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DICE-K SET FOR TUESDAY RETURN TO BOSOX STAFF

BOSTON - Red Sox RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka is scheduled to return to the rotation Tuesday against the Angels, three months after he went on the disabled list with shoulder problems, ESPN.com reported.

Matsuzaka, who was 18-3 with a 2.90 ERA last season, was 1-5, 8.23 in eight starts around an April stint on the disabled list before returning to the DL after his June 19 start. He had an encouraging rehab start Wednesday for Class A Salem, allowing one run in 62/3 innings.

"Sounded like he held his velocity, had some depth to the slider later in the game as he accumulated some pitches," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.

Matsuzaka likely would replace RHP Paul Byrd, who has a 6.08 ERA in three starts.

ASTROS: LHP Mike Hampton, the former Crystal River standout, scheduled his left shoulder surgery for Tuesday. Hampton went on the disabled list Aug.14 with a rotator cuff tear.

CARDINALS: RHP John Smoltz will skip his scheduled start Monday against the Marlins because of shoulder tendinitis. Smoltz said he expects to miss only one start.

RANGERS: CF Josh Hamilton said he feels much better after receiving two more injections in his back, and he is optimistic he will return next weekend.

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