Notes: Buchholz (back) throws from 60 feet

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Notes: Buchholz (back) throws from 60 feet

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON Right-hander Clay Buchholz, who has been on the disabled list since June 17 with a lower back strain, threw for the first time today. He made 25 throws from 60 feet.

Which is probably not, in the grand scheme of things, exciting, but it was for us, said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. Obviously, were going to go slow, kind of deliberate. But the fact that he did so well in his core work and in that step of the program is really exciting. Whether this turns into him pitching or not we dont know bit its still exciting in the fact that hes done so well to this point. And well just continue that and like I said, pretty deliberate, and well see where it goes.

Francona said Buchholz would probably throw every-other day for a while.

You won't see this escalate in a hurry, he said.

I think Ive said this probably multiple times: If you see him pitch, hes fine andit would be with anybody. Doesnt matter who they are. Were going to take this very deliberate and hes going to pass tests. The good news is he feels good. So whether he pitches this year or not, wed hate like heck for him to go into the offseason not feeling well.

Buchholz was satisfied with his outing.

"Yeah, just to pick up a ball and mess around, yeah, he said. Seems like its been all season. So definitely good to get out there.

I felt good. There was no pain, nothing holding me back. Obviouslyit was a light day, but it was good.

Buchholz is still unsure if he will pitch in the regular season.

I dont know, he said. I think its going to depend on whenever I actually start doing the pitching motion and see how that feels and see how it feels the day after that. But it felt good today, no restrictions, and no pain. So that was definitely a good thing.

The Sox stranded at least one runner in every inning and 16 total, tying a season high, which they set on April 10 against the Yankees. The Sox went 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

At 3:59 it was the longest nine-inning game of the season for the Sox.

Ortiz extended his season-high hit streak to 13 games. He is batting .520 (26-for-50) with seven doubles, six home runs, 14 RBI, and seven walks in that stretch. His seventh-inning walk was the 751st of his career, moving him past Dom DiMaggio into seventh place on the Sox all-time list.

Jed Lowrie went 3-for-5 and his now hitting .329 (26-for-79) against the Yankees in his career. It is his third-highest average against an American League club, behind .333 against the Royals and .359 against the Rangers.

J.D. Drew and Kevin Youkilis each played a rehab game with Triple-A Pawtucket. Drew played right field and went 3-for-3 with a run scored. Youkilis served as the designated hitter and went 1-for-4 with a walk and a run scored.

Youkilis is expected to play third base Wednesday night for the PawSox while Drew serves as the DH. If all goes well, Drew could be back Thursday with Youkilis coming back Friday.

With those two returning, the Sox are not likely to do anything immediately when rosters expand on Thursday, except to possibly add a pitcher. Ryan Lavarnway would also be called up next week.

General manager Theo Epstein and I talked about this numerous times, Francona said. I think were kind of on the same page. In fact, I know we are. You never want to get caught short. At the same time, just calling guys up to put them in the bullpen or sit on the bench, Im not sure thats in anybodys best interest. If we ever run short, we can get somebody up here the next day and these guys can continue to do what theyre doing. So, I think thats kind of how we look at it.

Francona has set his rotation for the three-game series with the Rangers beginning Friday at Fenway Park. Left-hander Andrew Miller is scheduled to pitch the first game, followed by lefty Eric Bedard, and John Lackey, who starts Tuesday night against the Yankees. Tim Wakefield is expected to start one of the games in the three-game series in Toronto beginning Monday, but Francona would not say which one yet.

This schedule gives Bedard a couple days rest, Francona said. Were going to back Wake up a little bit. Hes not going to pitch until Toronto. Just talked to him before I spoke to the media so he can figure out how to proceed and we can get him in the bullpen for a few days and as we get closer to that start he can start preparing for that, too. We also have a doubleheader coming up on the 19th against the Orioles at Fenway Park.

The Rangers have scheduled Derek Holland for Friday, followed by Colby Lewis on Saturday, with Sundays starter undecided.

Francona on Yankees starter CC Sabathia, who was 0-4 with a 7.20 ERA against the Sox this season before getting the win Tuesday night, while going 17-3 (2.40) against everyone else:

I really dont know why. Maybe I should. Certainly respect how good CC is and what he can do. Weve done pretty well against him. When hes made mistakes weve made him pay for it. Weve made him work really hard. Saying that, I dont think everybody woke up this morning saying, Yeah, we get to face CC. hes one of the best in the game and we still respect that. But weve done a pretty good job up to this point against him. Well see again tonight.

