Ryan Dempster was pulled after giving up four runs in three innings Thursday against the Indians.
Dempster has been roughed up in three straight outings (15 earned runs in 12 2/3 innings) after opening the season with a 2.93 ERA in seven starts. He's not going to be worth using in mixed leagues until he turns it around.
Will Middlebrooks left Thursday's game against the Indians after the fourth inning with lower back spasms.
Middlebrooks struck out the inning before, but it's not clear if he tweaked something during that at-bat or earlier. It's not clear at this point how serious the ailment is. The Red Sox should provide an update after the game.
Shane Victorino (hamstring) did sprints and other drills prior to Thursday's game.
He's sitting out again Thursday, but the outfielder still seems likely to avoid the disabled list. "He's still day-to-day," Red Sox manager John Farrell said Thursday. "He's unavailable tonight. So, I think, we've used as a general rule of thumb, as we get to that halfway point of the potential of putting Shane on the [disabled list], we'll make a decision at that point, but we're no closer today to making a roster move.''
Red Sox signed LHP Rafael Perez to a minor league contract.
Perez is still building strength following shoulder surgery, so Ian Browne of MLB.com hears that he will likely report to Double-A Portland and work his way up from there. The 31-year-old southpaw owns a 3.64 ERA over 338 relief appearances in the majors, so he's a worthwhile flier for Boston.
Shane Victorino (hamstring) is not in the Red Sox starting lineup Thursday night against the Indians.
Victorino has missed the last three games with left hamstring tightness, but he is still expected to avoid the disabled list. The hope is he'll be ready on Friday.
David Ross (concussion) will begin a rehab assignment Thursday with Double-A Portland.
Ross has been out since May 11 with concussion-related symptoms. Assuming he avoids a setback in Portland, he will rejoin the Red Sox on Friday against the Indians.