Red Sox activate Thornton from disabled list

The Boston Red Sox have reinstated left-handed reliever Matt

Thornton from the disabled list and optioned righty Brayan

Villarreal to Triple-A Pawtucket.

The moves were announced Sunday before the finale of a

three-game series with the NL West-leading Dodgers.

Thornton missed 16 games because of an oblique strain on his

right side. The Red Sox acquired him from the White Sox on July 12.

He is 0-4 with a 3.47 ERA in a combined 50 relief appearances with

Boston and Chicago. Thornton is one of four lefties in the Red Sox

bullpen, along with Craig Breslow, Franklin Morales and rookie

Drake Britton.

In Villarreal’s only appearance following his callup last

Monday, he walked San Francisco’s Marco Scutaro with the bases

loaded to force in the winning run in a 3-2 loss on Tuesday.