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Red Sox notebook Injuries force lineup shuffle

Red Sox notebook Injuries force lineup shuffle

BOSTON - Never had Red Sox manager Terry Francona been so eager to talk about injuries.

He had a lot to talk about Thursday.

"Bless you. Thank God we have injuries," Francona said after a reporter broke a chain of questions about Manny Ramirez' suspension, and asked about the status of Boston's walking wounded.

"Jacoby Ellsbury is a lot better. Kevin Youkilis still feels it," Francona said before the 13-3 victory over Cleveland at Fenway Park.

Fending off questions about Ramirez, a subject he wanted to avoid, Francona was more than willing to talk about his team's health.

Ellsbury was available for Thursday's game, but did not play because left-hander Jeremy Sowers started for the Indians.

The fleet outfielder injured a hamstring Tuesday in New York.

"Jacoby will probably play (Friday), but not Youk," Francona said.

Youkilis has experienced tightness in his side since Monday. The Red Sox don't think he'll be out for long, but are being cautious with him.

Just before Thursday's game, designated hitter David Ortiz was lifted from the lineup after his neck stiffened in batting practice.

"I think David will be OK (Friday). I think," Francona said. "He looked a little better after the game."

With Ellsbury out, Julio Lugo hit leadoff Thursday. When Ortiz was scratched, Lugo became the DH.

"I was the DH a couple of times last year. If that's what I'm supposed to do, that's what I concentrate on," Lugo said.

Lugo denied he rushed back early from March knee surgery because Jed Lowrie, the other shortstop, was on the disabled list.

"Whoever is hurt or not hurt, you want to come back as fast as you can," Lugo said.

The Red Sox also activated outfielder Rocco Baldelli from the disabled list, gave him a start in centerfield, and optioned Jonathan Van Every to Pawtucket.

Baldelli has been out with a left hamstring strain. In two Pawtucket rehab games, he went 0 for 7 as the DH.

He did not play the outfield during his brief rehab stint, but made a diving catch Thursday.

Van Every went 4 for 11 while with Boston. Playing centerfield Wednesday, he had a harrowing encounter with the wall while chasing a fly ball.

Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein had told Van Every he would be optioned to Triple A after the game, but delayed the move until Thursday morning, after it was certain the outfielder would not need time on the disabled list.


Daisuke Matsuzaka will make at least two more rehab starts for Pawtucket before the Red Sox activate him.

Matsuzaka has had one rehab outing. His next will be Sunday at Columbus.

He will also probably pitch May 15 at Toledo. Matsuzaka is on the disabled list with a shoulder strain.


Francona won his 488th game with Boston. Bill Carrigan ranks third in club history with 489 (most in the World War I era), but he needed 1,003 games to do it, compared to Francona's 839.

They are the only two Red Sox managers to win the World Series twice.

Joe Cronin has 1,071 wins; Mike Higgins 560.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 10, 2009

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