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Sunday, May 5, 2013
Pregame notes: Bailey to have MRI

By Randy Jennings, Special to ESPNBoston.com

ARLINGTON, Texas -- An MRI is next for Andrew Bailey on Monday. And whether the Red Sox reliever goes on the DL will probably be determined by the results of his exam.

"We're not going to risk anything without a full checkup," Red Sox manager John Farrell said before Sunday's 3:05 p.m. ET game, which will conclude a six-game road trip.

Bailey, who last pitched on April 28, has been bothered by biceps soreness. He owned a streak of four scoreless appearances before the injury.

His status for the Rangers series has been lowered each day. For Friday's series opener, Farrell said Bailey would pitch only in an emergency situation. He did not pitch in the Rangers' 7-0 victory. On Saturday, Farrell initially expected Bailey to be available pending a final look shortly before the game. He was ruled out only 90 minutes before the start.

Even with the unavailability of Bailey, Farrell said the Red Sox were fully covered in the bullpen today. But the manager acknowledged that innings by starters are an issue. The bullpen has been used for 7 1/3 innings so far in the series. The starters have lasted for 8 2/3 innings.

Day off, Part 1: Will Middlebrooks gets a day off today, replaced by Pedro Ciriaco at third base. Middlebrooks was charged with two throwing errors on Saturday.

"It's just a day to get him off his feet," Farrell said. "On this road trip, we planned to get several guys off their feet and today was the day for Will."

Middlebrooks factored into the key play in Saturday's game, waiting back on speedy Craig Gentry's two-hopper behind the bag with the bases loaded in the fourth inning. Gentry beat Middlebrooks' off-target throw and Texas scored two runs for a 3-1 lead it would not relinquish.

Farrell after the game said he had no issue with the way Middlebrooks played the ball.

Day off, Part 2: Shane Victorino is out of the lineup today after starting the first two games of the series. Prior to the trip to Texas, Victorino missed seven games with back soreness.

"Shane's fine physically," Farrell said. "We didn't want to run him too many days after just coming back."

Victorino made his second impressive throw of the series on Saturday, holding Mitch Moreland to a single on a ball that hit the right-field wall.

Daniel Nava, the Sox starter in left field on Saturday, switches to right today. The smoldering bat of Mike Carp (.464) gets his first shot in the series in left. Nine of Carp's 14 hits have gone for extra bases.

Spitball fallout: Farrell looked puzzled when asked in his media session Sunday if there had been contact between Clay Buchholz and the league concerning spitball accusations.

"There's no reason to contact them," Farrell said.

Toronto television analyst and former major league pitcher Jack Morris on Thursday accused Buchholz of throwing the illegal pitch. Buchholz (6-0) is the scheduled starter when the Sox open a seven-game homestand with a 7:10 p.m. start Monday against Minnesota.

Good one brewing: For the pitching connoisseur, today's game shapes up to be a treat: Jon Lester (4-0) for the Sox and Yu Darvish (5-1) for the Rangers.

Farrell said he is impressed by the way Darvish can vary his style of pitching from start to start.

"It seems to be based on how he feels on game day," Farrell said. "It's a luxury to have that assortment of pitches."

The Sox have a pretty good one going in Lester.

Farrell contends it isn't the name of the opposing pitcher, in this case Darvish, that draws the best from Lester, but the challenge of knowing he has to be on the top of his game.

Still streaking: No rest for David Ortiz and his 37-year-old body, even if it is a day game after a night game. Ortiz carries a .447 average and a 24-game hitting streak into today's game. He has hits in all 12 games this season since being activated from the DL (right Achilles tendinopathy) on April 20.