08/11/07 12:53 AM ET
Notes: Big Papi returns to lineup
All-Star's left shoulder improves following cortisone shot
By Geremy Bass / MLB.com
Young talent: Right fielder Brandon Moss has appeared in only three games with the parent club this season, but his efforts against the Angels earlier this week made an impact on Francona."He's really developing the reputation as a good young hitter," Francona said. "He stands up there like a good hitter. His at-bats the whole week were solid." Moss went 1-for-7 in his two games and also showcased his talents on the defensive side of the ball. "In the first Spring [Training], he was pretty tentative, so we didn't get to see some of his tools out there in the outfield," Francona said. "But this spring and the other night, he had a good arm and he moves after the ball pretty well. He just needs to play and to play at this level. He's got a chance to be a pretty good player." Moss was sent back to Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday to make room for first baseman Eric Hinske, who returned to the lineup after spending time at home to celebrate the birth of his first daughter. Rolling the dice: With his fourth strikeout of the game in the second inning Friday, Daisuke Matsuzaka passing the Red Sox's single-season rookie record of 155, which Ken Brett set in 1970. Dice-K is also only the ninth Boston rookie since 1914 to record at least 14 wins in a season. Southern Red Sox Nation chapter: The Red Sox hold a 6-2 record against the Orioles this season and an 80-52 mark since 2000, and Francona said Baltimore is the most Red-Sox-fan inhabited city in the Majors when Boston comes to town. "It's like Boston in the south," Francona said of Charm City. "All the places I can walk to the ballpark I walk, but not here." Boston hasn't lost the season series on the road to Baltimore since 1998. Up next: Josh Beckett (14-5, 3.31 ERA) will try to notch his Major League-leading 15th win of the year when he faces Garrett Olson (1-0, 3.86 ERA), who has started just two games in the Majors, in the middle stanza of a three-game set Saturday at 3:55 p.m. ET in the FOX Game of the Week.
Geremy Bass is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.