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CLEVELAND -- Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon will come off the bereavement/family emergency list Friday and be available for the team's weekend series against the Philadelphia Phillies, manager Terry Francona said.
Papelbon will miss all four games of the Cleveland series, which ends Thursday night. In his absence, the Sox have had only one save situation, which Daniel Bard converted in Tuesday night's 3-2 win over the Indians. The Sox took a 4-0 lead into the ninth on Monday in a game they won 4-1, and Wednesday they were shut out by the Indians 11-0.
Francona entered Thursday's game with just four real options out of the bullpen: Bard, Manny Delcarmen, who hasn't pitched since Sunday because of a stiff back, Ramon Ramirez and Hideki Okajima.
Boof Bonser on Wednesday faced just four batters, all of whom scored, in the Indians' eight-run eighth inning and is just 16 months removed from extensive shoulder surgery, so he can't be used on back-to-back days. Joe Nelson relieved and threw 40 pitches as the Indians wound up sending 14 batters to the plate, one of whom, Travis Hafner, connected for a grand slam off Nelson.
"I just [stunk],'' Nelson said. "Not a whole lot of sleep last night. But I'll go back out there tonight if they need me, if we're getting blown out. I'm not sure I would use me if we're trying to win'' because of the 40 pitches he threw Wednesday.
Gordon Edes is ESPNBoston.com's Red Sox reporter. He has covered the Red Sox for 12 years and has reported on baseball for 25 years. Ask a question for his next mailbag here.