04/26/12 2:34 AM ET
Ross tweaks knee, aims to play Thursday
By Evan Drellich / MLB.com
"Cody just twisted his left knee a little. I think it might have been the first [at-bat]," said Valentine, who added that he saw Ross "manipulating it" in the fifth. "I figured I'd get him out of there, get ice on it as soon as possible."
Ross said the knee was "a little sore" and that the injury was not something he had been dealing with prior to Wednesday.
Ross, who has hit a team-leading five homers, struck out on six pitches against Twins right-hander Anthony Swarzak for the second out in the sixth at Target Field. Hitting .267 on the season, Ross drove in the game's first run with a single in the first and finished 1-for-3.
Ross' importance has been magnified by injuries to Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford and Jason Repko, as any depth the Sox did have in Spring Training doesn't exist anymore.
Before the game, Valentine talked about the impact Ross and fellow outfielder Ryan Sweeney have had this season.
"It's been paramount," Valentine said. "It's been a godsend. Not that we didn't think they'd be good, but we thought collectively they'd do what they're doing individually. It's been spectacular."
Bard not available in 'pen, set to start Friday
MINNEAPOLIS -- Daniel Bard will not be available in the Red Sox's bullpen for Wednesday night's series finale against the Twins and remains on track to start Friday against the White Sox.
Bard made a cameo relief appearance Monday vs. Minnesota, as he recorded two outs to escape an eighth-inning jam en route to his first win this season. Manager Bobby Valentine was considering using Bard in a relief situation again Wednesday, but he changed his mind.
"I just threw a bullpen [session]," Bard said after throwing 40 pitches by his count. "I talked to [Valentine]. ... Can't throw a bullpen and pitch in the game."
Valentine said the discussion changed his mind.
"Before I got here, he might have been [available], and then we talked and figured it was not the right thing to do," Valentine said. "At 2 p.m. this afternoon, I figured it was an option.
"We just talked about it. What if it goes 30 pitches? What am I going to do, take him out after a 22nd pitch, bring someone else in? It's a crazy situation. ... I don't think he needs more than 50 pitches today between warming up and a game. What happens if he goes over that? Then you're not in a good place."
Crawford to have elbow examined by Andrews
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Red Sox are scheduling an appointment with Dr. James Andrews for Carl Crawford to have his strained left elbow examined, and the ailment may have bothered the left fielder well before the discomfort became public 12 days ago.
The appointment would be at least Crawford's third exam on the elbow, but manager Bobby Valentine said that surgery was not in the picture.
"I haven't heard any reason that there's surgery, a surgical procedure, being necessary," said Valentine. "I haven't heard that. Hope not."
News of Crawford's elbow injury first surfaced before the Red Sox's home opener. But Valentine said Wednesday in an interview with WEEI that Crawford might have felt discomfort in the elbow in February. Crawford had left wrist surgery in January and then was shut down in Spring Training when he developed inflammation in the wrist. Previous to Wednesday, the elbow was believed to have been a later development.
"Today I heard from the training staff that he said he had a little feeling when he got to Spring Training, I never heard about that," Valentine told WEEI. "I don't know if the staff really did either. I don't know if this is a major situation, but again, I'm not close to the situation."
During his media scrum with reporters, Valentine called the appointment with Andrews as a "fact-finding mission."
At least one standard MRI, without dye, has been conducted, to Valentine's knowledge. Crawford has been serving as the designated hitter in extended spring games and has not played the outfield because of the elbow.
"The only thing I heard is he hadn't been throwing in a couple days, then he was shagging and he picked up a ball and he kind of lobbed it in," Valentine said. "He still felt something. That's what raised concern. ... You haven't thrown in a few days and you didn't warm up and you weren't expecting to throw and you throw.
"It's not like he's gone out and tried to throw and said, 'I can't throw.' And I bet if this was the seventh game of the World Series and he had to advance it in, he could advance it forward. And that's just a bet."
The elbow has made for a busy travel schedule for Crawford. He had his first known exam for it on April 10 in Boston. Crawford remained in Boston through April 15 before heading to Fort Myers, Fla., where he played his first extended spring game on April 17. He returned to Massachusetts for another exam Tuesday and that same night returned to Florida, where he was Wednesday.
