John Farrell now has another left-hander to work with.
The Red Sox activated Matt Thornton from the 15-day disabled list Sunday. To make room for Thornton, the Sox optioned right-handed reliever Brayan Villarreal to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Thornton, who was acquired in a trade with the White Sox on July 12, had been on the DL since Aug. 7 (retroactive to Aug. 5) with a right oblique strain. The left-hander was 0-1 with a 2.16 ERA in 10 games with Boston before landing on the shelf. Overall this season, Thornton is 0-4 with a 3.47 ERA in 36 1/3 innings over 50 games.
Villarreal, who was acquired from the Tigers as part of the Jake Peavy trade, heads back to the minors after making just one appearance with the Red Sox. He was called up Monday, and he walked the only batter he faced in Tuesday’s walk-off loss in San Francisco.