Well-rested Uehara could be lengthened out

Well-rested Uehara could be lengthened out

Well-rested Uehara could be lengthened out

BOSTON -- When you consider all of the factors, it should come as no surprise to see closer Koji Uehara pitch at least some of the eighth inning in Saturday's Game 2 against the Rays in the American League Division Series.

The dominant righty hasn't pitched a real game since Sunday, though he did get an inning in Wednesday's simulated game.

And the Red Sox are off on Monday. Uehara has often said that the one thing he struggles with is when he doesn't get used enough.

"If we're in the eighth inning and hopefully we're trying to preserve a lead, he's ready to go, as is everyone in our bullpen," manager John Farrell said.

In the ninth inning on Friday, with a 10-run lead, Farrell opted to go to veteran Ryan Dempster, who has recently transitioned from the starting rotation.

As Dempster continues to regain comfort in the bullpen, where he worked from 2004-07, he could get some higher leverage situations.

"Last night, I thought was the first time he was a little bit more crisp," Farrell said. "It's just allowed that split against left-handers to be a little bit more effective. But yeah, he was everything we could have hoped in an inning of work."

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.