© 2010 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

07/21/10 3:45 AM ET

Pitching coach Farrell tossed for arguing

OAKLAND -- Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell was ejected in the 10th inning of Tuesday's 5-4 loss to the A's after arguing a check-swing call with plate umpire Bob Davidson.

With the scored tied at 4 and runners at first and second with one out, A's pinch-hitter Adam Rosales tried to hold up his swing on a 2-2 pitch. The Red Sox then appealed to first-base umpire Angel Campos, who deemed Rosales didn't go around.

Farrell and manager Terry Francona yelled at Davidson from the dugout, before Davidson ejected Farrell. Francona then came on to the field to discuss with Davidson before Rosales eventually struck out. After the game, Francona said he believed Rosales went around with his swing.

One batter later, Kevin Kouzmanoff hit the game-winning single to right field, scoring Daric Barton.

Awaiting activation, Lowrie rejoins Red Sox

OAKLAND -- For Jed Lowrie, his Major League career has been more like an extended stay on the disabled list with some baseball in between.

After being affected by a left wrist injury in 2008 and being slow to recovery from a resulting surgery in 2009, this was supposed to be the season Lowrie got a fresh start. But midway through Spring Training, Lowrie was diagnosed with mononucleosis, derailing the start to yet another season.

At long last, Lowrie joined the Red Sox on Tuesday, after a successful 10-game Minor League stint with Class A Lowell and Triple-A Pawtucket. Lowrie batted .367 (11-for-30) combined at the two stops, with five runs scored, four doubles, one home run, nine RBIs, six walks and five strikeouts.

"The first time I went out and played and felt healthy -- it was a good feeling," Lowrie said. "It was almost a foreign feeling to feel healthy."

Lowrie took swings from both sides of the plate during batting practice with his teammates Tuesday, but wasn't activated from the 60-day disabled list. Manager Terry Francona said there's "probably a pretty good possibility" that Lowrie will be activated in the near future to provide infield depth for a hurting team.

"That's kind of the idea," Francona said. "That's kind of what we're thinking."

Despite all the obstacles, Lowrie said he's still looking forward to contributing this season for the Red Sox. Lowrie said the team had him travel to Oakland so he could confer with Francona and general manager Theo Epstein, who was also present.

"By no means is it a lost season," Lowrie said. "There were times where I was more concerned about my health than baseball, but I feel healthy now and I'm back to thinking about baseball."

Before Tuesday's contest, Lowrie said he didn't know when he would be activated and that he was yet to talk to Francona or Epstein regarding his role when he returns.

"They might need me on the road trip," Lowrie said. "Like I said, I'll just take it day-by-day."

Slider now big piece of Bowden's repertoire

OAKLAND -- In his first four years with the Red Sox organization, Michael Bowden didn't bother throwing sliders.

But as he ascended toward the big leagues last season, Bowden added the offspeed pitch, and it's starting to work wonders. As Bowden soon found out, there's more to throwing a slider than he ever imagined.

"I changed grips 10 different times," Bowden said. "I thought it was going to be the easiest pitch ever. I thought it was just -- you grip it, you throw it and you cut it -- let the ball do the work. It's not as easy at sounds."

Before last season, the organization thought it would be worthwhile for Bowden to supplement his low-90s fastball with a slider. After working with Triple-A pitching coach Rich Sauveur and Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell over the offseason, Bowden said he finally feels comfortable with the pitch.

"Last year was a big learning year with it -- I got to experiment a lot with it," Bowden said. "But now it's to the point where it's very consistent and I can throw it for strikes. I can command it very well and it's become a very, very good pitch for me."

Bowden threw 10 pitches in his season debut on Sunday at Texas, tossing seven fastballs and three sliders. But the 23-year-old didn't say the slider has become his secondary pitch of choice, rather saying it just depends on the day.

"He's doing a good job," manager Terry Francona said. "It's been a big addition to his arsenal."

The Red Sox converted Bowden from a starter to a reliever earlier this season, as he pitched four scoreless outings from the bullpen in Triple-A before getting called up to the bigs. Bowden made seven relief appearances for Boston last season -- one in April and six in the final few weeks of the season -- but things appear different with his slider in tow.

As for the long term, Bowden said he wouldn't mind staying in the bullpen.

"Just going out there every day knowing that I have a chance to pitch -- it's exciting for me," Bowden said. "It's fun coming to the ballpark every day. As of now, I'm really enjoying this role and I could see myself continuing being in the relieving role."

Boston rotation close to full strength

OAKLAND -- The way it looks now, the Boston rotation will be at full strength by week's end.

According to manager Terry Francona, the recoveries of Clay Buchholz -- scheduled to start Wednesday -- and Josh Beckett -- slated to start Friday -- are still on track. Francona said Buchholz won't be on a pitch-count limit Wednesday, but that the team will be monitoring him with caution.

"We have to keep an eye on him, that's for sure," Francona said. "We have an obligation to not let a guy go a month and throw him 120 pitches -- then he won't be worth [anything] the next start -- we have to remember that.

"You'll be able to tell, though. If he's tired and he's coming out of his delivery, it won't matter what inning he's in. But then if he's staying in his delivery and he's fine, then we'll be OK."

Buchholz strained his left hamstring running the bases on June 26 at San Francisco and hasn't pitched for the Red Sox since. The 25-year-old righty threw 60 pitches in a rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday, finishing 3 2/3 innings.

Beckett threw a side session at the Oakland Coliseum on Tuesday and incorporated his offspeed pitches, focusing on throwing his curveball. The veteran threw 81 pitches in his last start for Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday, but hasn't pitched for the Red Sox since May 18 because of a lower back strain. Francona said Beckett won't be on a pitch count, but that he doesn't believe Beckett will have his usual stamina.

With the return of Beckett and Buchholz, Boston will have to relegate one of its starters to maintain a five-man rotation. It's been speculated that Tim Wakefield will likely return to the bullpen, but Francona wasn't committed to the idea just yet.

"That's kind of getting ahead of it a little bit," Francona said.

Worth noting

Red Sox manager Terry Francona said catcher Victor Martinez could join the team on the current 10-game road trip without making a rehab stint. Francona said it might be "kind of silly" to send Martinez "back three time zones so he can get three at-bats." Francona said he expects Martinez to be able to hit right-handed by the time his fractured left thumb is ready for everyday catching activity. ... Catcher Gustavo Molina, who was designated for assignment on Sunday, has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Alex Espinoza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.