Friday May 18, 2012 | 06:21 AM

The blog is back after a few days off on the Appalachian Trail (3 days without a laptop can be quite healthy).

The Sea Dogs are also back, with a quick 3-game homestand at Hadlock Field, tonight (6 p.m.), Saturday (1 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.).

The Red Sox are in Philadelphia for an inter-league game against the Phillies. Daniel Bard (3-4, 4.30) goes against Cole Hamels (5-1, 2.28).

Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched 6 2/3 innings for Pawtucket (7 H, 5 R [4 ER] 0 BB, 3 K) ... If he is not ready for the majors soon, the Red Sox will have to figure out a way to "create" an injury to extend his stay on the DL.

The countdown for pitcher Matt Barnes to join the Sea Dogs has not begun yet. But if he keeps dominating advanced Class A teams, we could be looking at a late June or July appearance ... Barnes made his third start for Salem (6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K) ... His ERA is 1.00, with a 25/2 strikeout/walk ratio and an opponents' batting average of .175.

Salem's Jackie Bradley did not get reach base, and that's news. He went 0-for-4 and is still batting .367 ... first baseman Travis Shaw (.360) was 2-for-4.

The tweets (ClearTheBases) will also be back in time for the Sea Dogs game tonight.

About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Celtics and Maine Red Claws on Holding Court

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