Injury update: McDonald, Sweeney, Ross

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Injury update: McDonald, Sweeney, Ross

BOSTON -- Darnell McDonald, on the disabled list retroactive to May 12 with a right oblique strain, is expected to start a rehab assignment with the Triple-A Pawtucket today.

Manager Bobby Valentine said McDonald is expected to play five innings tonight and have Saturday off.

The PawSox host Toledo Friday night for the second game of an eight-game homestand.

Ryan Sweeney, on the 7-day concussion DL, is moving around nicely, Valentine said.

He doesnt have much stiffness in his neck, but I dont know what the update is on the MLB test that he has to pass before he resumes baseball activities.

Cody Ross was in the clubhouse before Fridays game with a boot on his left foot after suffering a navicular bone fracture when fouled a ball off the foot on May 18.

He came into the office today and said his foot feels great and in his mind it shouldnt be much more than the disabled list that hes on, Valentine said. Its all about pain. Hes got to be true. What I said to him: Be true to yourself, be true to us. If you dont feel anything, hey lets go play. If you feel something, give it more time. Theres no other way of doing it. And as general manager Ben Cherington said, if the follow-up MRI comes and shows some healing, then well know that just a little more time will be all the healing.

Betts and Bradley Jr. combine for seven RBI, Red Sox roll to 9-2 win

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Betts and Bradley Jr. combine for seven RBI, Red Sox roll to 9-2 win

The Boston Red Sox put up six runs in the first inning and coasted to a 9-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.

Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. led the way for the Red Sox with four and three RBI respectfully. Both outfielders had two-run home runs in the Sox’ big first inning.

Knuckleballer Steven Wright gave up one earned run in four innings, his ERA for the spring is now 0.68.

The Red Sox are back in action again on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m when Rick Porcello makes his final spring training start against the Minnesota Twins.

Hernandez has chance at Red Sox opening day roster after Rutledge injury

Hernandez has chance at Red Sox opening day roster after Rutledge injury

Infielder Marco Hernandez may make the Red Sox roster after all.

Fellow infielder Josh Rutledge, the presumptive 25th man on the Red Sox, suffered a left hamstring strain on Tuesday against the Pirates, according to reporters in Florida, including Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald.

If Rutledge isn’t ready for opening day, Hernandez, a left-handed hitter, may have his crack. 

The question is whether the Sox would be comfortable without a right-handed bat to complement both Pablo Sandoval and Mitch Moreland on the corners. Rutledge was going to give the Sox that right-handed look they sought. (When Hanley Ramirez's shoulder will be healthy enough to play first base is unclear, but isn't expected to be too long.)

Neither Rutledge nor Hernandez has played first base in the majors or minors.

A big-league rookie last year, Hernandez has done decently against lefties at the upper levels of the minors, hitting .328 vs. them at Triple-A Pawtucket last season in 67 at-bats. He hit .315 in 54 at-bats at Pawtucket, with a .318 average against them that season in 88 at-bats for Double-A Portland.

Rutledge is a Rule 5 draft pick who has to remain on the major league 25-man roster the whole season or the Sox risk losing him. Placement on the disabled list doesn’t affect his status unless he’s on the disabled list for a very lengthy time.

An alternative option is Steve Selsky, who has first-base experience, but he's already been optioned.