BOSTON -- Left-handed reliever Rich Hill was removed from Wednesday afternoon's 7-4 loss to the White Sox because of a forearm injury and was scheduled for an MRI in the evening.
Hill showed discomfort after walking Adam Dunn in the seventh. Hill was immediately replaced by Daniel Bard, who worked out of the bases-loaded one-out jam without allowing a run.
"Originally, I was just focused on catching the pitch, but then I looked out there and noticed he was clutching the elbow in some pain," said catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. "He said he felt something pop in there and just like a burning, so hopefully everything turns out OK. But it's always scary when it's the elbow."
Ulnar collateral ligament injuries can often result in Tommy John surgery, though Bard checked in with Hill after the game and reported optimistic news.
"He said it wasn't structural damage," Bard said. "I think Rich is OK though, from what I heard. He said it was just scar tissue that kind of popped. He seemed OK and said he passed all the tests when they were testing for [a] UCL [injury]."
Hill had yet to allow a run, striking out 12 in eight innings of work this season. Manager Terry Francona said Hill's early test results looked promising.
"On the just examination, the cursory examination, he actually looked OK, which is good," Francona said. "When somebody comes off the mound like that, we've got to get him checked thoroughly, which we will. Hopefully we'll know a little bit more tonight."
If Hill's hurt to the point that he goes on the 15-day disabled list, the Red Sox could turn to fellow southpaw Felix Doubront, who returned to Triple-A Pawtucket from a left groin injury on Monday. Doubront threw 47 pitches (29 strikes) and struck out five batters over 3 1/3 innings, though the initial plan was to stretch him out as a starter. The day after his start, Doubront said he was feeling really good.
Southpaws Andrew Miller and Hideki Okajima could also be options. Miller's been used out of the rotation and has shown command issues, despite racking up a 2.47 ERA. Okajima tossed a scoreless inning of relief on Tuesday and has allowed one run in three innings of work since clearing waivers and returning to Pawtucket.
Pedroia working hard to come out of slump
BOSTON -- Dustin Pedroia's average stagnated in the mid-.200s last month, reaching as high as .265 on May 1 and sinking to .240 as June began. Entering Wednesday, the Red Sox's second baseman had just one hit in his last 10 at-bats, but he has started to hit the ball better of late.
"I think he's taken some real good [swings]," said manager Terry Francona.
According to fangraphs.com, Pedroia's hit a line drive 15.2 percent of the time this season. That's abnormally low for the second baseman's career, and down from the second-best rate of his career last season (22.2 percent). Notably, Pedroia is walking more in 2011, 14.2 percent of the time as opposed to a career-high 10.5 percent from a year ago.
Confidence, too, is always an issue with Pedroia. Wearing his heart on his sleeve, he has a tendency to be too hard on himself.
"Just remind him, 'Hey, you know, you could be 4-for-6 at one point, so don't beat yourself over the head too much,'" said Francona.
Dice-K, Sox to develop plan on elbow rehab
BOSTON -- The Red Sox could meet with Daisuke Matsuzaka as soon as an off-day Thursday to discuss how the right-hander will rehabilitate a strained ligament in his throwing elbow.
Matsuzaka is due back in Boston on Wednesday night after receiving a second opinion on the elbow in Southern California on Tuesday.
Dr. Lewis Yocum, the Angels' team doctor, did not provide a different diagnosis of Matsuzaka than Red Sox medical director Dr. Tom Gill, but there is still a decision to be made about how Matsuzaka approaches his recovery. The ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow is sprained, and reconstructive surgery on that ligament is best known as Tommy John surgery.
Manager Terry Francona said Wednesday no surgery was scheduled.
"I think we have to ... figure out how to best go about this," Francona said. "Certainly ... the player or the pitcher has to have some opinion, too, but you're always going to -- I think -- go by it non-operatively first. That just seems like it makes sense to me."
Yocum and Gill are expected to collaborate in forming a plan for Matsuzaka.
"We're going to meet with [Matsuzaka]," Francona said. "Again, we got the day off tomorrow. I don't know what our timetable is. [General manager Theo Epstein] and those guys got all those meetings going on [to prepare for the Draft]. We will certainly meet with him [in] the next couple days. We want to sit down kind of put our heads together, see how he feels. We'll let Dr. Gill have their talk with Dr. Yocum and then try to plan out how we go about this the next couple weeks."
Reddick showing more patience at plate
BOSTON -- Josh Reddick wasn't asked by the Red Sox to take a more patient approach at the plate this season, though his production has certainly looked that way.
The 24-year-old outfielder known for his aggressive approach -- he had walked three times to 32 strikeouts in his brief two-year stint in the Majors heading into this season -- had already surpassed his 2010 walk total with 26 free passes in 44 Triple-A games.
He was batting eighth in Boston's starting lineup against Chicago on Wednesday.
"They haven't said one word to me about having to take more walks," Reddick said. "It goes without saying that they just want me to swing at better pitches that I can drive instead of rolling over one that could go by as a strike. But it's been all on my own."
Since joining the big league club, Reddick has gone for 5-for-9 at the plate with four RBIs. He took J.D. Drew's spot in right field Wednesday as manager Terry Francona was hoping Reddick, who is third in the International League with 12 home runs, would provide a spark from the bottom of the order.
"[Drew] has just been kind of scuffling a little bit," Francona said of his starting right fielder, who has also been nursing a sore right hamstring. "Maybe [Reddick] will give us a little. Sometimes day game after a night game, you're looking for some energy. Maybe [Reddick] will bump into one. He's been playing pretty well."
Drew is hitting .228 this season, with eight extra-base hits in 136 at-bats. He closed out May with a .188 average, and Francona said Drew has yet to find his comfort zone.
"I think we keep waiting for that," the skipper said. "J.D. has kind of a track record of grabbing on to that one month and really almost put us on his back, and certainly you always wait for that. And he hasn't gotten to that point yet, no."
Millwood ready to make first start for PawSox
PAWTUCKET -- Kevin Millwood will make his first start with Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday night, and he's hoping to throw about 75 pitches.
Millwood was signed by the Red Sox to a Minor League deal on May 19 and had been throwing in Fort Myers, Fla.
"When they called, it was a good opportunity for me," said Millwood, who had previously been with the Yankees' farm system this season before opting out of his contract. "I was more than willing to stay at home and relax for the summer. But when you get a team of this caliber that has some interest and will give me a chance, you're in a better situation."
The 36-year-old has spent 14 seasons in the Majors, going 4-16 with a 5.10 ERA in Baltimore last year.
With Alfredo Aceves and Tim Wakefield both pitching well while filling in for injured parts of the Red Sox's rotation, and John Lackey set to make his return from the 15-day disabled list on Sunday, Millwood may not be needed in Boston any time soon.
"It all depends on how I pitch here," Millwood said. "Whatever happens, happens. It'll be nice to get back out there and kind of see where I'm at."
Evan Drellich is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @EvanDrellich. Jason Mastrodonato is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.