- Gordon Edes, ESPN Staff Writer
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BOSTON -- Mike Carp, whose bloop single drove in the game-winning run in Wednesday night’s 4-3 Red Sox victory over the Orioles, was in John Farrell’s original starting lineup Thursday night, which would have marked his 47th start this season and eighth this month.
But Carp, who has had just 30 plate appearances in 25 games this month but has managed to be a productive hitter off the bench (.307/.362/.551/.913 overall this season), was a late scratch. The reason? A sore left shoulder, the Red Sox announced before the game, with Carp now listed as day-to-day.
Sitting was Mike Napoli, who had hit tape-measure home runs Sunday and Tuesday but went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts Wednesday. Interestingly, Napoli sat despite having three hits in eight at-bats against Chris Tillman, who was starting for the Orioles Thursday, including a 2-for-5 game this season. Tillman is 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA in eight career starts against the Red Sox.
* David Ortiz, held without a hit in his last five games, will be looking to snap an 0-for-18 skid Thursday. Ortiz has just six RBIs in his last 15 games, or since his last multi-RBI game, when he knocked in two runs against Houston in a 15-10 win Aug. 6.
“You know, he’s gotten some pitches that he’s missed,’’ Farrell said. “I think at times he might get a little pull-conscious where he’s pulling off the ball at times, kind of making the swing a little bit long. I know he’s going through some early work on the field right now to address some of those situations.
“I think it’s more than anything just maybe getting a little bit overaggressive at times. We’ve all seen when he’s been at his best is when he’s driving the ball to left-center field and I know he’s working to try to get back to that right now.”
Ortiz lined out to left in his first at-bat Wednesday and flied out to the track in left on his third at-bat, just missing a Wall double.
Farrell insisted Ortiz is not feeling any of the lower back pain that caused an early removal last week in San Francisco.
* Farrell suggested that if the Sox do anything before Aug. 31, the last day to make a waiver deal in which a player would be eligible for the postseason, it would be to add a right-handed reliever. But nothing appears imminent.
* Jacoby Ellsbury, who came out of Wednesday night’s game after fouling a ball off his right foot in the seventh inning, was sore but in the lineup.
Ellsbury has 49 stolen bases after stealing two Wednesday night. One more steal, and he will have his third 50-steal season. He is the only Sox player in history with multiple 50-steal seasons.