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Red Sox Shuffle Pitching Rotation

July 21, 1999

BOSTON (AP) _ Mark Portugal, suffering from back spasms, joined Pedro Martinez on the sidelines Wednesday as the Boston Red Sox were forced to shuffle their pitching rotation again.

Boston also obtained right-handed reliever Julio Santana from Tampa Bay for a player to be named. Santana has a 1-4 record and a 7.32 ERA in 22 games with the Devil Rays, five of them starts.

Martinez, baseball’s best pitcher with a 15-3 record, is expected to miss at least one turn with a sore right shoulder. In his last outing, he allowed a career-high nine runs in 3 2-3 innings Sunday against Florida.

Portugal (5-7) had been scheduled to pitch Thursday against Baltimore but will be replaced by Jin Ho Cho. Tomokazu Ohka, knocked out of his first major league start in the second inning Monday night, is slated to start for Martinez on Friday.

``I’ve had it before,″ Portugal said of his back problem. ``Sometimes it takes two or three days″ for the problem to clear up.

He said it was possible he could pitch Saturday, although Pat Rapp appeared more likely to fill in for him.

Santana, who reached the major leagues with Texas in 1997, was 9-12 with a 5.37 ERA before this season.

To make room for him on the 40-man roster, the Red Sox designated for assignment right-hander Travis Baptiste, who was with Triple-A Pawtucket of the International League.

Boston would have to make another move to get Santana on the 25-man major league roster.

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