Alex Cora: Brian Johnson likely to start for Red Sox on Sunday

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The Boston Red Sox are going to give their starting pitchers an extra day of rest to close off their 11-game trip.

On Sunday, Alex Cora is planning on starting lefty reliever Brian Johnson, but will wait until after Friday's game to make it official.

“Still waiting to see how it goes today,” Cora said before Friday's game to MassLive's Chris Cotillo. “[Brian Johnson] most likely. We’ve still got Hector [Velazquez]. They can go multiple innings. We’ll see how it goes."

Johnson will take what would have been Chris Sale's place in the rotation. By giving Sale the extra rest, that should give the Red Sox ace a chance to pitch in the team's home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Johnson has experience as a spot starter, and he started 13 games for the Red Sox last season. So far in 2019, Johnson is 1-0 and has allowed just one earned run in 4 1/3 innings of work.

Also, it's notable that ahead of Friday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Johnson hadn't appeared in a game since the Sunday loss to the Seattle Mariners. So, he should be fresh if the team doesn't need his services in the next couple of days.

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