Notes: Saltalamacchia, Varitek banged up

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Notes: Saltalamacchia, Varitek banged up

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
BALTIMORE -- The Sox suddenly find themselves thin in the catching department.

Varitek tried to do some running before the game and the decision was made that he wouldn't start. He was hit in the right knee by a pitch in the fifth inning Sunday night in New York, then left the game two innings later when the knee stiffened up.

"We were going to try (to have me play)," said Varitek, "get treatment all day and see what we could do."

Saltalamacchia started in his place Monday night, but, he, too, was injured when he was struck in the left collarbone by a foul tip.

Ryan Lavarnway replaced Saltalamacchia for the final inning behind the plate.

"He got hit pretty good," said Varitek of his teammate. "I think it went through the chest protector. It was the angle."

"The loss was a lot worse than the stinger," said Saltalamacchia, who underwent x-rays after the game that proved negative. "(The foul tip) missed (all the padding). It didn't touch the chest protector and hit me right on the collarbone.

"I want to (play Tuesday), get treatment and throw and see how it feels. It's pretty sore right now. Hopefully, it gets better overnight."

Asked if he thought he could play Tuesday if Saltalamacchia couldn't, Varitek said, "Let's just get to (Tuesday); that's all I can say."

It was the catch that wasn't.

Jacoby Ellsbury raced back to the warning track when Robert Andino golfed a pitch from Beckett with two on and two out in the sixth.

Ellsbury gloved the ball, but then immediately collided with the wall, jarring the ball from his glove as Andino circled the bases with three runs scoring.

"I figured if anyone could catch, it would be (Ellsbury)," said Beckett.

Said Ellsbury: "I hit (the wall) about as hard as I could while running and looking up at the ball. Right as I hit it, I caught it and the ball popped up."

Ellsbury had a long way to go just to catch up to the ball, since the Sox play Andino shallow as a matter of course.

"I thought I had a good shot at catching it off the bat," said Ellsbury. "I knew it would be close. I knew right as I went for it, I was hoping I had a little more room, but I hit the wall."

Ellsbury said he had the wind knocked out of him "for a split second."

It's becoming increasingly clear that Kevin Youkilis is probably through for the year, whether the Red Sox make the playoffs or not.

Youkilis has been trying to play through a hip injury and a sports hernia, but the pain and discomfort has been too great.

"He's trying so damn hard, but he's pretty sore," said Francona. "He did some light running (Sunday), but he's pretty sore. I don't think we've pulled the plug (on his season), but realistically, we're probably fighting an uphill battle."

Clay Buchholz threw 18 pitches in a simulated game in the Instructional League in Fort Myers.

"He did really well,'' said Francona. "He gave up a double but health-wise, did really good. He was a little bit rusty facing hitters, which I think is (natural).''

The plan calls for Buchholz to join the team here Tuesday and get re-evaluated by the medical staff.

If the Sox have clinched a playoff spot by Wednesday, Buchholz will make an appearance. If the game means something, however, he'll return to the Instructional League for another outing.

Scott Atchison, who suffered a right groin strain in the afternoon game Sunday, was "more sore than we had hoped,'' according to Francona and was unavailable.

Francona said the Sox expected to have most of their bullpen -- including closer Jonathan Papelbon, who threw a season-high 2 13 innings -- for Monday night. Franklin Morales, who threw the final two innings was ruled out, however.

Dan Wheeler, who has been out for the last two weeks with a forearm strain, was scheduled to throw on the side.

J.D. Drew was back in the starting lineup for the second straight game, but will likely be out Tuesday when the Sox face lefthander Zach Britton.

"We'll take any help anywhere we can get it,'' said Francona.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

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