SAN FRANCISCO -- The five-game suspension Ryan Dempster is currently serving for plunking Alex Rodriguez will actually turn into a longer break for the veteran right-hander.
With off-days on both Thursday and Monday, Red Sox manager John Farrell will go with a four-man rotation until Aug. 30, when Dempster makes his return by opening a three-game series at Fenway Park against the White Sox.
If Dempster hadn't been suspended, he would have started Saturday against the Dodgers.
His next start will come after 11 days of rest.
"With the off-days coming up, we're just trying to not get too many days off for guys," said Farrell. "There are some matchups along the way as well, seeing how we can take advantage of all of them."
Perhaps the break comes at a good time for the 36-year-old Dempster, who has a 6.81 ERA over his last seven starts.
"And I think because his status or his experience, I don't think the additional days at this point in the year will cause him to get out of a routine or affect the overall command," said Farrell. "When we've seen added rest at this point in the year, he's been more sharp, and the crispness to the secondary stuff has been noticeable."