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4/16/2013 8:54 P.M. ET

Mired in slump, Bradley on bench for opener vs. Tribe

CLEVELAND -- Mired in an 0-for-20 slump, Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. found himself on the bench for Tuesday night's game against the Indians, even with right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez pitching for Cleveland.

Bradley, who is ranked the club's No. 2 prospect, is hitting .097 in his first nine Major League games.

"Well, we've got six righties coming up against us and it's a matter of continuing his development yet putting the best lineup we can on the field," said manager John Farrell. "That's what goes into it. It's a balance. It's something that I and we as a staff have to continue to integrate him when possible. Play him and make sure he doesn't go too far from getting at-bats. I'm sure he'll be on the field at some point in this series."

Slugger David Ortiz could be ready for activation on Friday night, when the club opens a homestand against the Royals. If that ends up being the case, Bradley will likely be optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket.

With Bradley out of Tuesday's lineup, Daniel Nava got the start in left while Jonny Gomes served as the designated hitter.

Drew gets night off, Ciriaco starts at shortstop

CLEVELAND -- Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew got the night off on Tuesday after playing five straight games in his return from the disabled list.

Manager John Farrell said that health did not play a role in the decision to give Pedro Ciriaco a spot start.

"Just a down day for him," Farrell said. "It was planned. With the abbreviated Spring Training that he had, we almost had to consider with the stretch of games that we're going to have consecutively here, this was a day to give him a rest and keep Pedro involved."

Drew has struggled at the plate since his return, going 2-for-16. He made a great play at shortstop on Monday to help snuff out a rally for the Rays.

"I think yesterday with the ball off the wall was an encouraging sign that he's tracking the ball a little bit deeper through the strike zone," Farrell said. "He's worked some counts. He's worked deep in counts. I think through getting more at-bats, all that will come back to its normal levels."

Worth noting

• Right-hander John Lackey (strained right bicep) started his throwing program on Tuesday, playing catch at 120 feet. Farrell said that Lackey was more aggressive than expected, a sign of how strong he is feeling.

• Lefty Franklin Morales (lower back strain) will start for Class A Greenville on Wednesday, opening his Minor League rehab assignment. Morales is being stretched out as a starter during his rehab to give the Red Sox options in case a starting pitcher goes down.

• Backup catcher David Ross got the nod over Jarrod Saltalamacchia for Tuesday's game against the Indians.

"Again, just to keep [David] involved," said Farrell. "We know with [Justin] Masterson tomorrow, with [Zach] McAllister on Thursday, Salty will be right back in there. This is a matter of just keeping a little bit of a rotation going."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.