BALTIMORE -- Fresh off a three-hit night Saturday night, Mike Carp was back in the lineup for the series finale Sunday afternoon, with a chance to earn still more playing time.
"Obviously, he's done a very good job to date," said John Farrell. "It's a fresh body, it's a good swing. He's earning the ABs. That's not to say he doesn't have the ability to play more regularly. I just thought with another right-handed starter (Jason Hammel), another lefthanded bat in there is what we're looking for."
Over his last 21 games, Carp has reached safely in 19 and is hitting .364 (24-for-66). Among all American League players with at least 100 plate appearances, Carp's .622 sluggging percentage is fourth.
For the season, Carp is hitting .329 with eight homers and 28 RBI.
"Particularly with us," said Farrell, "he's made the most of the opportunities he's been given."
- On Friday, in discussing Jarrod Saltalamacchia's workload, Farrell indicated that Ryan Lavarnway would get a game behind the plate Sunday, since it would represent a day game following a night game.
Instead, Saltalamacchia found himself back in the lineup, with his third straight start in the series.
"That's as much about the combination of Salty and Jon (Lester, starting pitcher)," explained Farrell. "That's not to take anything away from Ryan. But I think there's a rapport that's been built there between Salty and Jon and I wanted to preserve that. We're probably looking at Lavarnway (playing Monday) against (Tampa Bay starter David) Price."
- Farrell said his communication with GM Ben Cherington has been ramped up as the Wednesday trade deadline draws closer.
"A month ago, it was daily," said Farrell. "This past 10 days, it might be four or five times a day. It's good conversation and certainly he's the decision-maker when it comes to player personnel and additions to the roster. He's great on keeping me up to date on what may be coming down the line."
Farrell said, by nature of their jobs, he and Cherington may have a different perspective on trades, with the manager looking at the present and the GM taking a longer view.
"He's got to have an eye on today as well as tomorrow," said Farrell, "and preserve the overall vision and depth going forward. But it's hard not to think of today only when you're in the dugout. We live in today and he's very respectful of that and it's been a very good rapport.
"He wants to win as much as anybody -- this year. So we're doing whatever we can to make that come to life."