MINNEAPOLIS -- Red Sox right-hander Boof Bonser, who has been hit hard in both of his Minor League rehab starts for Triple-A Pawtucket, will be examined by Boston's medical staff before Friday's game at Fenway Park.

Bonser was tagged for five hits and nine runs over two innings on Tuesday, and mentioned that he had trouble getting loose. Though that is cause for concern for any pitcher, it is especially true in Bonser's case, considering he had his labrum and rotator cuff operated on last year. Bonser also had a right groin injury late in Spring Training.

"Yeah, he had a hard time getting loose," said manager Terry Francona. "We're going to bring him back Friday and let him get examined by [trainer] Mikey [Reinold] and the doctors, just to make sure that everything is OK. He just looked like he was having a tough time. I didn't see the game, but we'll have him get looked at on Friday."

Another pitcher who is still pitching for Pawtucket is lefty reliever Alan Embree, who signed a Minor League deal to return to the Red Sox on March 20. After not allowing a run in his first two outings for the PawSox, Embree took a step back on Monday, walking four batters and allowing three runs over one-third of an inning. Embree can become a free agent if Boston doesn't put him on the Major League roster by Thursday. There were indications that Embree will agree to stay with Pawtucket for a few more weeks so the Red Sox can have a little longer to evaluate him.

"I think [general manager] Theo [Epstein] is continuing to talk," Francona said. "I know there's a date that's coming up. That's something I'm not necessarily supposed to be involved in, but I'm sure they're doing some talking."

Ellsbury to sit out remainder of road trip

MINNEAPOLIS -- Though left fielder Jacoby Ellsbury continues to feel better three days after teammate Adrian Beltre's knee collided with his left ribs, the leadoff man remained out of the Red Sox's lineup on Wednesday afternoon and likely won't return until the homestand, which opens on Friday night against the Tampa Bay Rays.

"I think the soreness is getting a little more centrally isolated, which is good," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "He's still having a little trouble rotating. I think he is doing better. As much as we love having him out there, it's not a good thing to go too quick."

The one luxury Boston has this year is that when Ellsbury misses a game, the Sox can simply slide Marco Scutaro into the leadoff spot, which is where the shortstop hit last year in Toronto.

"That's what I told him this spring: 'There will be plenty of times when you'll be hitting at the top of the order,'" Francona said. "And he has plenty of experience doing it. He's good at it. It doesn't screw up the whole lineup or the way we view the lineup."

Scutaro promptly led off Wednesday's game with a single and scored on a double by Dustin Pedroia. Francona went with the same lineup he used on Monday, with Jeremy Hermida batting ninth and starting in left.

It was the fourth consecutive start for Hermida, who entered the day hitting .400 with a homer and three RBIs.

Francona practices patience with Big Papi

MINNEAPOLIS -- Slumping slugger David Ortiz was back in the No. 5 hole for Wednesday's game at the Twins. Manager Terry Francona has stayed patient with struggling players in the past, and he has been rewarded by it. Some examples of note are Kevin Millar and Mark Bellhorn in 2004, and Dustin Pedroia in '07.

"It's not fantasy baseball. It's not like chess pieces," Francona said. "I think if I fall into that -- whether it's two, five or seven games into the season -- of pulling a trigger, any time I've done something like that, I've been pretty sure of how I feel."

Francona noted that he hasn't always stayed with the veteran mainstay. In 2006, he had Jonathan Papelbon supplant Keith Foulke as the closer in the third game of the season.

"The year we moved Pap into the closer's role, I kind of knew how I felt. So we didn't wait around," Francona said. "I just think that guys need time, the team needs time to settle in. If I don't let them settle in, it's just going to prolong whatever we're going through.

"I guess I've been asked so many times this week, 'You're loyal to a fault.' I'm not really sure [about that]. I'm not perfect, I don't mean that -- but I'm not really sure where it hasn't paid off," Francona said. "If you look back, our patience, I think, has paid off. Pedey didn't go to Triple-A [and] we won the World Series. Sometimes guys don't play well all the time, that's just part of it. And I don't mean the thing about the World Series was [because of me], but when we talk about Bellhorn [in '04 also], sometimes you just have to let players play."

Ortiz struck out in his first at-bat on Wednesday, giving him 12 K's in his first 23 at-bats.

Red Sox claim Luis from White Sox

The Red Sox claimed right-hander Santo Luis off waivers from the White Sox on Wednesday and optioned him to Double-A Portland. In order to make room on the 40-man roster, infielder Jed Lowrie (mononucleosis) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

Luis, who gave up a run in three innings at Double-A Birmingham this year, spent the 2009 season with Class A Advanced Winston-Salem, going 5-4 with a 4.34 ERA and 14 saves in 47 relief appearances. The 26-year-old led Carolina League relievers with 12.7 strikeouts per nine innings and was fifth with a .227 opponent batting average.

Originally signed by the Astros as an international free agent in 2002, the 6-foot-6 Luis went 15-12 with a 3.96 ERA in his first four years in the Minor Leagues.

In another move, right-hander Boof Bonser -- who has struggled in both of his Minor League rehab starts and will be examined by Boston's medical staff before Friday's game at Fenway Park -- was returned from his rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket.

-- Alden Gonzalez