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Morales probably two starts away from returning

Morales probably two starts away from returning play video for Morales probably two starts away from returning

ST. PETERSBURG -- Left-hander Franklin Morales will make his fourth appearance of his Minor League rehab assignment on Saturday, when he again pitches for Triple-A Pawtucket.

The Red Sox are stretching Morales out as a starter in case that's the role they use him in when he returns to the active roster.

"Well, he'll likely get to four innings [on Saturday], and if we don't change course with his role, we'd like to get him to a minimum of five before we'd look to do something back here," manager John Farrell said.

If Morales was definitely going to be back as a reliever, the Red Sox likely already would have activated him.

"We'll kind of evaluate things in five-day increments," Farrell said. "Not only with his progression, but with what's taking place here. If the need were to arise [in the bullpen], that's a possibility. We're staying the course right now on him starting."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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