Saturday April 13, 2013 | 11:23 AM

BOSTON — The Portland Sea Dogs will receive their second major league rehab assignment next week, according to Red Sox manager John Farrell.

Left-hander Franklin Morales, who was shut down in spring training because of a sore back, is currently on the mend, pitching at the Red Sox complex in Fort Myers, Fla.

Farrell said the plan is to have Morales pitch in an extended spring training Wednesday and then go to Portland next Monday, April 22. The Sea Dogs are home to Binghamton that night at 6 p.m. (The Sea Dogs began the season with Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew on a rehab assignment).

It will be a one-time appearance for Morales. The plan will then have him pitch in Pawtucket, and then “recall him at that point.”

Even though Morales is being stretched out as a starter, he would likely join Boston’s bullpen (depending on the health of John Lackey).

Morales, 27, was acquired from Colorado in 2011 (for pocket change). He was reliever then. Last year, nine of Morales’ 37 appearances were starts. He finished the season with a 3.77 ERA.

With Morales and Craig Breslow injured in spring training, Boston has only had one lefty (Andrew Miller) in the bullpen, and he’s been wild.

Breslow is scheduled to make his first extended spring training appearance Tuesday.

Lackey, who suffered a strained biceps muscle in his first start, could be throwing against soon.

“We’re hoping to put a ball back in his hands in the next couple of days,” Farrell said. “The tightness he felt in the bicep is gradually going away. How he feels is the most important guide in this.”

Today’s pitching match-up between Jon LEster and David Price should be a gem (see the previous blog for the Sox lineup).

Dustin Pedroia is hitting .323 against Price (10 for 31). Daniel Nava is hitting .067 (1 for 15) against Price, but he is batting sixth.

“I realize he’s 1-for-15 coming in today against Price,” Farrell said. “But overall, he’s put up very good at-bats as consistently as anyone in the lineup, from either side of the plate.”

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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.

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