Valentine shuffles lineup after making snafu
MINNEAPOLIS -- It's rare that a mistake is harmless for a Major League manager, but that's what Bobby Valentine's lineup confusion amounted to Wednesday before the Red Sox's 7-6 win over the Twins.
Valentine thought Twins starter Liam Hendriks was a left-hander, so he posted the standard lineup Boston runs out against southpaws. Hendriks, who lasted four-plus innings and gave up seven runs, is a right-hander. Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who would've been on the bench for a second day in a row in favor of Kelly Shoppach, pointed out the mistake to Valentine.
"It happens," Valentine said. "I talked to [Saltalamacchia a day earlier] and I thought I alluded to the fact that he could get two days in a row [off] with the left-hander [Wednesday]."
"I was a little bit [confused]," Saltalamacchia said. "It all worked out. I was just wondering. I guess what happened is that he thought he was a lefty. That's why I was kind of wondering. I was kind of like, 'Well, you know ...' I knew it was a righty. We got it figured out."
The only other difference in personnel in the originally posted lineup was Darnell McDonald starting instead of Ryan Sweeney. McDonald entered anyway when Cody Ross exited early because of left knee soreness.
Padilla feels tightness in left side, says he's OK
MINNEAPOLIS -- Reliever Vicente Padilla was bothered by his left side during his perfect seventh inning in the Red Sox's 7-6 win over the Twins on Wednesday night.
Padilla said he iced the area after the game and told the club he was OK. He described the feeling as "tight."
After getting Alexi Casilla to ground out for the second out, Padilla (1-0, 8.64 ERA) grabbed at his left side a little bit and then bent over at the waist. Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and the Sox's training staff started making their way out to the mound, but Padilla waved them off.
The right-hander struck out Denard Span on three pitches, was congratulated by his teammates in the dugout and then headed down to Boston's clubhouse with a trainer.
Byrd finding his timing thanks to Magadan
MINNEAPOLIS -- With two starts in center field under his belt and a third one coming Wednesday for the Red Sox, Marlon Byrd's started to find his timing with a little help from hitting coach Dave Magadan.
Byrd collected his first multihit game of the season in Tuesday's 11-2 win over the Twins, and he's 3-for-9 in his two games with the Sox. That matches his hit total on the season when he joined his new club in a weekend trade with the Cubs. He hit .070 in 47 plate appearances and 13 games for Chicago.
"I'm working things through," Byrd said. "Started off slow, but at the same time, it's the game. You know we play 162 for a reason. Play 14 games, I would probably have been done."
Byrd was working on his timing before arriving with the Sox, but Magadan has "overemphasized" the matter in their short time together.
"Timing. All timing," Byrd said. "Starting my separation when the guy's breaking his hands, I was inconsistent with my timing. If you don't have timing, nothing else matters. I knew it, but he overemphasized it in the cage the past couple days, and it's translated into the game."
Byrd added a fine running play to the warning track in left-center field Tuesday night, after earlier misjudging a ball then recovering in time to make a shallow catch. Boston is 2-0 with him in the fold.
"Wins are great, but the thing about this team is, we're going to win," Byrd said. "We have a good group, guys that know how to play."
With Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford both injured, Cody Ross and Ryan Sweeney have filled in above expectation. Ross has five home runs and a .263/.328/.579 line. Sweeney has a .392/.418/.571 line.
"It's been paramount. It's been a godsend," manager Bobby Valentine said of the pair. "Not that we didn't think they'd be good, but we thought collectively they'd do what they're doing individually. It's been spectacular."
Left-hander Rich Hill (Tommy John surgery rehab) pitched on back-to-back days for the first time in his Minor League rehab stint, with Triple-A Pawtucket.
"Trying to get all those reports and thoughts," Valentine said when asked if Hill was close to a return to the bigs. "I think he's close, but that's just from afar."
Count Valentine as a Scott Atchison fan. The right-hander threw two perfect innings and struck out three in Boston's 11-2 win Tuesday, and he was efficient, throwing 19 of 26 pitches for strikes.
"I've liked the way Atch has thrown the ball from the first day I saw him," Valentine said. "It's not just strikes, it's quality strikes, it's late. He has real late rotation and gets on the hitters pretty quickly."