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Red Sox notebook: Pitchers Hill, Wacha progresses

BOSTON — Red Sox starting pitchers Michael Wacha and Rich Hill are both closing in on a comeback.

Hill pitched a three-inning mock game here at Fenway Park on Friday.

“We’ll see how he bounces back today,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “Probably a bullpen on Sunday and we’ll decide what’s next. But he looked good. He looked really good. The speed it went up to 90 (mph). So maybe the splint helps.

Wacha will kick off a bullpen session on Saturday, then kick off a mock game on Monday.

Hill suffered a sprained left knee in his Chicago debut against the Cubs on July 1. Boston placed him on the 15-day disabled list on July 2.

Wacha, who has been in IL for 15 days with an inflamed right shoulder, kicked off June 28 in Toronto. His time in IL dates back to July 5.

Cora said they will “probably” have to start rehab in Portland or Worcester before returning.

“Probably a beginning of rehabilitation. Maybe two,” Cora said. “We will see.”

Other injury updates:

• Matt Barnes will make an appearance in rehab for Triple-A Worcester on Friday at Polar Park. He’s been in IL with inflammation in his right shoulder since June 1.

• Trevor Story scored shots in the box on Friday but hasn’t taken any swings yet. Boston placed him on the 10-day disabled list on July 16 (dating back to July 14) with a right hand contusion.

• James Paxton, just back from Tommy John’s surgery, is holding paddock sessions in Fort Myers. Its next step will be a simulated game. Cora said he will provide more updates on Saturday.

• Josh Taylor will return to Fort Myers on Sunday to resume rehab. He hasn’t pitched for Boston this season due to a lower back injury. He was removed from a rehabilitation mission last Saturday.

• Kiké Hernández (right hip flexor strain) was also removed from rehab last week. He works out in the weight room, but he does not participate in any baseball activities. He received a PRP injection last week.

“He feels better after the shot,” Cora said. “It started today. I don’t know how long this will last, but at least it’s moving.

THE RED SOX struck JD Martinez from his starting lineup 1 hour and 20 minutes before the first pitch.

The team announced that he was fired due to back spasms.

Rob Refsnyder, who was not in the original lineup against Blue Jays starter Kevin Gausman, will replace Martinez at DH. He is second at bat behind leadoff Jarren Duran.

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