MINNEAPOLIS -- As often happens for a day game following a night game, the Red Sox lineup reflected some changes from its standard iteration.
Out were outfielders Grady Sizemore and Shane Victorino and in were Mike Carp (left field) and Jonny Gomes (right field). Also, David Ross was behind the plate, with A.J. Pierzynski getting the afternoon off.
Victorino could use the day down to rest a knee, which he jammed sliding into the third base bag Tuesday night.
"A day of rest, so he can get some additional treatment,'' said John Farrell of Victorino. "We don't think it's long-term. We just wantnto stay ahead of it.''
As for Sizemore, with three right-handed starters going for the Detoit Tigers over the weekend, Farrell thought this was a good time to give Sizemore a break "just to balance the things we still factor in with him.''
At the start of the season, the Sox were unsure of how much they could push Sizemore, given his physical issues. Still, Sizemore last week played seven straight games before getting a couple off in Texas over the weekend.
He then played the first two games of this series before sitting Thursday.
"He could have gone today,'' said Farrell. "There's no doubt, he's capable. To say that he's up to six or seven days a week, I think that's concievable at this point. Where we've come over the last six weeks is drastically different than coming out of spring training, where we had to balance a number of games per week.
"In my mind, there's probably no restrictions at this point. This is as much looking at Grady as we would any other player. When is a day off beneficial for him? Or is he dealing with something physical, which he's not. Like I said, if the need [existed], he's available today and could have started today.''
Another factor: Twins righthander Phil Hughes has backward splits, meaning righty hitters (.890 OPS) have fared better against him than lefties (.539).
Meanwhile, Carp was getting just his second starting opportunity this month.
"The role Mike is in is one similar to the one a year ago,'' said Farrell. "It's not an easy role. I know he views himself more as an everyday player and we're conscious of that. That's why we're trying to keep him as sharp as possible.
"While he's not playing every day, he's still a valuable member of this roster.''
The Red Sox have wanted to get reliever Edward Mujica back on track after a period of ineffectiveness, followed by an oblique pull.
The plan was to get him so work in low-leverage situations, so he came into Wednesday's game in the ninth, with the Sox leading, 9-2. But Mujica gave up a two-run homer to Trevor Plouffe in his one mop-up inning.
"I temper it with a couple of things,'' said Farrell. "No. 1, he needs a little bit more frequent work. I don't necessarily see some restrictions physically after the oblique area, but still, he's a guy who's had a lot of success and we've got to get him going. I know he can be a little frustrated with the infrequency of use and the way things have gone.
"But we've got to get him a little more consistent with location. [Wednesday] night, he threw a pitch up in the zone and doesn't get away with a mistake. That just comes through repetition and much greater feel because of usage.''