MLB notes: Red Sox demote Melancon

Mark Melancon, of the Boston Red Sox, delivers a pitch in the eighth inning against the Texas...

Mark Melancon, of the Boston Red Sox, delivers a pitch in the eighth inning against the Texas Rangers on April 17, 2012 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Elsa/Getty Images/AFP)

QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 7:54 PM ET

Mark Melancon, who had a chance two weeks ago to become the closer for the Boston Red Sox, was optioned Wednesday to triple-A Pawtucket.

Melancon allowed six runs on four hits and two walks without retiring a batter Tuesday against the Texas Rangers.

He has a 49.50 earned-run average in four appearances this season after recording a 2.78 ERA in 71 games with the Houston Astros in 2011.

The Red Sox recalled Japanese right-hander Junichi Tazawa from Pawtucket.

FRANCONA CHANGES HIS MIND

Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona said he now will attend the team's 100th anniversary celebration of Fenway Park on Friday.

Francona, who was let go by the Red Sox after last season, originally said he wouldn't go because of lingering hard feelings. But he told ESPN on Wednesday changed his mind because he felt he owed it to the fans to be there.

"I think he deserves a standing ovation for what he did," Red Sox pitcher Daniel Bard said. "He was such a big part of so many good things that happened here."

INDIANS PITCHER SUSPENDED

Cleveland Indians pitcher Jeanmar Gomez was suspended for five games for intentionally throwing at Kansas City's Mike Moustakas last Saturday. Gomez also was fined an undisclosed amount by MLB.

Gomez hit Moustakas in the butt with a pitch, a half-inning after Royals pitcher Jonathan Sanchez hit the Indians' Shin-Soo Choo in the right knee in the top of the third. Choo also was hit by a Sanchez pitch last year that broke his left thumb.

ANGELS, AYBAR CLOSE

The Los Angeles Angels are expected to announce Thursday they have signed shortstop Erick Aybar to a four-year contract extension. ESPN reports that the deal is worth $35 million.

Aybar, a 2011 AL Gold Glove Award winner, has hit .274 in parts of seven seasons with the Angels. The 28-year-old would have become a free agent this off-season and likely would have drawn the interest of the usual big spenders such as the Boston Red Sox.

ACHING DIAMONDBACKS

It was a double-whammy Wednesday for the Arizona Diamondbacks as they placed two outfielders, Geoff Blum and Chris Young, on the 15-day disabled list.

Young, 28, bruised his right shoulder when he hit the wall after making a catch Tuesday in left-centre field against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Young is hitting .410 with five homers and 13 RBI.

Blum, who has a strained left oblique, has gone 1-for-11 in eight games this season. The 38-year-old missed most of the 2011 season with right knee inflammation and a fractured pinkie.

The Diamondbacks recalled former first-round pick outfielder A.J. Pollock and infielder Cody Ransom from triple-A Reno.

BRIEFLY

The Pittsburgh Pirates have placed pitcher Jeff Karstens on the 15-day disabled list and recalled right-hander Brad Lincoln from triple-A Indianapolis. Karstens has inflammation in his right shoulder ... Jamie Moyer, 49, became the oldest pitcher to win a game when the Colorado Rockies defeated the San Diego Padres 5-3 Tuesday night. He did it without hitting the 80 m.p.h. mark with any of his pitches, according to Brooks Baseball. His fastball averaged 77.2 m.p.h.


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