Notes: Varitek forced to catch Wakefield


Notes: Varitek forced to catch Wakefield

By SeanMcAdam

NEW YORK -- It had been six long seasons since Jason Varitek last caught a game by knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. Wednesday night, after Wakefield got the win in a 11-6 Red Sox victory over the New York Yankees, Varitek pronounced himself mostly satisfied.

"I hadn't caught him (for an extended period) in a long time,'' said Varitek. "You need reps with Wake and I had no opportunity to prepare. No side work. It was a grind.''

Varitek caught Wakefield for multiple innings in the spring out of the bullpen, and also handled him for several side sessions.

But even then, Varitek said, he estimated it had been "a few weeks'' since he had caught Wakefield at all. The Sox have mostly paired Wakefield with Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who was unavailable Wednesday night with a stomach virus.

"The tough part today,'' said Varitek, "was he'd throw one and it would spin. Then he would throw another and it woudld be a double-breaker, left and right.''

Varitek said he learned a lot watching former teammate Doug Mirabelli catch Wakefield for several seasons. Catching instructor Gary Tuck also incorporated some things to help Varitek.

"I was pretty happy,'' concluded Varitek of the night.

The Red Sox got some good news on another catcher, Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Saltalamacchia was violently ill Tuesday night and again Wednesday, and for a while late Wednesday afternoon, the Sox were concerned that Saltalamacchia might be suffering from appendicitis and would require a surgical procedure.

But after tests conducted at a New York hospital, it was determined that Saltalamacchia was suffering from what Terry Francona termed "intestinal turmoil.''

Saltalamacchia was in the clubhouse for a while Wednesday night before returning to the team hotel. He wasn't scheduled to catch the series finale with Josh Beckett and probably won't be available until Friday -- at the earliest -- when the Sox begin a weekend series in Toronto.

The Sox were able to summon Luis Exposito on short notice from Pawtucket. He arrived at Yankee Stadium about an hour before game time.

Sean McAdam can be reached at Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Hanley Ramirez named A.L. player of the week


Hanley Ramirez named A.L. player of the week

After a power binge in which five of his seven hits were home runs, Red Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez has been named American League player of the week.

In six games, Ramirez batted .333 (7-for-21) with five homers, 12 RBI, six runs scored, a slugging percentage of 1.048 and OPS of 1.488. Three of the home runs came in one game, an 11-7 victory Wednesday night over the San Francisco Giants. 

For the season, Ramirez is hitting .282 with 13 homers, 60 RBI and an OPS of .821. 

Monday’s Red Sox-Tigers lineups: Betts back in right


Monday’s Red Sox-Tigers lineups: Betts back in right

Mookie Betts returns to the Red Sox lineup tonight as they open a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park.

Betts is in his customary lead-off spot and playing right field. He missed the past two games after leaving in the fifth inning on Friday night with soreness and swelling in his right knee. 

Left-hander Drew Pomeranz makes his second Red Sox start since being acquired in a trade with the San Diego Padres on July 14. Pomeranz lasted only three-plus innings in his first start for Boston, allowing five runs in a game the Red Sox held on to win 11-7 over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night.

Justin Verlander (9-6, 3.74 ERA) starts for the Tigers.

The lineups:

Ian Kinsler 2B
Jose Iglesias SS
Miguel Cabrera 2B
Victor Martinez DH
Nick Castellanos 3B
Justin Upton LF
Mike Aviles RF
James McCann C
Andrew Romine CF

Justin Verlander RHP

Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Travis Shaw 3B
Sandy Leon C
Brock Holt LF

Drew Pomeranz LHP