05/05/2013 4:03 PM ET
Scuffling Middlebrooks given reprieve in finale
By Ian Browne / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- For just the second time this season, Will Middlebrooks was not in Boston's starting lineup for Sunday's finale vs. the Rangers. The third baseman has endured a sophomore slump in recent weeks, and is 3-for-19 on the road trip.
"Yeah, this is to get him off his feet," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "We had planned on this road trip to try to rotate some guys and get some guys off their feet, and today is that day for Will."
Yu Darvish, who has nasty stuff, was probably not a bad opponent for Middlebrooks to take a day off against.
"Yeah, Yu is a very good pitcher," said Farrell."I don't know if it's strictly because Darvish is on the mound. It's more where we are with the day game after the night game, and [had] a planned day down for him."
Shane Victorino, who recently came back from a back injury, also was out of the lineup. And catcher David Ross subbed for Jarrod Saltalamacchia behind the plate with the day game following Saturday night's contest.
Playing in his home state of Texas, Middlebrooks obviously wishes he was going a little better right now.
"I'm fine. I know I'm a good player," Middlebrooks said. "I know it's been a tough couple of weeks, tough couple of days, especially being home and everybody is here. It's tough to play like that. I know it'll get better. It's just a rough patch. Keep my confidence. I know I'm going to get just as hot as I am cold right now."
Ortiz goes deep, extends hit streak to 25 games
ARLINGTON -- Red Sox slugger David Ortiz provided no subtlety or mystery when it came to whether he would prolong his career-long hitting streak another day.
In the top of the first inning against Rangers ace Yu Darvish on Sunday afternoon, Ortiz walloped a towering two-run homer to right to give his team a quick lead.
Dating back to July 2, 2012, Ortiz has hit in 25 straight games. Prior to this season, Ortiz's longest career hitting streak was 19 games. That streak came in 2002, when he was with the Minnesota Twins.
Ortiz has also reached base in 33 straight games, another career high.
His magnificent start to the season has come despite a right Achilles injury that prevented him from playing in Spring Training.
Ortiz started his season on April 20.
"I've been a hitter my whole life," Ortiz said. "It's not like I'm doing anything new. Same routine -- I haven't changed anything."
Bailey slated for MRI on biceps Monday
ARLINGTON -- Andrew Bailey was unavailable for Sunday's finale against the Rangers, as the Red Sox will have the closer undergo an MRI on his ailing right biceps in Boston on Monday.
Bailey first felt the injury on April 28 while pitching against the Astros, and he hasn't pitched in the ensuing week.
"We will stay away," manager John Farrell said about Sunday's game. "He's got an exam scheduled for tomorrow morning as much to give him some peace of mind in what he's dealing with, because it's in that last 10 percent of intensity where he feels some of the symptoms he's going through. For our own information and his peace of mind, we've got to get that looked at thoroughly."
Once the Red Sox get the results of the MRI, they can decide whether to put Bailey on the disabled list, a move that could be back-dated to April 29.
John Lackey was out for three weeks with a biceps injury earlier this season. But Farrell doesn't see much of a correlation between the two injuries.
"No, John's was in the belly of the muscle," said Farrell. "Down, closer in the mid range of the muscle. This is a little bit higher up. Obviously, he's getting some inflammation in there. To what extent, that's where the tests are going to come [in handy]."
With Bailey out of the mix, Farrell is trying not to ask too much of his other key relievers.
"We have everyone available today with the exception of Andrew, so we're fully covered for today," Farrell said. "But in general, in the bigger picture, yeah, we've got to be careful of certain guys. Innings by starters are key."
• Lefty Craig Breslow, who has made five Minor League rehab appearances, could be activated for Monday's game against the Twins. However, no decision has been made yet, according to Farrell.
• Felix Doubront, who struggled mightily in his last start and lacked velocity, had his side day on Sunday and long-toss was emphasized.
"His normal in-between starts routine," Farrell said. "There's been a little bit more emphasis on the long toss, in terms of its intensity. I can't say that we're going to ramp up the volume all that much more than what it's been."