Mortensen goes five to save bullpen

OAKLAND, Calif. -- With Daisuke Matsuzaka able to get only three outs in Monday's start against the A's, Clayton Mortensen ended up being a bullpen saver.

Mortensen took over in relief of Matsuzaka with two on in the second inning and the Red Sox trailing 4-1. He issued a walked to Coco Crisp to load the bases, but allowed only a sacrifice fly to Josh Reddick while getting out of that jam.

Mortensen went five innings and allowed one run on two hits.

“Morty came in and saved our 'pen,” manager Bobby Valentine said. “I was scared to death once that thing started that we were going to wear out our 'pen and get a deficit going here. So the bad news is Dice didn’t pitch very good, but the good news is Mortensen saved the bullpen.”

The outing was Mortensen’s longest of the season.

“It’s always nice to be able to go out and pick our team up if something like that happens,” Mortensen said. “It’s huge to go out there and soak up some innings so our bullpen can be fresh for the rest of the series we have against these guys. They play us tough so we’re going to need all the pitching we can.”