Matt Thornton dealing with oblique soreness, Felix Doubront says he’s fine despite side tightness
|08.04.13 at 7:02 pm ET|
A pair of Red Sox left-handed pitchers required the attention of the team trainer Ricky Jaymeson in the final innings of the team’s 4-0 win over the Diamondbacks at Fenway Park on Sunday. First, in the top of the seventh inning, Felix Doubront received a visit after reaching for his right side following a pitch. But after a warmup toss with Jaymeson and manager John Farrell watching, Doubront stayed in the game to finish out the seventh, posting another zero in a frame in which 23 of 25 pitches were fastballs.
“He was experiencing some right side tightness as well inside that inning. We weren’t going to take any chances but he was pretty adamant that while he felt a little tightness, he was still OK,” explained Farrell. “He threw the one pitch just to test it, make sure nothing was there. He finished out the inning with some of the best stuff he had on the day. Felt like after the seven innings and the 95 pitches thrown, that was enough.”
Doubront confirmed that he was fine, suggesting that he had simply stiffened up during a long sixth inning that featured a pitching change by the Diamondbacks.
“My side was a little bit tight because between innings, it was a long time. It made me tired a little bit,” said Doubront. “My side was tight, just for one pitch. The next one felt good.”
Doubront was replaced for the top of the eighth by left-hander Matt Thornton. Thornton’s health is a somewhat greater question mark after he felt tightness in his oblique during the second pitch of a plate appearance against Arizona shortstop Didi Gregorious. He stayed in the game for two more pitches before the discomfort grabbed him to the point where it became visible from the dugout. This time, a visit from Jaymeson and Farrell resulted in the pitcher’s immediate removal from the game.
“You could see from the dugout he was starting to get a little bit more upright and protected,” said Farrell. “We clearly had to get him out of there.’
Thornton said that he had “no idea” about how to characterize the severity of the injury given that the 36-year-old has never before encountered an oblique problem.
“Felt it the second pitch, and it progressively got worse,” said Thornton. “If it hurts tomorrow, then we’ve probably got to go through a little bit of worry, but if it gets better tomorrow and kind of lets go, hopefully it’s nothing major.”
Thornton has a 2.16 ERA with six strikeouts and two walks in nine games (8 1/3 innings) since the Red Sox acquired him from the White Sox just before the end of the first half. If the injury proves one that might sideline Thornton for a while, the Sox do have Alex Wilson and Franklin Morales nearing the point where they’re ready to return to the big leagues from the DL. Both are currently on rehab assignments with Triple-A Pawtucket.