When Andrew Miller threw 2 2/3 innings of relief Thursday night against Cleveland, it figured to throw the Red Sox rotation for a loop. But manager Terry Francona has it all figured out.
While Miller recovers from his 71-pitch outing, his next turn in the rotation will be skipped. Francona will give the ball to Tim Wakefield on Monday in Minnesota, the game in which Miller was once scheduled to start, followed by Erik Bedard and Jon Lester.
After a day off, the Red Sox will have John Lackey, Josh Beckett and Wakefield lined up to pitch in three games in Seattle next weekend.
In all likelihood, Miller will make his next start during the series at home against Tampa Bay on August 16-17. The first day of that set is a doubleheader.
"That's a pretty logical landing point," Francona said of Miller, who will be available out of the bullpen after a few days to recover from his relief appearance.
As for Bedard, who threw 70 pitches in his Boston debut Thursday, he will see his workload increased slightly during his start in Minnesota. However, he is not all the way back from a left knee sprain that kept him out of action for more than a month before his trade to the Red Sox.
"He's two starts in, he's 6 2/3 innings in," Francona said after shooting down a suggestion that Bedard was 100 percent. "He pitched really well. We want to keep an eye on this guy. We want him to continue to get stronger…We're certainly going to up the workload as he goes, but we'll keep an eye on him."
Francona suggested that in addition to slowly inching up Bedard's pitch count, the club has to be mindful of the lefty's knee.
"He?s still wearing that brace. I think he still feels it," the manager said.
Wakefield's start Monday will be his third crack at career win No. 200. He is 14-7 in his career against the Twins.