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For now, Fossum back to Pawtucket

For now, lefty back in Pawtucket

Frustration, thy name is Casey Fossum. In the latest twist in his disappointing season, Fossum yesterday was optioned to Triple A Pawtucket to clear the way for righthander Bronson Arroyo, a former Pittsburgh Pirates starter who was one of the top arms in the International League this season.

The move came the day after Fossum improved to 6-5 by going 5 1/3 innings to help beat the Oakland A's as an emergency replacement for Pedro Martinez.

"It's frustrating pitching in a really big game like that and getting sent down," Fossum said. "But there's nothing I can do about it. One of these days it's going to quit happening."

Fossum, 25, who started the season in Boston's rotation, became expendable after he threw 94 pitches Wednesday, making him unavailable in the bullpen for at least a couple of days.

"We feel like the necessity of having another arm tonight and the next few days is vital for us," manager Grady Little said.

Arroyo, 26, arrived with six days of rest after going 12-5 with a 3.43 ERA in 24 starts for the PawSox. He led the International League in strikeouts (155), five shy of the Pawtucket record set by Frank Rodriguez in 1994, and ranked among the league leaders in wins and ERA. He also threw the fourth perfect game in league history Aug. 10 and did not allow a run in 15 innings over his last two starts for the PawSox.

The Sox would have called up Arroyo sooner but they were wary of losing him via waivers if they tried to send him back down because he is out of options.

"You're always anxious to get back to the big leagues, but a lot of guys were having a good season down there, so it wasn't that frustrating," said Arroyo, who was 9-14 with a 5.54 ERA for the Pirates from 2000-02. The Sox claimed him off waivers in February and he was one of the last pitchers cut in spring training.

Fossum wishes he were out of options -- and still in the rotation. He missed 31 games this season with left shoulder tendinitis and was sent down July 28 for 11 days.

"It's kind of tough going from bullpen to starter, bullpen to starter," he said. "But I felt like I've been handling it well. Whichever role they've given me I've taken it and done what they ask me to do. I've just tried to do my best at it. Minus the three games when I was going through my shoulder problems, I felt like I had a great season so far."

Fossum will start for Pawtucket Tuesday against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The Sox cannot recall him for 10 days but are expected to do so then.

To make room for Arroyo on the 40-man roster, the Sox moved pitcher Bobby Howry from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day list.

Patience with patient The Sox appear poised to let Pedro Martinez recuperate from his severe throat inflammation until his next scheduled start Tuesday against the Blue Jays at Fenway. Little said Martinez, who spent nearly six hours at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center Thursday after the illness prevented him from sleeping Wednesday night, was resting at home and feeling better. The Sox hope to see Martinez at the park today, though it appeared unlikely he would face the Mariners before they leave town Monday.

"We're very hopeful he'll be able to make his next start [Tuesday]," Little said, "but we'll just have to wait and see."

The Sox said extensive tests indicated Martinez was suffering only from pharyngitis, the initial diagnosis. Pharyngitis also can be related to more serious conditions such as strep throat and mononucleosis.

If Martinez makes his start Tuesday, he would remain on track to face the Yankees at Fenway Aug. 31, unless the Sox use Thursday's off day to give him an extra day of rest. In that case, Martinez would miss the Yankees and face the Phillies Sept. 1 in Philadelphia. In either event, he would be in line to face the Yankees in the Bronx during the three-game series Sept. 5-7.

Driving force After going 11 games without an RBI, Nomar Garciaparra knocked in a run in each of his first two at-bats against Seattle starter Joel Pineiro last night. Garciaparra continued to lead the league in batting at home (.397 entering last night) . . . After watching him warm up Byung Hyun Kim before the ninth inning of Thursday's victory, the Sox cleared Damian Jackson to play last night. Jackson sprained a ligament in his left middle finger Wednesday sliding into second base . . . Brandon Lyon, who has pitched well for Pawtucket, and Ramiro Mendoza, who made his third rehab outing last night for the PawSox, are not expected to return until Sept. 1 at the earliest . . . Manny Ramirez clubbed his second homer in as many games and his fifth in his last nine games . . . Jeff Suppan's win was the 10th of his career for the Sox and his first since Sept. 12, 1997 at Milwaukee . . . Ben Affleck, who took part in WEEI's daylong fund-raising drive for the Jimmy Fund, tossed a ceremonial first pitch after a 48-minute rain delay. Little and his wife, Debi, were among many members of the Sox family who chipped in. Jimmy Fund chairman Mike Andrews said the Littles donated $3,000. The radiothon raised $975,000 by about 10 p.m., when Sox brass John W. Henry, Tom Werner, and Larry Lucchino pledged $25,000 from the Red Sox Foundation to reach $1 million . . . The flags were at half-staff in honor of longtime broadcaster Ken Coleman, who died Thursday.

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