BALTIMORE -- Second baseman Dustin Pedroia and catcher Jason Varitek were examined at Camden Yards by a team physician before Wednesday's 9-6 victory vs. the Orioles, and both will undergo bone scans on their injured feet on Friday in Boston, manager Terry Francona said.
"[Pedroia's sore left foot is] much improved from last week when he looked at it," Francona said when asked about Dr. George Theodore's exam. "[There's] a lot less pain on the range of motion and resistance, which is really encouraging. ... It's really encouraging to see the amount of healing that's taken place in a week."
Pedroia, who didn't speak with reporters, went on the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 20, retroactive to Aug. 19, because of the problem in his previously fractured left foot, an injury that landed him on the DL from June 26-Aug. 17.
Francona didn't have an in-depth report on the results of the exam of Varitek's fractured right foot, which sent him to the 15-day disabled list July 2, retroactive to the previous day.
Saltalamacchia soaking it all in
BALTIMORE -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia has one goal during the final 30 games of the season: Learn all he can.
The catcher was one of three players added by the Red Sox on Wednesday, when the 25-man roster limit was expanded. Saltalamacchia, who had been on the 15-day disabled list with an infection in his lower right leg, and infielder/outfielder Eric Patterson, who was on the DL with a neck strain, were reactivated.
Left-hander Dustin Richardson was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket, where he went 3-0 with two saves and a 2.66 ERA in 32 games. Richardson returns for a third stint with the Red Sox in 2010, and he has posted a 2.61 ERA in 19 relief appearances in the Majors in 2010.
The 25-year-old Saltalamacchia, acquired in a July 31 trade with Texas, could factor prominently into Boston's 2010 plans, because catchers Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek are pending free agents. Hence the crash course in the Red Sox's pitching staff, well ahead of Spring Training.
"My main goal is to learn as much as possible," said Saltalamacchia. "I know I'm not going to play every day, so whenever I'm on the bench, I want to learn from [bullpen coach Gary] Tuck and [Varitek] and Kevin Cash."
For a catcher, trying to mesh with a new pitching staff in five weeks is a sharp learning curve. Saltalamacchia played in only three games before the leg infection sidelined him, and he's got a lot of catching up to do.
"You learn more from the pitching staff as you catch them, but I have to just pay attention the whole game since I'm not going to catch them every day," Saltalamacchia said. "I've got to learn from Tuck, as far as getting my throws down and the physical side of it. The next best thing I can do is watch them and see what they like to do."
Manager Terry Francona is eager to watch Saltalamacchia, especially since his earlier look-see after the Trade Deadline deal was so brief. Even so, with Martinez already entrenched behind the plate, opportunities for Saltalamacchia may be limited.
"We got [Saltalamacchia] in our organization [and] we're thrilled, but we like our catcher, too," Francona said. "We'll continue to hit [Saltalamacchia] ground balls at first, although that's not his primary position, and there'll probably be some games where he catches."
Beckett working at ironing out kinks
BALTIMORE -- Josh Beckett's numbers remain unsightly, but two consecutive decent starts have the right-hander feeling better about his recovery from a strained back and what he can offer the Red Sox in his final handful of starts down the stretch run.
"If you're healthy, at least you can work on things," said Beckett, who allowed two earned runs in seven innings vs. the Orioles on Tuesday to fall to 4-4. "When you're not healthy, you can't work on things. You can't get better. You're very limited to what you can do. Right now, I'm glad I'm healthy. Obviously the outcome is not where I'd like it to be, but at least I can work on it."
Beckett still thinks he needs to work more on pitch-to-pitch execution and sometimes finds himself focusing more on results instead of on the process. In his previous start against Seattle on Aug. 25, Beckett picked up a victory by yielding three runs on four hits in 6 1/3 innings.
"Late in the game, you've got to make your pitches, and in the Seattle game, I didn't do that," said Beckett. "We got a four-run lead, and then I go out and give up four runs and get taken out of the game. Last night, I did a better job with that, but earlier in the game, I let some things get out of hand."
Tuesday night's game provided at least a sense of progress for the struggling pitcher, as well as a clear indication of where he needed to improve. Beckett left the Boston clubhouse before talking to reporters after Tuesday's game. He pointed to Adam Jones' run-scoring infield single in the third inning -- the play where shortstop Marco Scutaro committed a throwing error to plate another run -- as one instance where he could have done better.
"I think, at least in some point in the game, I threw all my pitches well," said Beckett. "I just felt like balls [were] being hit in the right spots. The pitch that Adam Jones hit, I'm trying to bounce that curveball. If I bounce it, he swings through it. ... But he put an athletic swing on it, put it in a hard spot for Scutaro to make a play on it."
Doubront has strained pectoral muscle
BALTIMORE -- Red Sox left-hander Felix Doubront, who surrendered two solo homers in an inning of relief against the Orioles on Tuesday night, returned to Boston early Wednesday to have a sore chest muscle examined.
"He had an MRI, a CT scan," said manager Terry Francona. "We're just trying to eliminate things. It came back [that] he has a minor strain in his upper pectoral muscle, kind of where it reaches the clavicle on his glove side. That's real good news."
Francona said Doubront, who is 2-2 with a 4.32 ERA in 12 games, was headed back to Baltimore when team officials told him to stay in Boston.
"He wasn't going to pitch today or tomorrow," Francona said. "He's going to be fine. All he needs is a couple of days."
Doubront told the team's medical staff that he first noticed the problem when he reached up to take a throw from catcher Victor Martinez.
Despite sore shoulder, Scutaro stays in lineup
BALTIMORE -- Despite inflammation in his right rotator cuff, an injury that was partly to blame for an errant throw that led to a costly unearned run in Tuesday's 5-2 loss to the Orioles, Marco Scutaro was back at shortstop Wednesday night.
After Tuesday's loss, teammates rallied around Scutaro, pointing to the fact that he was willing to play hurt if it helped the Red Sox stay in the playoff hunt. But it's clear that the shoulder has become an issue that cannot be overlooked.
Manager Terry Francona said that the team has "backed off" on some pregame drills to limit the wear and tear on Scutaro's shoulder. But Francona was unsure if the injury was impacting Scutaro's performance at the plate, since the shortstop has hits in 13 of his last 16 games.
"Anything that aggravates you, I'm sure it doesn't help," Francona said.
It's clear that Scutaro needs some rest. The question is whether rest -- or surgery -- is the best way to correct the problem.
"I don't know and I don't know that anybody knows yet," said Francona. "You see the doctor and you realize that you get into that area [of the body], and sometimes they can do more harm [than good]. It's not just cut and dry. I'm sure we're going to want to look at what's in his best interests."
Iglesias among prospects heading to AFL
BALTIMORE -- The Red Sox have announced six of the seven farmhands that will represent the organization this year on the Arizona Fall League's Peoria Javelinas.
Right-handed pitchers Seth Garrison, Jason Rice and Dan Turpen, catcher Ryan Lavarnway, shortstop Jose Iglesias and outfielder Juan Carlos Linares will play in the AFL.
Boston will send a fourth pitcher to Peoria, as well.
Class A Greenville pitching coach Kevin Walker will serve in that role for the Javelinas.
The AFL season begins Oct. 12.
Pete Kerzel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.