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Stephen Drew sent to Class A

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Stephen Drew's road back to the Boston Red Sox begins in Greenville, South Carolina, home of the Class A Greenville Drive of the South Atlantic League.

The Red Sox announced Friday they had optioned the shortstop to Greenville after he cleared option waivers and had recalled right-handed reliever Alex Wilson from Pawtucket.

Drew, who signed with the Red Sox earlier this week, has said he expects to take about 10 days to be ready to play again for the Red Sox, saying that his primary need is to build up to nine innings.

The plan, manager John Farrell said, is for Drew to spend four days with the Drive, playing two games at short and DHing once. He will then be reassigned to either Triple-A Pawtucket or Double-A Portland. Drew played five innings Friday night, singling in his first at-bat and striking out in his second.

During his time in limbo, Drew said he hit against college pitchers at Valdosta State, near his home in Georgia, and before that against St. Thomas (Fla.) University, where agent Scott Boras has established a sports performance institute.

This will be Wilson's second call-up this season. He was summoned for a day last April 23 but did not appear in a game. He also had three call-ups last season, when he made his big league debut and went 1-1 with a 4.88 ERA, striking out 22 in 27 2/3 innings.

He has pitched well this season for Pawtucket, going 1-0 with five saves and a 1.42 ERA. He has limited opponents to a .182 average in 18 appearances.

Wilson's stint here is likely to be short-lived. The Sox are planning on calling up a starter to take Felix Doubront's spot in the rotation. Doubront went on the disabled list with what the team is calling a strained left shoulder.