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Red Sox ace laid up, 'very sick'

BOSTON -- Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez missed his scheduled start Thursday against the Oakland Athletics because of a sore throat and fever.

Martinez went to St. Elizabeth's Medical Center for testing, Red
Sox spokesman Kevin Shea said. He was diagnosed with severe
pharyngitis -- inflammation of the throat -- and given medication for
both the fever and the sore throat, Shea said. Martinez was home
resting by late afternoon.

The team was awaiting further test results from team physician
Dr. Bill Morgan. It was not immediately clear when Martinez will be
available to pitch again.

"We're waiting on the final word to see exactly what it is, but
he was very sick last night, he slept none,'' manager Grady Little
said.

Casey Fossum started for the Red Sox on Thursday against
Oakland.

"It's a good chance for Casey Fossum to step up tonight and
make a name and throw a great game in a big situation,'' first
baseman Kevin Millar said before the game.

Center fielder Johnny Damon said Martinez's teammates are just
hoping he gets better soon.

"We're able to win games without Pedro,'' he said. "Hopefully
it's nothing that lingers and causes him to get very weak. You
know, we'll survive.''