Daisuke Matsuzaka’s next start pushed back after relief outing

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UPDATE: Matsuzaka’s next start has indeed been pushed back from Friday to Sunday, but it’ll be Tim Wakefield and not Alceves taking his place tomorrow.

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Daisuke Matsuzaka was needed in relief during last night’s 13-inning game against the Angels, coming out of the bullpen for the first time in his career and allowing two runs to take the loss.

He threw only 20 pitches and apparently tried to talk manager Terry Francona into letting him make his next scheduled start tomorrow, but Evan Drellich of MLB.com reports that the Red Sox are likely to bump Matsuzaka from the outing.

Here’s how Francona explained his thinking:

I think he’s going to want to, because he’s a competitor. Sometimes you got to take the decision out of their hands. It’s a long season. Last night, doing what we did, there’s no way to get around it. He ends up throwing two sides, or a side and the game in one day, we’ll probably err on the side of caution, but we need to go down and talk.

Alfredo Aceves is the leading candidate to replace Matsuzaka against the Twins, but the Red Sox will have to call him back up from Triple-A first.

Report: Braves to promote Ronald Acuña

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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MLB.com’s Mark Bowman confirms a report from Daniel Álvarez Montes of EVTV Miami that the Braves are calling up outfield prospect Ronald Acuña from Triple-A Gwinnett.

The move is obviously much anticipated and expected, as Acuña is considered the top prospect in baseball among those who hadn’t been called up to the majors yet. Acuña has had a slow start with Gwinnett, as he’s batting only .215/.301/.277 in 73 plate appearances. However, he has turned things around somewhat in recent days, batting .379 with a double and a homer since April 17.

Acuña should be in Wednesday’s starting lineup against the Reds and he should be a lineup regular going forward. The expectations are high for Acuña, who signed with the Braves as an international free agent in July 2014.