Bobby Jenks, on the DL since July 8 with left back tightness, is back with the Sox. He had been scheduled for a rehab game on Saturday with Single-A Salem, but was scratched when he became ill.

Hes kind of having a day where hes getting reevaluated and were kind of sifting through how to get him back on his feet, when to do it, how do to it, where to do it, Francona said. Hopefully well have some answers the next couple of days.

He got sick in Salem. We were going to send him to Scranton with Pawtucket. Then, we couldnt get him anywhere with the hurricane. It was kind of a mess.

Condolences to pitching coach Curt Young, who father died. Bullpen coach Gary Tuck will serve as the pitching coach in Youngs absence.

The Red Sox have announced the players they are sending to the Arizona Fall League, along with Pawtucket manager Arnie Beyeler, who will manage the Scottsdale Scorpions (comprised of players from the Red Sox, Angels, Giants, Nationals, and Phillies). Pitchers Brock Huntzinger, Jeremy Kerht, and Wil Latimer, catcher Dan Butler, infielder Will Middlebrooks, and outfielder Alex Hassan are expected. The Sox have one additional pitching spot on the Scottsdale roster they can fill.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen.

Merloni: ‘Missed opportunities left and right’ for Red Sox

Merloni: ‘Missed opportunities left and right’ for Red Sox

Lou Merloni talks about the Red Sox losing 6 out of the last 7 games and if David Price should have stayed in the game for the 9th inning.

McAdam: Red Sox at a loss after excruciating defeat

McAdam: Red Sox at a loss after excruciating defeat

There are still two full months of games left on the schedule and who knows what might happen in that time, or what else might befall the Red Sox.

But for now, it's no stretch to suggest that Thursday's excruciating 2-1 setback in Anaheim constitutes the worst loss of the season to date. The point hardly seems debatable.

Consider:

THE TIMING: This was the start of the longest, and in many ways, most challenging road trip of the season, with 11 games in 11 days. It comes immediately after a homestand that was highly disappointing, featuring a mere split with the last-place Minnesota Twins and a sweep at the hands of the otherwise mediocre Detroit Tigers.

There's been a great deal of attention focused on how many road games the Sox have to play through the rest of the season. Winning the opener -- and snapping a three-game losing streak in the process - would have felt like a strong statement that the club was ready and able to meet the challenges of the schedule.

THE STARTING PITCHER: The loss wiped out a standout performance by David Price, who may well hold the key to whether the Red Sox grab a playoff spot this fall.

Price has been woefully inconsistent in his first season with the Red Sox, alternating between brief stretches of dominance and periods of underwhelming outings.

For a change Thursday night, Price seemed on the verge of winning one of those "statement'' games, when he would make one measly run in the third inning stand up. There have been too many times, given his standing as the team's No. 1 starter, in which Price has pitched just well enough to lose -- like the pitcher's duels in which he came up short against the likes of Madison Bumgarner and Chris Tillman.

But on Thursday, Price didn't buckle. And never mind that he was matched against an aging and depleted Jered Weaver. Price had next-to-nothing with which to work, but he protected the 1-0 lead with a determination he has seldon shown in Boston.

And for his effort to go wasted sets an inauspicious marker for this demanding trip. There was something symbolic about having Price set the tone at the start with a low-scoring, must-have game.

He did his part. Unfortunately for Price, that wasn't enough.

THE WAY IN WHICH IT HAPPENED: Walk-off losses are never pleasant, whether they come on a homer, or a base hit up the middle.

But considering that the Red Sox had the ability to turn Daniel Nava's tapper to first into a game-ending double play, and instead, saw it result in a two-run throwing error on the part of Hanley Ramirez, makes it all the more crushing.

Brad Ziegler, who gave up a go-ahead game-winning homer in the final game of the homestand Wednesday, essentially did his job in the ninth. He got Mike Trout to hit a chopper, which resulted in an infield single. And he kept the ball on the ground and in the infield, with the Sox bringing the infield in with the bases loaded and one out.

Better execution, and the Red Sox walk away with a thrilling 1-0 victory to begin their West Coast trek. Instead, they walk off the field, heads down, with the wrong precedent being set.