Clay Buchholz to return Tuesday

NEW YORK -- As expected, Clay Buchholz has been penciled in for a start against the Rays in Tropicana Field Tuesday, when the Boston Red Sox open a three-game series against Tampa Bay, manager John Farrell said. Buchholz threw a bullpen Sunday after making three rehab starts.

"Seventy-five to 80 pitches is probably a reasonable number to throw,'' Farrell said. "We know there will be an increase in intensity, as we look for him to make that first step back.''

If Buchholz does indeed start Tuesday night in the Trop, it will be 94 days since he made his last start, June 8 against the Angels, in which he was a 7-2 winner and ran his record to 9-0, his ERA at a major league-best 1.71.

"Our goal for the remainder of the month would be not only to stretch him out, but to see if there's a certain dependability we get from him. We really can't expect him to come back and pitch to the form that led him to be a 1.7 ERA and the record that he has," said Farrell. "But starting on Tuesday, if that's the day he will begin with, we're hopeful we get a guy that's close to what he was prior to the injury and certainly will be an additional lift to this rotation.''

Farrell said after Sunday's game that left-hander Felix Doubront will be skipped this time through the rotation, with Ryan Dempster pitching Wednesday and Jake Peavy going Thursday.

Doubront said he welcomed the rest and that Farrell told him he'll be going back in the rotation before the end of the season. Doubront has a 6.58 ERA over his last five starts, and has not made it out of the fourth inning in the last two, going just 3 2/3 innings in Boston's 12-8 win over the Yankees Friday night, walking 6 while giving up 6 runs.

In other Red Sox pregame news, rookie Allen Webster was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket to add bullpen depth. In Boston's last six games, the Red Sox have used five or more pitchers five times, including in each of the first three games of the Yankees series.