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7/30/2013 8:10 P.M. ET

August could be biggest challenge for rotation

BOSTON -- While Red Sox are closely gauging the starting pitching market (Cliff Lee, Jake Peavy, Bud Norris, etc.) in advance of Wednesday's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline, manager John Farrell thinks his team can stay in contention even without an impact addition.

The key for the Red Sox, in Farrell's mind, is to hold down the fort for a few more weeks until right-hander Clay Buchholz (9-0, 1.72 ERA) returns to action.

Buchholz hasn't pitched since June 8 thanks to a right bursa sac strain. He had a productive day playing catch Monday, and could soon gauge his throwing strength by crow-hopping and throwing at maximum intensity from about 100 feet.

"I'm very optimistic he'll pitch for us," Farrell said. "At a date we don't know yet, but he would be back in our rotation at some point. We recognize that August will be our month of biggest challenge in terms of overall depth because soon after that, we're still hopeful and optimistic that Clay returns, and that would be as good of an addition as we could make at any deadline."

Brandon Workman, who started Tuesday night against the Mariners, filled in well for his first two Major League starts.

The organizational pecking order is pretty clear to Farrell if one of the other starters should go down or need a rest in the near future.

"We're talking about a pool of three, and that would include [Stephen] Wright, [Rubby] De La Rosa and [Allen] Webster. Depending on the day of the need, obviously rest is going to come into play for whoever might be available," said Farrell.

In wake of close call, Farrell backs expanded replay

BOSTON -- A day after an agonizing loss, one that perhaps could have been prevented if home-plate umpire Jerry Meals had made the correct call on Daniel Nava, Red Sox manager John Farrell was matter of fact in his belief that expanded instant replay could be very beneficial for the game.

"I've always felt that the advances in technology, how it's come into the game, there's no reason to think that it can't be used to a greater extent without prolonging the time of the game," said Farrell. "Particularly on plays that are not continuing plays. That's a definitive play. It's either out or safe. In cases like [Monday] night, I think it furthers the debate."

After the game, Meals said he missed the call which would have tied a game the Red Sox eventually lost, 2-1.

"[I] appreciate him stating what transpired afterwards. It's the human element inside the game," said Farrell. "Given the last couple years where umpires have become more exposed to questioning after the game, [I] appreciate him saying what he did. [It] doesn't change the outcome, obviously, and maybe it furthers the debate on including more video replay."

Farrell understands that instant replay is a complex issue.

"I know it's an ongoing conversation with the Commissioner's Office and all those who are on the field committee," Farrell said. "How it's ultimately implemented, that's the biggest challenge I think in all of this. And I know that there is a lot of sensitivity towards the overall time of game. And not to slow things down, but in situations like [Monday] night, I think the most important thing and the overriding thing is just to make sure that the plays are called as they should be."

What slump? Pedroia halts slide with two-run homer

BOSTON -- Dustin Pedroia doesn't slump very often, but it has happened of late. The Red Sox's star second baseman was in an 0-for-15 rut heading into Tuesday's game.

After reaching on an error in the first inning, Pedroia halted his recent slide in impressive fashion, launching a two-run homer over the Green Monster off Mariners starter Joe Saunders in the second.

Pedroia had been 3-for-39 since the All-Star break entering Tuesday.

"That's frustrating," Pedroia said before the game. "I hit the ball good the last four or five games and I don't have any hits, so it'll fall."

Has manager John Farrell seen anything that could be leading to Pedroia's slump?

"[I see] a guy trying to make some things happen, and yet when he squared some balls up in Baltimore the other day or recently, he hasn't had a whole lot of luck," said Farrell. "But I see the guy wanting to make things happen. On occasion, that might cause someone to -- not only Dustin, but some others -- to expand the strike zone at times, particularly off the plate away. He hasn't hit into too much luck."

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.