MINNEAPOLIS – The Red Sox entered Saturday's games, at 12-7 tied with the Yankees (who beat the Blue Jays today) for the best road record in the American League, trailing only the Cardinals, at 14-7, for the best road record in the majors.
“What allows you to win on the road is getting good performances out of the bullpen, particularly guys that are in the game prior to the closer, and we’ve had that ability for us,” said manager John Farrell. “That’s not to say that’s the sole reason, but at the same time, that’s a key part. When we’re tied late in the game such as [Friday] night, to be able to go to Andrew Miller [who threw a season-high 1 2/3 innings] and other guys to continue to put up zeros. A strong bullpen allows you to win on the road a little bit more regularly.”
The Sox are 3-1 on their current nine-game, three-city trip.
* After Miller’s longest outing of the season Friday night, Farrell said it’s possible Miller could be used in a limited role on Saturday.
“If he’s available, it’ll be on a short stint, maybe for a hitter,” Farrell said. “But we’ve got to be careful with some guys out there.”
* With Shane Victorino and Stephen Drew getting the night off, Daniel Nava and Pedro Ciriaco replace them in the lineup. Nava will play right field, batting sixth. Ciriaco starts at shortstop, batting ninth.
* Left-hander Franklin Morales, who has been on the disabled list all season with back and pectoral muscle ailments, and right-hander Andrew Bailey (biceps) are scheduled for rehab assignments tonight with Triple-A Pawtucket. Morales started the 6:05 p.m. game. Bailey is making his first rehab appearance. If all goes well, he could be activated after this outing.
* Friday night was David Ortiz’s 1,400th game played as a member of the Sox, moving past Dom DiMaggio, with 1,399 games, into sole possession of 10th place on the team’s all-time list. Jason Varitek is next at 1,546.
* Ortiz is nine doubles shy of the 500 mark.