Francona expects stocked bullpen Monday

September, 26, 2011
9/26/11
5:00
AM ET
NEW YORK -- Who will be available out of the Red Sox bullpen Monday night in Baltimore?

It won't be Franklin Morales. Red Sox manager Terry Francona said the left-hander, who was credited with the win in what ranks as the team's biggest win to date, the 7-4, 14-inning marathon exercise against the Yankees, won't be able to pitch after a season-high 44 pitches.

Scott Atchison also doesn't figure to be a go, leaving Sunday's Game 1 with a mild groin strain after pitching in four of the last five games.

Francona used eight relievers in all during Sunday's 22 innings of pitching, but said he expects most everyone to be on call Monday night.

"A lot of guys will be available,'' Francona said. "We’ll take stock, but (Jonathan Papelbon) and (Daniel) Bard hadn’t thrown in about three days.''

Bard got the last out of the eighth inning of the nightcap and the first two outs in the ninth inning before giving way with the bases loaded to Papelbon, who retired all seven batters he faced in a 2 1/3 inning stint that ranked as his longest of the season. Papelbon would have come out for the 12th inning, too, Francona said, if the Sox had taken the lead in the top of the inning, making it a save situation.

Papelbon said he was prepared to pitch as long as necessary.

"Brings me back to my minor league days,'' Papelbon said of his extended stint. "It’s a game you can tell would be a big momentum shift, almost like foreshadowing.''

The Red Sox acquired Morales back on May 19 from the Colorado Rockies for a player to be named later or cash. Ten days later, he went on the disabled list with a forearm strain, went on a rehab assignment with Pawtucket and upon his return has pitched primarily in low-leverage situations. Sunday's outing was by far the biggest of his career with the Sox.

Francona said he was concerned that Morales was getting tired in the 13th.

"My concern is I don’t want a kid to pitch his heart out and lose a game because he’s out of gas,'' Francona said.

Gordon Edes

Red Sox reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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