BOSTON -- It wasn't just the ninth inning that bothered Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. It was how the umpires called the entire three-game series with the Nationals at Fenway Park, a series the Sox were swept in.
Valentine was ejected by home-plate ump Al Porter over a strike call with Boston's last batter, Dustin Pedroia, at the plate in a 4-3 loss to the Nats on Sunday. Pedroia was struck out swinging by Nats closer Tyler Clippard afterward.
"We've got guys busting their butt, battling their butt off," Valentine said before the team left for its next series, in Miami. "It's not right. Good umpires had a real bad series this series. Real bad series. And it went one way. There should be a review."
The umpiring crew this series included Paul Nauert, Doug Eddings and Dana DeMuth.
"It's pretty disappointing. We're trying to compete -- every one is, both teams -- and you don't want them [the umps] to come into play and stuff like that," Pedroia said. "It's hard enough playing the game against good pitching and good players. It was pretty disappointing."
Valentine was upset by the top of the ninth, as well, when Red Sox closer Alfredo Aceves was on the mound. He gave up the decisive run in the frame on an RBI double by Roger Bernadina, one pitch after Porter called a 1-2 fastball that seemed to catch the inside corner a ball. Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia was set up on the other side of the plate, and had to reach across the plate for the pitch, which likely didn't help Porter's visual.
"He could have called a strikeout," Aceves said. "I missed the spot, but like I've been saying, there are tough hitters over there. We've got to make our pitches. Unfortunately, they didn't call it a strike, but it's been like that for 10 years or more. We've got to come back and play against the Marlins and win the series."
Valentine's been ejected twice as Red Sox manager. The first time came May 18 in Philadelphia.
Hill to visit Dr. Andrews; Melancon called up
BOSTON -- Rich Hill is visiting Dr. James Andrews, Mark Melancon's getting his second chance, and the Red Sox bullpen is back to two lefties.
Hill was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday because of soreness in his left elbow and forearm, a particularly scary sign for a pitcher who last year underwent Tommy John surgery. He's going to Pensacola, Fla., for a Monday morning appointment with Andrews, who performed the surgery.
Melancon, who was demoted April 18, was recalled in Hill's place after dominating at Triple-A Pawtucket. Hill told reporters he wouldn't have answers until after the Andrews meeting.
"Hill had a little tightness in his elbow and, because of the situation that he's dealing with in the first year of his rehabilitation, we're going to have him go back to Dr. Andrews," manager Bobby Valentine said. "He just doesn't feel good throwing his curveball. Hopefully it will come back as [standard operating procedure] that this is the way things happen as you recover from Tommy John."
Hill is 1-0 with a 2.63 ERA in 13 2/3 innings over 17 appearances and last pitched Friday against the Nationals at Fenway Park, throwing a scoreless frame. He was bothered that night by the curveball, but the discomfort dates to May.
"He said about three weeks ago, it bothered him a little, and then it went away and there was no problem," Valentine said. "I heard of it one of those days where I didn't use him for three days or so, and then he said he's fine, and then I think it was five days since he was in a game the other day. In that game, he threw those four curveballs to [Bryce] Harper, and he just didn't feel great about it."
Melancon's start to the season in the big leagues was rough as he allowed 11 runs while recording a total of six outs. As the closer in Pawtucket, the 27-year-old righty did an about-face, posting 0.83 ERA in 21 2/3 innings. He struck out 27 and walked just three, and was happy to return.
"It's kind of like, I don't know, I guess if you go to a different school and then you come back," Melancon said. "You kind of just see all your old friends, just a good feeling."
Valentine said the reports he heard of Melancon's time in Triple-A were all excellent and said too that he wouldn't hesitate to throw Melancon into the fire: "As good as he's throwing, I'd like to put him in situations that will help us win a game if that's what's needed."
Melancon said his issue was never confidence, rather "simply aggressiveness and approach." He also took the demotion as well as one could.
The Sox are back to having just two lefties in the bullpen: Franklin Morales and Andrew Miller.
Nava gets cortisone shot, may play Monday
BOSTON -- Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava got a cortisone shot in his left hand and could return to the lineup as soon as Monday in Miami.
Nava was scratched from the lineup before Sunday's 4-3 loss to the Nats at Fenway Park because of soreness in the hand, a soreness of which he did not specify an origin. He said he first felt it Saturday before a 4-2 loss to the Nats, during which it worsened. He went 0-for-4 in that game.
"We're hoping [Monday]. If it's good [Monday], I'm going to go [Monday]," Nava said. "It happened [Saturday]. Before the game, but then during the game was when it like got worse."
Nava said he has not previously had hand troubles.
With Nava out Sunday, Darnell McDonald slotted in as the left fielder, while Scott Podsednik moved to the top spot in the order as the center fielder.
Red Sox Scholars honored before game
BOSTON -- The Red Sox and the club's charitable arm, the Red Sox Foundation, honored 10 members of the Red Sox Scholars Class of 2012 at Sunday afternoon's game at Fenway Park.
In its 10th year, the Red Sox Scholars Program provides scholarships and mentoring for academically talented and financially challenged middle school students from Boston Public Schools.
Prior to the series finale against the Nationals, the scholars accompanied the players onto the field, read the starting lineups and sang the national anthem with musician Will Dailey.
In addition to the 10 new scholars selected this year, Sunday's pregame ceremony celebrated scholars who have been in the program since fifth grade and graduating high school this spring.
There are 220 Red Sox Scholars in the program, including this year's class. The students range from seventh graders to rising juniors in college. This year's class of scholars are in seventh grade and were selected based on academic performance and financial need.
"We are excited to honor the new class of Red Sox Scholars and a milestone year as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of this important program," said Red Sox chairman Tom Werner. "We have enjoyed getting to know many of these children starting when they were middle school students as they have grown to young adulthood. We could not have achieved such success without the continued generosity of our partners at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and commitment from both Mayor Menino and Boston School Superintendent Carol Johnson."
Evan Drellich is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @EvanDrellich. Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.