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Red Sox activate Matt Thornton, option Brayan Villarreal

08.25.13 at 5:20 pm ET

The Red Sox announced Sunday that they have activated relief pitcher Matt Thornton off the 15-day disabled list, while optioning reliever Brayan Villarreal back to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Thornton had been on the disabled list since August 7, having suffered a right oblique strain. Since being acquired for minor leaguer Brandon Jacobs, Thornton has gone 0-1 with a 2.16 ERA in 8 1/3 innings. For the season, the lefty is 0-4 with a 3.47 ERA in 50 games.

The 26-year-old Villarreal made just one appearance for the Red Sox, walking the only batter he faced (Marco Scutaro) in the Red Sox’ Aug. 20 loss to the Giants. The bases-loaded free pass handed San Francisco the walk-off win.

The Red Sox now have four lefties in the bullpen, with southpaws Craig Breslow, Drake Britton and Franklin Morales joining Thornton.

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