BALTIMORE -- Andrew Bailey's long quest to return from right thumb surgery became a reality on Tuesday, as the Red Sox activated the right-hander before Tuesday's game against the Orioles.
Though the Red Sox traded for Bailey with the idea he would become their closer, that won't happen at this point of the season. Expect Bailey to pitch during important situations with the game on the line while Alfredo Aceves continues to close.
"I'm just going to be ready when the phone rings," said Bailey, who walked one and struck one in the eighth inning of the Red Sox's 7-1 loss. "I have no expectations whatsoever. We're at a point in time where we've got to start winning ballgames, and everyone knows that. For me, it's just whenever he calls upon me, that's when I'll go out and pitch."
Manager Bobby Valentine is glad to have another viable right arm for the late innings.
"He's going to pitch in winning games hopefully," said Valentine. "Hopefully we'll have a lot of them, sometime after the seventh inning. I don't think he'll be closing the game as we speak."
Bailey was just eager to finally have the opportunity to pitch for his new team.
"I'm very excited," said Bailey. "It's been way too long. I'm just looking forward to getting out there and helping the guys win."
In his Minor League rehab assignment, Bailey posted a 1.42 ERA in six appearances.
"Everything felt good," Bailey said. "Cutter, curveball were fine, velocity was fine, the ball was coming out good. I was completely healthy, nothing bothered me. I'm just kind of antsy to get out there and pitch in the big leagues."
Shoppach trade provides opportunity for Lavarnway
BALTIMORE -- The trade of Kelly Shoppach to the Mets on Tuesday for a player to be named later meant one clear thing to Ryan Lavarnway: He could be in the Major Leagues for good now.
Lavarnway was promoted from Triple-A Pawtucket on Aug. 1, but mainly because the team was missing some bats.
Now he is ready to team up with Jarrod Saltalamacchia as the team's catching tandem for the rest of the season.
It was only fitting that the Shoppach move happened while the Red Sox were in Baltimore. It was at Camden Yards where Lavarnway provided the most dramatic game of his career, belting two homers on Sept. 27, when Boston was fighting to stay alive in the postseason race.
Lavarnway started Tuesday night's opener of a three-game series against Orioles lefty Wei-Yin Chen. Saltalamacchia generally has not started against southpaws this season.
"Any opportunity that I can get to show what I can do is appreciated," Lavarnway said. "Shoppach is a good teammate. I tried to learn what I could from him while he was here. Now it's time for me and Salty to take the reins."
For a couple of years now, the Red Sox have envisioned Lavarnway one day becoming the team's catcher of the future. Lavarnway should get plenty of chances to play for the rest of the season.
"Kelly was claimed by the Mets, and after having a nice season for us, he's going to finish his season for them and we'll have Ryan Lavarnway, who has been here waiting," said manager Bobby Valentine. "He will get a little more opportunity to play."
Lavarnway saw sporadic playing time since his promotion, hitting .083 (1-for-12) in seven games. Perhaps the increased workload will allow him to regain his groove at the plate.
"There wasn't as much of a defined role until today," Lavarnway said. "Any time you get more consistent playing time, especially as a young player, it helps. I haven't really had that where I'm not playing every day. Coming to the park expecting to play on an everyday basis would be something more up my alley."
How will the playing time shake out between Saltalamacchia and Lavarnway?
"There's not a concrete plan, no," Valentine said. "We want to try to play the guys that are going to help us win the most. Salty's an integral part of this group. We'll see if Ryan can become one."
Even with rest, Ortiz still sore, no timetable for return
BALTIMORE -- As David Ortiz entered the third day of his three-day rest period, he unfortunately did not have an encouraging report on his right Achilles strain, which has kept him out of Boston's lineup since July 16.
"I kind of chilled all day and I'm just sore today," Ortiz said. "I'm going to try to continue doing what the trainers have in mind and see if I feel better and see if I can play at some point."
Not being able to help the Red Sox at a time they are fighting for their postseason lives is driving Ortiz crazy.
"It's something I don't have the patience for," Ortiz said. "I don't think we'll have any activity today."
Ortiz is hitting .316 with 23 homers and 58 RBIs in 89 games.