at the same time, I heard about the rumors to Boston, and the opportunity to come over here, it is great for me. I’m looking forward to it and looking forward to just helping out.”

Thornton, who has had good success against some of the American League East key batters, also admitted to being relieved regarding his ultimate destination.

“One thing I worried about was (going to) a National League team,” he said. “I don’t really know a lot of those guys over there. It would’ve been a huge adjustment for the way I pitch. I go after guys with my fastball and mix in my breaking balls here and there, but at the same time, staying in a league that I know, I’ve faced all these guys, most lefties in the league, 10, 12, 15 times.

He added, “I’ve been smiling, I think, from the time I woke up. I think it was 5:30 out here on the West Coast when I got up to get going to the airport and stuff. I’ve been smiling pretty much all day knowing I’m going to be on a first-place team in a pennant race down the stretch here.”

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