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Farrell reiterates defense of Dempster

8/19/2013

SAN FRANCISCO -- Red Sox manager John Farrell said he does not think right-hander Ryan Dempster should be suspended for hitting Alex Rodriguez with a second-inning pitch in Sunday night’s game against the New York Yankees. It was reported Monday that the league is reviewing the incident and that Dempster could be suspended and fined.

Dempster threw a pitch behind Rodriguez, then two inside before hitting Rodriguez with his fourth pitch in an episode that cleared the benches and certainly appeared intentional, even if Dempster denied that after the game.

“I don’t expect them to do anything,” Farrell said. “Certainly they’re going to review it and deem what’s necessary. Some are going to take the viewpoint that it was totally intentional. I don’t see it that way.

“Ryan’s got to establish his fastball, and he’s got to establish it in to certain right-handed hitters. His split and slider are critical to him, and if he has right-handed hitters lying out over the plate, we saw two at-bats later what can happen.”

Rodriguez belted a home run to center off Dempster in the sixth inning, paving the way to the Yankees’ come-from-behind 9-6 victory Sunday.

Farrell was asked if he’d be disappointed if Dempster is punished.

“Again, my view is that it was not intentional,” he said. “I’m not the one making the decision or reviewing it. I can express my opinion and state what I saw, which is exactly that. I didn’t see it being intentional.”

Dempster was not available for comment before Monday’s game.

* The Red Sox made several roster moves. With No. 1 prospect Xander Bogaerts being called up, infielder Brock Holt was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. To make room for Bogaerts on the 40-man roster, pitcher Clay Buchholz was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. But the Red Sox still hope to get Buchholz back sometime soon.

Catcher David Ross was activated from the 60-day DL and Ryan Lavarnway was sent to Pawtucket. To make 40-man room for Ross, reliever Andrew Bailey was transferred to the 60-day DL.

Reliever Rubby De La Rosa also was optioned to Pawtucket, with reliever Brayan Villarreal being called up to provide a fresh arm.

With the current roster configuration, Farrell said he considers Will Middlebrooks his backup second baseman behind Dustin Pedroia. If Middlebrooks is pressed into duty there, it could open up time at third for Bogaerts, although Bogaerts' primary position will be shortstop.

* The Red Sox endured a unique -- and brutal -- travel itinerary Monday. After their Sunday night game at Fenway Park, they opted to get a decent night’s sleep in Boston and take the cross-country flight to San Francisco Monday morning. They departed Logan Airport at 10 a.m. and arrived in the Bay area around 1 p.m. Pacific time, about six hours before the first pitch.

There were some tired eyes in the clubhouse, but as outfielder Jonny Gomes said, “You just power through the day and catch up tomorrow.”