Daisuke Matsuzaka is expected to start for the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Angels, returning after three months on the disabled list and a shaky start that all but sidetracked his 2009 season.
Matsuzaka, who went 18-3 for Boston in 2008, is 1-5 with a 8.23 ERA in eight starts this season and had an April visit to the disabled list.
He went back on the 15-day DL after his June 19 start, in which he allowed six runs in four innings, and was moved to the 60-day DL on July 31 with shoulder problems.
In Matsuzaka's fourth minor-league rehab start, on Wednesday for Class-A Salem, he went 6 2/3 innings, allowing one run and striking out seven. Red Sox manager Terry Francona said the team was "encouraged" by the results, according to Boston-area media reports.
"Sounded like he held his velocity, had some depth to the slider later in the game as he accumulated some pitches," Francona said. "Again, it's [Class A] Winston-Salem, but pitching good is better than pitching bad, and we wanted him to get deep into the game and compete a little bit.''
Tim Wakefield already has spent time on the DL because of his balky lower back and had a cortisone shot earlier this month, and then again on Thursday. Paul Byrd is 1-1 in three starts, but hadn't pitched all season until signing a minor-league contract with the Red Sox in early August.