Scutaro fondly recalls Toronto days
Sox shortstop became everyday player for Jays in '09
TORONTO -- When Red Sox shortstop Marco Scutaro returned to Rogers Centre on Monday for the opener of a three-game series against the Blue Jays, he remembered it as the place where he got his chance to be an everyday player.
Scutaro had had a good career as a super-sub, able to fill in at several positions. But last season, Jays manager Cito Gaston made Scutaro his regular shortstop. Scutaro responded by batting .260 with 12 home runs and 60 RBIs in his second season in Toronto.
Scutaro became a free agent at the end of the season and signed with Boston. He said new Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos was frank with him last offseason.
"He was very clear," Scutaro said before Monday's game. "[He told me], 'If we would be competing next year, you'd be the first guy we would sign.' They felt like they wouldn't be competing, so I guess it's kind of a business [decision] and stuff like that, and they didn't want to spend some money."
"I always thank Cito and [former general manager J.P. Ricciardi] for giving the opportunity to play every day. They gave me the chance of being an everyday player and this opportunity to play for the Red Sox. I'll always appreciate that."
Scutaro wasn't sure how the fans would react to him when he came to bat Monday. There was a mix of applause and boos. He led off the game with a single.
Lowell serves as Sox's DH, cleanup hitter
TORONTO -- Mike Lowell was the designated hitter and batted fourth for the Red Sox in Monday's game against the Blue Jays, leaving David Ortiz on the bench.
The Blue Jays started left-hander Dana Eveland.
Kevin Youkilis, who usually bats fourth, was moved to third. With Jason Varitek starting at catcher, Victor Martinez on the bench to start the game. J.D. Drew batted fifth.
"We're catching [Varitek] and we wanted Mikey Lowell to play," manager Terry Francona said. "We're looking for balance in the batting order and J.D. has had good swings against this guy and he's a good baserunner, so we're trying to balance everything as best we can."
Drew enjoys first multihit game of season
TORONTO -- Red Sox right fielder J.D. Drew had his first multihit game of the season Sunday when he went 2-for-4 with a sacrifice fly and two RBIs.
Manager Terry Francona likes what he saw from more than a results angle.
"He hit the ball to left field [Sunday]," Francona said before Monday's game against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. "He didn't crush it, but he hit that ball down the line that the guy ended up getting to, but that's a good sign. If you see J.D. banging the ball against the left-field wall, he's hitting the ball the way he's supposed to.
"You're still going to certainly see him pull the ball, that's the kind of hitter he is. But when your body and your hands are back you don't see as many out-fronts, the grounder to second or the weak fly ball."
Drew batted fifth Monday and took a .180 batting average with two home runs and nine RBIs into the game.
Ellsbury, Cameron making progress
TORONTO -- Outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury (fractured ribs) and Mike Cameron (abdominal strain) are on the disabled list, but are with the Red Sox in Toronto. Manager Terry Francona said before Monday's game that both continue to make progress.
"[Ellsbury] went out and threw with a little more intensity," Francona said. "He is going to go hit off the tee a little bit, hopefully with a little more intensity.
"[Cameron] is having a pretty good day. He is going to do the elliptical with a little more intensity and do a little bit of abdominal stuff in there. They're both improving. "
Red Sox sign Cuban catcher Ibarra
TORONTO -- The Red Sox have reached an agreement on a Major league contract with Cuban catcher Adalberto Ibarra for a reported $4.3 million that includes a $1.5 million signing bonus.
Ibarra, 22, is listed at 5-foot-9, 200 pounds and had been working out for Major League clubs in the Dominican Republic since his defection from Cuba.
Once the deal is official, Ibarra will go to the club's Minor League training center in Fort Myers, Fla., and then it will be determined where he will play in the Minor League system.
So far, Ibarra is known more for his hitting and his throwing than his ability behind the plate.
Larry Millson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.