Johnson allowed one hit and two walks while striking out three over three scoreless relief innings in Tuesday's 10-1 win over the Angels. Johnson piggybacked on a start by David Price, who left after 78 pitches and five innings with a 9-1 lead. Manager Alex Cora didn't want to push Price, who left his previous start early after experiencing a sensation in his left hand. Johnson, who had been scheduled to start Monday before the game was postponed, will continue to throw out of the bullpen, sometimes as a multi-inning reliever.
Johnson won't make his scheduled start Monday against the Orioles, as the game has been postponed due to poor weather, Ryan Hannable of WEEI.com reports. Rather than playing Monday, the game will be made up on May 17 when the Red Sox and Orioles have coinciding days off. Per Ian Browne of MLB.com, David Price (hand) will pitch Tuesday against the Angels as planned. With Drew Pomeranz (forearm) poised to come off the disabled list in the near future, Johnson will likely return to his spot in Boston's bullpen.
Johnson has been named the starting pitcher for Monday's game against the Orioles, Ian Browne of MLB.com reports. David Price (hand) had his scheduled start pushed back a day, so Johnson will temporarily fill the gap in the rotation. He may only throw a few innings in what could ultimately become a bullpen game. The swingman currently holds a 2.70 ERA over 10 innings of work this season -- including a six-inning, one-run start April 2 against the Marlins.
Johnson tossed 1.2 scoreless innings of relief in Wednesday's 10-7 loss to the Yankees, allowing one hit and striking out three. David Price pitched only one inning Wednesday before leaving due to a "sensation" in his left hand, forcing the Red Sox to use six relievers on the night. Johnson was the most successful of the bunch, throwing 19 of 28 pitches for strikes, and while Price may not miss his next start, Johnson would be the likely candidate to replace him for Monday's home start against the Orioles should Boston decide to exercise further caution.
Johnson is scheduled to start the fifth game of the season, April 2, on the road against the Marlins. Johnson emerged with a dominant spring and was a no-brainer to take a temporary spot in a rotation beset with injuries. The 27-year-old left-hander has rediscovered impeccable command of a low-90s fastball and advanced curveball. He'll eventually land in the bullpen when the injured starters come back, but he can get big-league hitters out and will stick around.