Drew remains out; Reddick gets first start
Outfielder notches first hit in second Major League at-bat
BALTIMORE -- Red Sox right fielder J.D. Drew, who is nursing a sore right groin, hopes to return to the lineup in the next couple of games, but there are no guarantees. In the meantime, prospect Josh Reddick had the thrill of filling in for Drew on Saturday night and making his first Major League start.
It didn't take long for the outfielder to capitalize. In his first at-bat of the game against Baltimore, Reddick drilled a double into the gap in right-center for his first Major League hit.
There was another double later in the night.
By the time Reddick arrived in the clubhouse after Boston's 4-0 victory, his head had remnants of the shaving cream that David Ortiz doused him with during a postgame television interview.
"That was a nice little time. I enjoyed it," said Reddick.
He was promoted from Double-A on Friday and got one at-bat in the game, grounding to short. Reddick said that being able to absorb most of his first game on the bench helped him stay more relaxed for his start on Saturday.
"I don't know how long I'm going to be here," said Reddick, a 17th-round selection in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft. "I'm going to try to enjoy it, whether it's three days or three weeks."
It was a pleasant surprise for him Saturday when he arrived and saw his name in the lineup, batting eighth.
"Yeah, I didn't expect that one at all," said Reddick. "It kind of made my heart [jump] a little bit. I'm going to try to treat it like a normal baseball game. I know it's going to be tough. I'll just take a deep breath, relax, and try to do my thing."
Francona said that Reddick will likely start again on Sunday, as Jason Bay is getting the day off and Drew might again sit.
Drew suffered the injury in Wednesday's game.
"I've been trying to move around, trying to get some blood going, just kind of seeing how it responds," said Drew. "I could still feel it a little bit just during exercises and stuff. I'm just trying to give it another day of rest to see how it responds, get up in the morning and make a decision. But I'm encouraged by the improvement from yesterday. It feels pretty good."
The worst part about the injury for Drew is that he had snapped out of a recent slump and gotten red-hot. Drew has 11 hits in his past 25 at-bats.
"It's aggravating," said Drew. "I feel like I was feeling good at the plate. That's one of the unfortunate things. When I hit that ball down the line, I just kind of felt it when I rounded first, and I knew right away that I was going to have to come out of that game. I didn't know whether I should stop the inning. Luckily, [Jason Varitek] hit the double in the gap. I could pretty much walk home. And then, really, I just tried to get it to calm down."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.