Boston knuckleballer Steven Wright will make his first start of the season on Tuesday as the Red Sox host the Detroit Tigers.

Wright has posted a 2.25 ERA in six games out of relief after undergoing knee surgery last year. His knuckleball is moving and he’s throwing strikes consistently, prompting the Red Sox to give him a chance out of the rotation.

But this doesn’t sound like a permanent chance.

Manager Alex Cora said the start is intended to push everybody else back an additional day. The five regular starters will already get an extra day of rest given the Sox were off Monday, but Cora wanted to extend that rest further.

“I do feel this is a time of year that, if I’m feeling it, I know they’re feeling it,” Cora said Sunday. “With the traveling, all those day games last week, I don’t know what time we’re going to get in (Monday) to Boston, so I think it makes sense to give him that start. I think it’s good for him and also I think pushing everybody back is going to be beneficial for us.”

Wright threw 56 pitches his last time out against the Houston Astros Thursday, when he had three scoreless innings in relief of Drew Pomeranz.

“I think he can go five, maybe six innings,” Cora said.


J.D. Martinez departed the Red Sox’s 9-3 win against the Astros Sunday in the ninth inning with back spasms.

“Just, yeah, traveling,” Cora said. “A lot of people complain, honestly, about the travel, and that’s why we stay off the field (before the game). I think the workload the past few days, day games at home, and flying all the way here. Probably that’s why.”

Martinez was 0 for 4 and due up with two runners in scoring position in the top of the ninth when Sam Travis pinch hit.

Cora said he expects Martinez to play Tuesday.


Dustin Pedroia will turn 35 years old in August but he’s still under contract for three more seasons. Taking a long-term view of his most recent knee injury is necessary.

Despite a setback that limited him to just three games before he was placed back on the disabled list for a second time this season, Pedroia spoke to reporters Sunday and vowed, “I’m going to be back to normal.”

“It just might take a little time,” he said. “Last year, if I didn’t have surgery, it wasn’t going to get any better. It’s going to get better. So, just stinks going through it.”