TORONTO -- Young reliever Franklin Morales made his first rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday, needing just nine pitches for a perfect one-two-three inning.
The 25-year-old was placed on the 15-day disabled list at the end of May with a left forearm strain after giving up five hits and four runs (two earned) over a pair of rough outings.
"[He had a] good inning last night. I think the velocity was around 91-92 [mph], which I think will increase with confidence as he goes," manager Terry Francona said. "It was a good, easy inning."
Morales will rest Sunday and then likely pitch another inning Monday before being reevaluated.
The Red Sox acquired Morales less than a month ago in a trade with the Rockies for cash and a player to be named later.
The left-hander has shown flashes of brilliance, averaging seven strikeouts per nine innings over his career. But Morales has also struggled with his control, managing to walk 5.2 batters for every nine frames -- an issue the Red Sox's coaching staff are trying to correct.
Boston will also try to improve Morales' splits against right-handed hitters, who are batting .275 off him in his career as opposed to left-handers, who hit just .188.
Adrian continues torrid tear in Sox's win streak
TORONTO -- No one has relished the Red Sox's nine-game win streak quite like Adrian Gonzalez, who has taken full advantage of his opportunities over the run.
Gonzalez has at least one RBI in all nine games and is hitting .417 (15-for-36), with five doubles, three home runs and 14 RBIs over the span. He's also just the second Red Sox player to have driven in a run in nine or more consecutive games with Boston winning each contest after Dwight Evans did it in 1989.
The Red Sox traded a bounty of prospects to acquire Gonzalez in the offseason with hopes of him putting up some big numbers against the tough pitching in the American League East. But not many thought he would be this good.
Gonzalez had started every single one of the Red Sox 65 games this season and leads the AL in hits (91), doubles (22), RBIs (60), batting average (.341) and total bases (156).
"He's been exactly what we hoped for. When you see it in person, it's kind of fun," manager Terry Francona said. "You hear all the stories and look at the scouting reports and watch games on TV, but when you get to watch it every day, it's been a lot of fun."
Gonzalez has also adapted well to a new clubhouse after spending his last five big league seasons with the San Diego Padres. Gonzalez hasn't looked out of place for a moment at Fenway Park, even taking on a leadership role with the team.
It reminds Francona of what Victor Martinez did when he came over to the Red Sox from the Indians in 2009. Martinez immediately became a leader and a veteran presence in the clubhouse for a Boston team that finished with the third-best record in the AL at 95-67.
"They're different personalities. But from Day 1, [Gonzalez] has been very active and very vocal, and I think pretty comfortable," Francona said. "I think that will grow, too. ... I don't know how he feels inside, but if he was having some reservations, it certainly didn't look like it."
Bruised left shoulder keeps Lowrie on bench
TORONTO -- Red Sox infielder Jed Lowrie was out of Sunday afternoon's lineup and will likely sit for another game during the team's upcoming series against the Rays as he continues to deal with a bruised left shoulder.
Lowrie missed two games earlier this week with the injury, but he has played through the pain in the Red Sox's previous three games. The results have not been encouraging, as the 27-year-old is just 1-for-14 over those three games and has committed two errors.
Manager Terry Francona hopes a few days of rest can get Lowrie over the hump as he continues to recover.
"He's still a little sore. We've got a day off tomorrow, so I think we can take advantage of it," Francona said. "What I want him to do is be able to go out and feel good. Maybe two or three days will kind of jump-start that a little bit."
Marco Scutaro, meanwhile, is providing the Red Sox with a more than serviceable replacement on the infield, as the 35-year-old veteran has been heating up this month.
Scutaro missed a full month from May 7 to June 7 with a left oblique injury, but he is hitting .400 (8-for-20) with two doubles since coming off the 15-day disabled list at the beginning of the team's current road trip.
He earned his second straight start at shortstop Sunday after swatting four singles in the Red Sox's 16-4 win over the Blue Jays on Saturday.
Scutaro's hot play in June has raised his batting average 38 points to .275 after the Venezuelan began the season in a slump, batting just .197 (12-for-61) through his first 20 games.
"You know how hitting is -- it's tough. Sometimes you just lose the feeling and it takes a while to get it back," Scutaro said. "My timing has gotten a little better. Earlier [in the season], I just lost it. That's pretty much the difference."
Since the start of May, Jacoby Ellsbury leads the American League with 57 hits. Gonzalez is second with 56, while David Ortiz is third with 52. In that span, Ortiz leads the Majors in home runs (14), extra-base hits (28), total bases (108) and slugging percentage (.745).
Outfielder Darnell McDonald continued to recover from a left quadriceps strain with Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday, playing center field and going 0-for-3 with a walk.
Going into Sunday afternoon's game at Rogers Centre, the Red Sox have 30 homers in their last 17 games on the road and 40 total homers away from home, which is the second-best mark in the Majors.
Arden Zwelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.