Red Sox bullets: September 15, 2011

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Red Sox bullets: September 15, 2011

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen

Combined, 40 players appeared in the game, 17 for the Rays, and 23 for the Sox.

Jacoby Ellsbury went 0-for-4 with a strikeout, ending his hitting streak at 18 games since Aug. 26.

Marco Scutaro went 2-for-3 and is not batting .444 (20-for-45) with 16 RBI in 13 games in September.

David Ortiz went 2-for-2 after missing two games because of back spasms. In 19 games since Aug. 24 he is batting .408 (29-for-71) with seven doubles, five home runs, 13 RBI, and 10 walks.

Jose Iglesias ninth-inning single with two outs was the first hit of his big league career.

Joey Gathright walked and scored a run in his first major league plate appearance since Oct. 4, 2009.

Franklin Morales picked Ben Zobrist off first base in the sixth inning, It was Morales second pick off in as many games, and was the Sox 15th of the season, matching their total from 2010.

Evan Longorias third-inning three-run homer was the 14th of his career off the Sox, the second-most of his career against any team, trailing only the 15 he has hit against Baltimore.

Francona said third baseman Kevin Youkilis, who was been ailing with bursitis in his hip and a sports hernia, will not play Friday. Jed Lowrie will not be available either.

Since Aug. 1 Matt Albers has appeared in 17 games, spanning 17 innings, giving up 23 earned runs on 27 hits and 12 walks with 18 strikeouts, six home runs, and four hit batters, with an ERA of 12.18. He has allowed seven of 11 inherited runners to score, a 64 percent rate. In that time his overall ERA has gone from 2.09 to 4.95.

David Ortizs third-inning intentional walk was his 12th of the season, behind only Adrian Gonzalezs 15 on the team.

Erik Bedard was expected to play catch today, though not all-out, Francona said. There is still no timetable for his return to the rotation.

Asked for his playoff rotation, Francona wasted little time answering: PLAYOFFS??!!

Triple-A Pawtucket hitting coach Chili Davis has also joined the Sox coaching staff. He is expected to be here through Mondays doubleheader.

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

Red Sox-Yankees: Pregame news and observations

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Red Sox-Yankees: Pregame news and observations

BOSTON -- As we get ready for the first Red Sox-Yankee series of the season, some pregame news and observations:

* Eduardo Rodriguez was at Fenway, to be checked by the training staff after his rehab outing in Syracuse Thursday night. Rodriguez allowed three runs -- two earned -- in 3 2/3 innings. He allowed six hits and walked three while striking out two.

"He came through it fine from a health standpoint,'' said John Farrell. "He was probably a little rusty. He's going to need some innings.''
Rodriguez is scheduled to pitch again Tuesday for Pawtucket. The Sox are undecided about what their plans are beyond that, but it seems likely he'll make another rehab start after that.

* Blake Swihart made his debut in the outfield Thursday, and according to Farrell, had just one chance in left: a ball that he initially lost in the lights before eventually recovering.

"The first game, after some work...(he's), as we all are: a work in progress,'' said Farrell. "The footwork was initially something that we had to address (in pre-game work). We've had (minor league outfield coordinator) Billy McMillon in there to work with him. It's been about some of that first-step reads and jumps to his routes to get accustomed to. Here's a guy, for the last four or five years, the game is coming to him (behind the plate). Now, all of a sudden, he's reacting to balls off the bat. It's a completely different view of the game. This is going to take some time in the outfield.''

Farrell said the goal is to get Swihart in the outfield a couple of times per week.

* Farrell hinted that the Sox may be close to dropping a pitcher -- they currently are carrying 13 - and adding another position player. For the past week, the Sox have had just three extra position players on the 25-man roster.

"Maybe (Friday night) might have some impact on that,'' said Farrell, suggesting that as long as starter Henry Owens doesn't need relief help early, the Sox may be in a position tomorrow to swap a reliever for a role player.

As it stands, the Sox have an extra catcher, outfielder Chris Young and infielder Josh Rutledge. Not long ago, they had infielder Marco Hernandez up, but Farrell said it wasn't a given that the player added will be an infielder.

"I don't think we need to center around an infielder,'' said Farrell. "The best complement would be a left-handed bat.''

On the 40-man roster, that profile fits only two players: Hernandez and Swihart, who's a switch-hitter.

Hernandez was optioned back to Pawtucket on April 20, and rules state that a player must spend 10 days in the minors before being recalled. On Saturday, that 10-day period will have elapsed.

It's highly unlikely that Swihart would be brought back so soon, since the Sox want him to continue his development behind the plate and get more comfortable in the outfield.

"We wanted him to come up here and not play more than half the week,'' said Farrell. "I think that derails everything that we're trying to accomplished currently.''

* Joe Kelly (shoulder impingement) threw a 35-pitch bullpen Friday and will throw long-toss Sunday, with another bullpen set for Tuesday. After that, the Sox will schedule his first rehab assignment for an affiliate.

"He's going to need some innings, obviously,'' said Farrell. "We haven't gotten him to full speed yet. For any pitcher, that last five to ten percent of intensity is always the benchmark. We're going to have to build him up to 80-plus pitches.''

* The Red Sox lost lefty Edwin Escobar on a waiver claim to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Escobar was taken off the 40-man roster and designated for assignment when the Sox had to get William Cuevas onto the 40-man roster.

Friday's lineups: Red Sox vs. Yankees

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Friday's lineups: Red Sox vs. Yankees

BOSTON -- Henry Owens will be on the mound tonight, making his second start of the season, as the Red Sox play the Yankees for the first time in 2016.

The lineups:

YANKEES:
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Carlos Beltran RF
Mark Texeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Brian McCann C
Starlin Castro 2B
Chase Headley 3B
Didi Gregorius SS
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Masahiro Tanaka P

RED SOX:
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Travis Shaw 3B
Brock Holt LF
Ryan Hanigan C
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
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Henry Owens P