Daisuke Matsuzaka will skip his start on Thursday thanks to a sore back, reports Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.
Jon Lester has been pushed back from Wednesday night's tail-end of a doubleheader to replace Dice-K. That means Tim Wakefield, at least for one day, returns to his coveted spot in the rotation for a spot start against the Mariners. He will go up against Felix Hernandez.
Matsuzaka will miss out on the Rays series, while Lester goes up against David Price. The rotation resumes as scheduled on Saturday with Clay Buchholz opposing Matt Garza and John Lackey taking on James Shields Sunday. The move gives Lester an additional two days of rest after lasting just two innings against the Blue Jays last Friday, coughing up nine earned runs.
Matsuzaka was placed on the 15-day disabled list twice earlier in the season, one with a neck strain and once with a forearm strain. Sandwiched around these stints, Matsuzaka has begun improving his game and has a 4.19 ERA in 19 starts, walking 4.1 batters per nine which is his lowest mark since his rookie year of 2007. He's also whiffing 7.9 batters per nine innings, which is a career-low mark.
It is not yet known the severity of the injury and whether Matsuzaka will need a stint on the DL.
-- Evan Brunell
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