8/3/2013 12:51 A.M. ET
Morales to pitch in back-to-back games for rehab
By Michael Periatt / MLB.com
BOSTON -- Before Franklin Morales, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a left pectoralis strain, can rejoin the Red Sox's bullpen, he'll have to prove he's ready to contribute.
In the next step of his rehab, manager John Farrell said the lefty will throw in back-to-back games for Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday and Sunday.
Morales' rehab stint has been successful so far. He pitched Monday and Wednesday and recorded a scoreless inning in both outings.
Farrell said he'd like to see Morales build up some more endurance before he returns, however.
"Well, the one thing we have to do and just my view is that he's thrown two innings of I think 13 and 15 pitches, so we'd love to say that when he comes back to us he'd be that efficient, but I think you still have to get him a little extended," Farrell said. "He's had such a start-and-stop year that we want to be sure that he's at least answered a few questions in this rehab assignment he's on right now."
Morales has had trouble staying healthy this season. He missed the first 52 games of the season with a lower back strain and then was placed on the disabled list again with an injured pectoral muscle. His last appearance for the Red Sox was on June 22.
The Boston bullpen has had three season-ending injuries this season, but that doesn't necessarily mean Morales is guaranteed a spot once he's healthy.
"We have to get the best balance with the limited slots available out there," Farrell said. "I think first and foremost is that Franklin gets to a point where we make the necessary decision at that time."
Red Sox still in disbelief from comeback win
BOSTON -- As manager John Farrell went through his Friday morning routine, he was still thinking about his team's thrilling rally in the bottom of the ninth the night before.
"I think there was a time this morning just sitting around having a cup of coffee thinking, 'Still can't believe we won last night,'" he said.
The Sox scored six runs in the bottom of the ninth Thursday to top the Seattle Mariners, 8-7, and record their Major League-best 11th walk-off win of the season.
It was just one game over the course of 162 of the regular season, but Farrell said games like the one Thursday can have a larger effect than most on the season as a whole.
"To what extent, I don't know, but there is an effect," he said. "I think it's a cumulative one. You know, given the number of late-innings wins that we've had here, our dugout was very loose last night. And there wasn't added pressure. It was a matter of one game at a time putting up the best at-bat he could. Certainly some momentum started inside the inning, but I think people always want to say, 'Well, what could this mean going forward?' I just think it's a continued growth and confidence that we have as a team."
Nine of the 10 batters the Red Sox sent to the plate during the ninth inning reached base Thursday and only one hit -- a double -- was for extra bases. Daniel Nava finished off the comeback with a deep single to center field.
"Yesterday just showed that we never give up," said Mike Napoli. "We grind out a whole nine-inning game."
Ross 'jaded' by departure from Red Sox
BOSTON -- Cody Ross was clear. He didn't appreciate the way Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington treated him on his way out the door last season.
While playing for his new team, the D-backs, on Friday, Ross took that frustration out on the Sox, erupting for four hits, including the go-ahead home run in the seventh inning of Arizona's 7-6 win.
"I've had this game circled on my calendar for a while," Ross said.
Red Sox starter Jon Lester, against who Ross had three hits, certainly took notice.
"Obviously he came back with a little bit of a chip on his shoulder," he said.
Lester was Ross' teammate last season, but Ross wanted to be a part of the new -- and hopefully more positive -- chapter this year.
He expressed those feelings to Cherington and thought they had a pretty good chance of becoming a reality.
When that didn't come to fruition, Ross said he was told by Cherington that the Red Sox were not interested in signing players to long-term deals.
It wasn't long after that conversation that Ross said the Sox inked free agents Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli to three-year contracts, though Napoli's deal was later changed to one year after the discovery of a hip condition.
Ross said he felt "jaded" by the situation.
"I wouldn't say betrayed, just maybe jaded a little bit," Ross said. "You know, when you hear one thing from the top that they're not going to sign guys to long-term deals and then turn around a week later and do it, it doesn't really -- I mean I'm a person, too. I'm not just a baseball player. You know, I have emotions and feelings."
Ross was particularly surprised given his relationship with Cherington.
"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't surprised," Ross said. "Me and Ben had a great relationship. Very open. I felt like I could go and talk to him about anything. He would come to me and talk about certain stuff that you know that general managers don't necessarily approach players about sometimes. We had a great relationship. It was just, I don't know if the fact that I expressed to him first that I wanted to come back may have hurt me a little bit, showing my hand if you will. But things happen for a reason. I'm a firm believer in that."
Ross insists the situation is all in the past now. He landed with the D-backs in what he called a "doozy" of a free-agent process, but Arizona is where he makes his home and his new team is in the middle of a pennant race in the National League West.
"It all works out," he said.
Ross said he still pays attention to the Red Sox, and while he doesn't necessarily cheer for the team, he roots for his old friends like Dustin Pedroia, Lester and John Lackey.
"It was obviously sad to see him go," said Lester, "but at the same time, obviously we're all happy with who we've got in this clubhouse now."
Ross was part of a clubhouse last year that many described as a detrimental environment. Seeing the Red Sox's success this year, he said the environment must have changed.
"Just being a part of how that went down and then seeing and hearing about how it is now, I would assume night and day," he said. "So good for them. I'm glad that they got their clubhouse back intact and are doing great things."
Michael Periatt is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.