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Daisuke Matsuzaka Leaves Red Sox Game With 'Elbow Tightness'

Red Sox starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka was removed from the game against the Seattle Mariners midway through the top of the fifth inning with reported tightness in his right elbow.  There had been an obvious problem with the right-hander's velocity as the game went on.

Jason Varitek went out to the mound after Matsuzaka surrendered a single to Ichiro Suzuki to check on the pitcher.  Manager Terry Francona soon followed with team trainers.  Francona did not hesitate to pull Dice-K just to be safe and replace him with Matt Albers.  Matsuzaka had thrown 82 pitches through four innings when the Red Sox were winning the game, 4-2.

The injury proved costly to Matsuzaka and the Red Sox, as the bullpen ended up blowing the lead resulting in a 5-4 loss.  Dice-K was looking to record his third consecutive solid outing, in hopes that he could officially put his implosion against the Rays behind him.

Despite being pulled from the game, Daisuke will be ready to go for his next start according to Francona:

"He just said it was stiff. He didn't put up a fight," said Francona after the Red Sox' 5-4 loss to Seattle. "We're trying to be obviously cautious. ... We think he'll be OK for his next start."

(via WEEI)