PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) _ Boston's Bret Saberhagen pitched four innings and gave up five runs Sunday in a rehabilitation start for Triple-A Pawtucket.

Saberhagen, who has not pitched for the Red Sox this season following rotator cuff surgery last November, allowed six hits against Columbus.

``It was a good test for the shoulder,'' said Saberhagen, a two-time Cy Young Award winner. ``For the most part, the arm felt pretty good. I loosened up a lot better.''

Saberhagen last pitched on July 24 against Indianapolis. He allowed two hits and no runs during that four-inning stint.

``This time his velocity was good early ... 88, 89 ... and it stayed there,'' said Pawtucket pitching coach Rich Bombard. ``He also threw some curveballs which had some bite and that's another good sign.

Saberhagen, who won 25 games for Boston over the 1998 and 1999 seasons, isn't quite sure which step he'll take next.

``I want to be there with Boston,'' he said. ``But realistically, I've got to ask myself, `Am I ready for that challenge?' I've got to talk to (Boston pitching coach) Joe Kerrigan and see what the big bosses think.''