Red Sox notebook

Lackey’s turn will be skipped

He’ll next pitch Tuesday vs. A’s

John Lackey has a 15.58 ERA after two starts this season. John Lackey has a 15.58 ERA after two starts this season. (Barry Chin/Globe Staff)
By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / April 14, 2011

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Last night’s rainout and today’s scheduled day off gave the Red Sox a chance to reconfigure their starting rotation. The man overboard is John Lackey.

Lackey, who was scheduled to start last night against the Rays, will not pitch until Tuesday in Oakland. That will give him 10 days between starts.

Lackey is 1-1 with a 15.58 ERA in two starts. He has allowed 15 earned runs on 17 hits over only 8 2/3 innings. The righthander has walked four, struck out five, and given up three home runs.

“Basically, Lackey is missing a turn so we don’t have to try to have guys going on a week’s rest,’’ manager Terry Francona said. “It’s not perfect for him. We’ll try to map it out where it helps him.

“But rather than have five guys really pushed back way too much, we’ll take one and let Lack start the game out in Oakland, where he’s had a lot of success.’’

Lackey is 17-5 with a 2.90 ERA on 31 starts against the Athletics, 8-4, 2.92 in 16 starts in Oakland.

Lackey did not throw yesterday. Pitching coach Curt Young said he would restart his routine tomorrow with a bullpen session.

“John’s [problem] has been about quality location in the strike zone,’’ Young said. “He’s a guy who is going to throw a lot of strikes. Command is what makes guys good and that is what will make him good. I’m sure he’s not real happy about [missing his turn].’’

Clay Buchholz will start against the Blue Jays tomorrow night, with Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and Daisuke Matsuzaka to follow. Matsuzaka will be pitching one week after giving up seven runs on eight hits in two innings against Tampa Bay.

There are signs that the Red Sox are losing patience with Matsuzaka. General manager Theo Epstein labeled his last start “horrific’’ during an interview with NESN, and said there was a “sense of urgency’’ to get the righthander on track.

“It’s just location,’’ said Young. “When balls are in the middle of the plate and up, you give the hitter a better chance.

“It’s just that true command in the strike zone, which is what we’re going to work on.’’

Young said his communication with Matsuzaka has been “great’’ and the two have talked pitching without the need of an interpreter.

Lowrie was in lineup Jed Lowrie was in the lineup at shortstop before the game was called. It wasn’t a very complicated decision, according to Francona.

“Jed’s hitting about .480,’’ he said. “We don’t have a lot of guys hitting .480.’’

Lowrie is actually hitting .438 (7 of 16), but you get the idea. With Marco Scutaro hitting .172 with a .273 on-base percentage, the Sox are open to change. Shortstop is one of the few positions where they do not have an established All-Star-caliber player.

Francona would not say whether his plan was for Lowrie to play more moving forward, only that he was in the lineup last night.

Reyes clears waivers Lefthanded reliever Dennys Reyes, who was designated for assignment April 8, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple A Pawtucket. Reyes, 34, allowed two hits, two walks, and hit two batters over 1 2/3 innings before being dropped from the roster. He will report to extended spring training before being assigned to a team . . . Righthander Matt Albers, who is on the disabled list with a strained lat muscle, has started playing catch from as far as 120 feet and should be ready to return when eligible April 23.

Ticket information Last night’s game will be rescheduled during the summer, on a date to be determined. Tickets for the game will be good for admission to the rescheduled game . . . Eliot Tatelman of Jordan’s Furniture will deliver a truck loaded with equipment to Fenway Park today for the team’s RBI youth baseball program. Through their “Play Ball’’ program, Jordan’s collected equipment from fans at all store locations to be reused by inner-city players . . . The Red Sox are encouraging fans to make a donation at the gates before Sunday’s game to help earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan. All 30 teams will participate in efforts to raise money for the Japan Committee for UNICEF . . . Rays pitcher Andy Sonnanstine amused himself by running across the tarp and sliding into home a few times after the game was called.

Peter Abraham can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @peteabe.

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