Dice-K to start against Rockies next Thursday

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Daisuke Matsuzaka has been cleared to return from the disabled list after pitching in a simulated game at Fenway Park on Saturday afternoon, according to Mike Petraglia of WEEI.com.

“We wanted to wait for Daisuke to throw and get looked at after he was done,” Francona said. “Dice threw 49 pitches and felt really good, checked out fine afterwards. He’ll pitch Thursday in Colorado.”

Matsuzaka landed on the disabled list after being scratched from last Saturday’s game due to a right forearm strain.

The 29-year-old right-hander is 5-2 with a 4.59 ERA and 1.31 WHIP over eight starts this season.

Kris Bryant hit in head with pitch, exits game vs. Rockies

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Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant left Sunday afternoon’s game against the Rockies after he was hit in the head by a German Marquez fastball in the top of the first inning. Manager Joe Maddon and a trainer came out to steady Bryant before helping him off the field.

Bryant passed concussion tests, but will continue to be evaluated, the Cubs announced. He has a small laceration above his eye from his sunglasses when he was hit.

Entering Sunday’s action, Bryant was hitting .319/.461/.536 with a pair of home runs and 11 RBI in 89 plate appearances.