By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
ARLINGTON, Texas -- It's tempting to say that Erik Bedard made only one bad pitch in losing 4-0 to the Texas Rangers Monday night.
But even that is open to debate.
True, Bedard gave up a three-run homer to Texas DH Mike Napoli in the sixth, taking a 1-0 deficit and turning into a 4-0 hole for the Red Sox.
But even the pitch -- an elevated fastball on a 1-and-2 count -- wasn't bad. Credit should go to Napoli.
"That was pretty much the deciding factor in the game," said Bedard who is 0-2 with a 4.09 ERA since coming over from Seattle at the July 31 deadline.
TV replays showed Bedard with an astonished look on his face after Napoli hit the pitch out.
"I was just trying to throw a good pitch and get him out," said Bedard, "and he hit it out. I was trying to throw it up (in the zone) and get him to pop it up or miss it.
"Some games, that's how it ends up. He won the battle and I gave up a home run . . . I just made a mistake and he hit the ball out of the ballpark."
"I thought he pitched great," said catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia of Bedard. "That wasn't an easy pitch to hit and (Napoli) did a goof job of hitting. Other than that, (Bedard) pitched great."
Thanks to Napoli's three-run homer, it wasn't as controversial as it could have been, but first base umpire Doug Eddings appeared to have blown a call which helped contribute to the Rangers' first run.
In the bottom of the third, with Craig Gentry on first and one out, Ian Kinsler hit a sinking liner to right which outfielder Josh Reddick appeared to catch. But Eddings ruled that Reddick trapped the ball, giving the Rangers runners at first and second and one out.
The next hitter, Elvis Andrus, slapped a single to left, scoring Gentry from first.
"I clearly caught it in my opinion," said Reddick. "I came in (to the clubhouse) and asked everybody who saw it on TV and they said it was a clear catch. Nobody's perfect -- (Eddings) just missed it.
"I was 100 percent sure I caught it because if I don't catch that, it definitely bounces and hits off my chest instead of going right into the glove."
Reddick came up throwing to first to try to double up Gentry - who was between first and second base. Instinct would have had him going to second to try to force Gentry if he had any doubts about making the catch.
"I thought he caught it," said Terry Francona. "In fact I know he caught it. When an umpire says he's sure, and he's not, I don't know what to do."
Clay Buchholz is optimistic that he can return before the end of the regular season.
"He thinks he'll start throwing again soon,'' said Francona. "If that happens, he'll have to be cleared by the medical people. But the fact that he feels so good is really encouraging. I hope the (medical people clear him); that would be terrific news."
Buchholz has been doing a lot of stretching and core work and his lower back is much improved.
"I feel good," said Buchholz. "Just doing stuff, stretching and everything, I don't feel anything. There was definitely had been some pain a month and a half ago. Stretching every day helps out. Keeping everything loose in the lower half and that's going to take stress
off the back."
A problem for Buchholz will be finding a venue to build up arm strength once he's cleared to throw. By the time Buchholz is ready to make a rehab assignment, it's likely the minor league seasons will be over.
That's led to the suggestion that Buchholz might be brought back in relief, where he wouldn't need as much of a progression.
"I'll do whatever they want me to do," said Buchholz. "Obviously, I'm a starting pitcher. I like going out there and starting games and setting up hitters and going six, seven or eight innings. But sometimes, that might not be possible, considering the time we have left in the
"We haven't really sat down and talked about it at all. As I start progressing as far as the throwing goes, that will be a conversation we have."
David Ortiz (heel bursitis) hit in the cage Monday and will be re-evaluated to determine when he can get out of his walking boot.
"I think now it's not so much comfort," said Francona, "but when the point tenderness is enough that he can start running and not go backward."
When Ortiz gets cleared to run, he'll probably need at least two days to do that, meaning the earliest he's likely to return is Thursday, the final game of the series.
The Sox did some re-arranging of their starting rotation for the series.
Tim Wakefield had been scheduled to go Thursday in the series finale. Instead, Andrew Miller will get the spot start Thursday with Wakefield pushed back to Friday at home against Oakland.
"We really leaned on Lester pretty good the last three starts," said Francona. "Going forward, that gives everybody a little rest. I think everybody kind of feels good about it, so that's what we'll do."
Miller started last Friday in Kansas City and gave the Sox a quality start. Having a sixth start in the middle of August is a nice luxury.
"I think it's good," said Francona. "Sometimes you've got to be a little creative. (Miller) is such an interesting guy and when he goes out there and wins, it makes it a lot better."
Wakefield will pitch against a weaker lineup (Oakland) than he would have faced here, and will get to chase his elusive 200th career victory at home.
"There's a lot of reasons and we wouldn't do it for sentimental reasons," said Francona. "But I'm glad (it works)."
Outfielder J.D. Drew, who has been sidelined since late last month with an impingement in his left shoulder, will begin a rehab assignment Friday.
Drew will spend Friday and Saturday with Lowell of the New York-Penn League before rejoining the Sox Sunday to take batting practice.
After a day off Monday, he'll spend two days with Pawtucket, then presumably be activated Thursday when rosters expand.
Bobby Jenks, in Fort Myers, threw 24 pitches in a simulated game and is scheduled to repeat the process Wednesday. Jenks is on the DL for third time this season and second time because of a back ailment.