Notes: Lowell concerned about friend
Third baseman relieved Mientkiewicz not seriously injured
BOSTON -- Doug Mientkiewicz and Mike Lowell -- both South Floridians -- have known each other since high school, when they played against each other. They still spend time together in the offseason. So Lowell was understandably concerned when he inadvertently knocked out his friend while trying to break up a double play on Saturday.
Therefore, you can understand why Lowell felt relieved after finding out Sunday morning from Red Sox internist Dr. Larry Ronan that Mientkiewicz didn't suffer a serious head injury.
"Dr. Ronan was sitting next to [Mientkiewicz] and he told me he was still a little groggy but he was speaking and he was going to be fine," said Lowell. "Like I said, I've known Doug a long time. I just feel bad that he's hurt. I don't think you want anybody to get hurt. You want to play hard, but you don't want anyone to get hurt."
Mientkiewicz suffered a mild concussion, a cervical sprain and a fractured scaphoid bone in the right wrist. The wrist injury -- which might have occurred earlier in the game -- is what will prolong Mientkiewicz's stint on the disabled list more than anything.
The play is one you might not see for a while. Mientkiewicz was caught off-balance on a wide throw by Derek Jeter and Lowell couldn't avoid hitting the first baseman's head with his left thigh.
"I actually thought he caught the ball at the beginning," said Lowell. "I was going to help him up and then I see the ball squirming away and I had to run to second. Like I said, I don't think you ever want to see anyone [hurt], because he was lying there not moving. In the back of my mind, I just wanted him to start moving because you don't want anything serious to happen."
It has been a bizarre year for Lowell in terms of collisions.
On May 2, Lowell lunged into third base to make a tag on Mike Piazza, who sprained the AC joint of his right shoulder on the play.
"Honestly, I've been in pro ball for 13 years and those were the only two times I've been involved in something where guys have gotten hurt," said Lowell. "If anything, I'm the one who dove head first with the Piazza one. I think I could have been injured worse than he was. He kind of took an awkward slide there and all my weight went on his shoulder. The same thing with him, I contacted him. You don't wish anyone to get hurt in this game."
Drew could go Monday: Right fielder J.D. Drew was out of the lineup for the second straight game with right hamstring woes. However, manager Terry Francona said there was reason for optimism and did not rule out Drew returning to his post on Monday night at Oakland.
"J.D. is doing much better today," said Francona. "He went through a series of moving him around, heating him up. ... I think we're pretty hopeful that maybe he'll play right field tomorrow. That will really help us get into not just a couple of big outfields, but National League play [in Phoenix]. Having him available will really, really be helpful. And the trainers were really upbeat about how he was doing today."
Wily Mo Pena again got the start in right in place of Drew.
Farrell absent: Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell was given the night so he could attend the high school graduation of his son Shane in Westlake, Ohio. Ralph Treuel, who spent last season as Boston's bullpen coach, filled in for Farrell.
"I don't want to make a trip to the mound in the sixth and try to tell Beckett something that I'm making up," quipped Francona.
Pawtucket plans: Jon Lester and Mike Timlin were both supposed to pitch for Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday, only to get rained out. Lester will pitch the first game of Monday's doubleheader at Norfolk. Timlin will start the nightcap.
Timlin will make one more rehab outing and could join the Red Sox in Phoenix over the weekend. There's still no word on how many more starts Lester will make.
So long, Yankees: Because of all the hype and emotion that comes with these Red Sox-Yankees encounters, Francona was not sad about the fact that the rivals won't meet again until Aug. 28.
"Yeah, really glad," Francona said. "It's a lot. It takes it out of everybody. Last night, I remember getting in the shower, I thought, 'Wow, I have to open this door and turn the water on.' I was beat. The umpires looked tired, the coaches, the players. It's a bit much. But you have to deal with it, and I'm not complaining. I'm glad that people are interested in what we're doing. It's a lot sometimes."
On deck: No rest for the weary. After spending the wee hours of the morning in the air during a cross-country flight, the Red Sox open a four-game series in Oakland on Monday night. Julian Tavarez will pitch against Oakland ace Dan Haren. First pitch is slated for 10:05 p.m. ET.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.