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|David Ortiz, who had three hits and a walk, seemed to be the only player on the Red Sox who was awake.|
“"On the play it hurt,'' Lowrie said. "It's fine. It kind of startled me. I rolled up on it. That happens sometimes when you dive. After a couple of minutes it started to feel better.'' Lowrie said he could not recall ever having been on a baseball field as late as he'd been the night before. "It was a long night,'' he said. "No one in here is going to use yesterday as an excuse for today's performance. They played the exact same game we did [Wednesday], and they just came out with a little bit more today.'' Lackey, who was booed loudly as he left the mound by a crowd that needed only to glance at the new video board to see his ERA had risen to 7.16, took the bullets for this one, especially when someone asked if he and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia did not mesh as well as they had in previous starts. "Salty had nothing to do with it,'' Lackey said. "I pitched bad. "My head shakes fine from side to side. If I throw it, it's my fault.'' Francona gave the slumping Dustin Pedroia (6 for 50, .120) the day off. The newly arrived reinforcements for the bullpen, Scott Atchison and Rich Hill, both were pressed into service Thursday, especially Atchison, who played the role of sacrificial arm, going 3 2/3 innings while giving up seven hits and three runs. That's the kind of outing appreciated by a manager grateful that Atchison took one for the team, but hardly conducive to ensuring an extended stay in the big leagues. Indeed, a club source confirmed that Atchison would be gone by morning, replaced by right-hander Alfredo Aceves, who was scratched from his scheduled start Thursday for Pawtucket and will pitch out of the pen for the Sox. At least Francona, who spent the night in the clubhouse with the equipment crew, had a free Thursday evening for dinner and a movie, should he choose. Unlikely, given that less than 24 hours earlier the Sox were within a game of finally reaching .500 but now find themselves three games under headed into this weekend's series against the Minnesota Twins. Unless they've been pounding the boulevard, the Twins should be very well rested, having been here since Wednesday night after flying in from Chicago after a day game. Gordon Edes covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com.
Salty had nothing to do with it. I pitched bad. ... My head shakes fine from side to side. If I throw it, it's my fault.” -- Red Sox pitcher John Lackey, on whether he and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia were out of sync