BOSTON (CBS) — The back end of the Boston rotation just can’t stay healthy.

Brian Johnson left his start on Wednesday night in Philadelphia with discomfort in his left shoulder, and is back to Boston to be re-evaluated on Thursday.

Johnson, who was called up on June 9 to replace the injured Eduardo Rodriguez in the rotation, was strong for the first two innings on Wednesday night before a noticeable loss in velocity. He hadn’t allowed a hit until the third inning, when he gave up three runs off of four hits, and left after allowing a double to the Phillies’ Tommy Joseph on his 44th pitch of the night.

Johnson was met by pitching coach Carl Willis and Boston’s trainer on the mound before leaving, and after the game told reporters that he initially felt shoulder tightness during pre-game warmups.

“I was in the bullpen and started to feel some tightness, and the more and more I threw, it did get a little bit more uncomfortable,” Johnson said, according to

“He felt some increasing stiffness, and the inability to get loose with each successive inning here tonight until in the third inning, he had to come out,” manager John Farrell said. “Hopefully we caught it early enough so it isn’t a severe situation.”

The lefty sounded confident that he’d get over the discomfort quickly.

“Not concerned at all,” said Johnson (via The Boston Herald). “I’ve been through worse for sure but I think it’ll be quick for me hopefully. I’ll come in tomorrow and see how it feels.”

Johnson is 2-0 with a 4.29 ERA in four starts for Boston over his two major league stings this season. He was replaced by right-hander Hector Velazquez on Wednesday (recalled prior to the game as an emergency arm out of the bullpen), who allowed just one hit over 3.1 scoreless innings to earn his first career victory in Boston’s 7-3 win.

The Boston rotation is already without Rodriguez, on the DL with a right knee subluxation, and knuckleballer Steven Wright, who is out for the season after undergoing left knee surgery.






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