Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury and third baseman Kevin Youkilis were not in the starting lineup. Ellsbury, however, had a pinch-hit single and scored a run in the fifth inning. He stayed in defensively, finishing 2-for-3 with a double in the Red Sox's 13-9 win.
"He's fine," Francona said of Ellsbury before the game. "Jacoby's been out there a lot, and he wanted to play, which is great but I think this will do him some good."
Francona explained that he spoke with Ellsbury during the second inning Monday night and gave the outfielder a heads up that the two would talk again after the game because the manager felt it was time to give Ellsbury a day off.
"He didn't fight and when guys don't fight, they get tired sometimes, a little beat up and a day off is good for them," Francona said. "When it's not, then we don't want to do it. We know these guys well enough where we try not to get in the way."
Ellsbury entered Tuesday hitting .319 with 16 homers and 58 RBIs. He had a seven-game hitting streak, during which he was hitting .419 with three homers and seven RBIs. He started Tuesday hitting .400 with five doubles, two triples, seven homers and 19 RBIs in his last 20 games.
Youkilis was removed from Monday's game at the start of the eighth inning with right hamstring tightness after he was injured trying to leg out a ground ball.
"He's a little sore, but he came through the exam (Monday) night pretty good, which is really good," Francona said. "We've all seen Youk enough, and he certainly wears it on his sleeve and that's not bad. When he hit the bag it looked bad and he came off limping. We got him out of there for precautionary reasons and I'm glad we did. He'll be fine."
Francona also admitted that he's planning on completely staying away from Youkilis Tuesday night.
Youkilis is hitting .279 with 14 homers and 72 RBIs this season. He has a .322 average with 10 extra-base hits and 15 RBIs in his last 16 games.
Joe McDonald covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com.