5/29/2013 2:42 P.M. ET
Red Sox pitchers well prepared to hit in NL parks
By Ian Browne / MLB.com
BOSTON -- When the Red Sox get to Philadelphia for their games on Wednesday and Thursday, they will have pitchers batting for the first time this season.
John Lackey and Jon Lester are the scheduled starters. But manager John Farrell has had all of his pitchers preparing for Interleague Play for some time.
"We've swung the bat for the last six weeks as pitchers," Farrell said. "I think a lot of times American League teams are fearful pitchers are going to get hurt swinging the bat. That's why we've spent quite a bit of time getting some repetitions so there is no hesitancy or thought on our part that they might injure themselves doing something they don't normally do. When the bunt situation calls for it, to me that's the most important thing: What's our success rate when sacrifice bunts are needed? Anything above that would be a plus."
The Boston pitcher who enjoys hitting the most is Lackey, who has two career doubles but a .105 average in 38 career at-bats.
Farrell still remembers Lackey clubbing a double in Colorado during the 2010 season.
"He took somebody deep in Colorado three years ago, or off the center-field wall," Farrell said. "Like I said, if we can get sac bunts down, we'll be ahead in the game."
Lester is 0-for-25.
The one thing the Red Sox want to avoid is what happened in San Francisco in 2010, when Clay Buchholz injured his hamstring on a routine play running the bases.
"We've taken our guys through some baserunning. It is something that they don't do," said Farrell. "I recognize all that. Clay injured his hamstring out in San Francisco a few years ago. We want them to play the game, but we also want them to understand we're not looking for them to steal a base either. Fact is, we can't ask guys to go about a competitive environment in a controlled way. That goes against human nature. We want them to play the game and compete."
Bradley recalled for series in Philadelphia
BOSTON -- When the Red Sox resume their home-and-home series with the Phillies on Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park, Jackie Bradley Jr. will be back on the roster.
To make room for Bradley, who was recalled on Wednesday, the Red Sox optioned right-hander Alex Wilson to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Wilson fared well in his first stint in the Majors, posting a 2.50 ERA in 16 outings.
However, the Red Sox had been going with 13 pitchers and 12 position players in recent days and didn't want to be in that alignment during the two games in Philadelphia, which will be played under National League rules.
Bradley provides the Red Sox with someone who can pinch-hit, pinch-run or be a defensive replacement.
"We know going into Yankee Stadium [on Friday] with that big left field that defense is a premium," manager John Farrell said on WEEI Radio. "He'll factor into that. And he'll factor in these two games in Philadelphia as well."
Unlike earlier in the season, when the Red Sox said the only way they would carry Bradley on the roster was if he was playing full-time, the club took a different stance this time.
"We started Spring Training saying Jackie has to get every day at-bats, but we feel like [Jonny] Gomes and [Mike] Carp has been a productive combination [in left field], and there's been a flow to this roster," Farrell said.
This time, Bradley will simply be holding down a roster spot until Shane Victorino is activated on June 5. Mike Carp, Jonny Gomes and Daniel Nava will likely continue to get the bulk of the at-bats in the corner-outfield spots until Victorino returns.
Bradley led off for Triple-A Pawtucket at Indianapolis on Tuesday and played right field, going 1-for-4 with a double. The outfielder is hitting .354 for Pawtucket.
When the Red Sox sent Bradley down following their game on April 18, he was in the midst of an 0-for-20 slump.
The team has had good reports on him of late.
"Very good," Farrell said on Tuesday. "Once he got past the shoulder tendinitis and got back on the field, much like we saw in Spring Training with his defense, he made two good plays last night and doubled off a guy with a throw. He threw out another runner. He had a home run and a double last night. He's been swinging the bat very well."
Morales returns as Red Sox option Aceves
BOSTON -- Sometimes even a strong start isn't enough to keep a pitcher on the roster. Alfredo Aceves learned that the hard way on Tuesday, when he was optioned back to Triple-A Pawtucket a day after defeating the Philadelphia Phillies.
With lefty reliever Franklin Morales ready to be activated, the Red Sox needed a roster spot.
Aceves allowed seven hits and a run over six innings in Monday's win before being optioned for the second time this season.
However, Aceves at least improved is stock within the organization by recovering from the disastrous start he had against the Oakland Athletics on April 23.
"Well, even despite the way he pitched [Monday], I don't think anyone likes to be sent back to the Minor Leagues. Whether or not he sensed this was coming, I don't know that," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "That didn't come up in our conversation. The fact remains, what we challenged him with when he went down after the Oakland start, he's been doing that more regularly, commanding the baseball, working ahead in the count.
"He pitched to his defense last night. He's a Major League pitcher who has had a lot of success in his career. This is disappointing for him. We recognize that. But that's where he's at right now."
As for Morales, he had dealt with back woes and a pec injury, delaying the start of his Major League season until Tuesday.
"It was a little frustrating," he said of his extended time on the DL. "But right now, I'm healthy. I want to be ready for any situation the manager needs me."
The former closer for the Rockies split time between the Red Sox bullpen and rotation last season, throwing 76 1/3 innings while striking out 76 and walking 30 with a 3.77 ERA. Opponents hit just .224 off him.
Morales has been stretched out as a starter during his rehab to add insurance to a rotation that currently has two pitchers, Ryan Dempster and Felix Doubront, battling inconsistencies.
Buchholz to pitch against Yankees on Friday
BOSTON -- When the Red Sox open their rivalry clash with the Yankees on Friday night in the Bronx, Clay Buchholz will make his return to the mound after dealing with a minor injury to his collarbone.
Buchholz, who has been one of the best pitchers in the Major Leagues this season, missed Monday's start against the Phillies.
His return should feature a marquee pitching matchup, as Friday is when CC Sabathia is next projected to pitch for the Yankees.
Felix Doubront will likely pitch against Phil Hughes on Saturday, followed by Ryan Dempster and Hiroki Kuroda in Sunday night's finale.