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Piņeiro on DL, but Crisp stays off

The Red Sox' sweep in Seattle didn't just amount to three losses. It also cost them two injured players.

Yesterday, righthander Joel Piñeiro was placed on the disabled list with a right ankle sprain, with Pawtucket center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury replacing him on the roster. Coco Crisp was left on the active roster as he recovers from a sprained left thumb, which was confirmed by X-rays yesterday.

"Doctors and the medical people didn't see [Piñeiro] pitching in the next week," manager Terry Francona said. "So, with the All-Star break coming, we put Joel on the disabled list and called up Jacoby, and then it allows us to maybe wait a couple days on Coco, depending on how our pitching's doing. If our pitching's fine, we can wait. If not, we may have to do something there also."

Francona said the team thought Crisp's injury would leave him out of the lineup for only a day or two, but Crisp's thumb was stiff when arrived at the park Friday. Crisp said he won't pick up a bat until he's closer to appearing in a game.

"I felt better today, that it wasn't so sore," Crisp said. "Yesterday I was like, 'Oh my gosh, it's so stiff.' That was the main thing. It wasn't like it was really painful. Just really stiff."

Piñeiro injured his ankle last Monday, when he stepped on Eric Hinske's heel during pregame stretching.

"It's just the decision they made, I guess. I don't know," Piñeiro said. "Good tape job, I'm good to go. They said, in order to get really healthy, [I need to] stay off of it. It's there. I'm not going to lie, obviously there's something there."

The reliever appeared frustrated with the decision after having pitched Wednesday, when he gave up a walk and a game-winning double in the 11th inning.

"It just feels like a really fat ankle," Piñeiro said. "It's just swelled up. There's not that much blood flow because everything's tied up. I'm disappointed, but I understand."

With the promotion of Ellsbury, the Sox have 11 pitchers on the active roster, one fewer than what they've carried all season.

Clement progressing
Matt Clement threw 20 to 25 pitches off a mound yesterday at about 70 percent effort. "All reports were good, that he did very well, that he threw with a fairly loose arm and comfort," Francona said. "Again, 70 percent, but he's come a long way. I'm really looking forward to actually watch him throw." . . . Brendan Donnelly, who was eligible to come off the disabled list when the team was in Seattle, took a step back in his return from a right forearm strain. He threw from 60, 90, and 120 feet, though he did not throw from a mound yesterday. "He felt it the other day, but had a very good session. He'll be reexamined tomorrow and go back Monday," said Francona. "[We are] trying to get him to a point where -- because he's certainly not a finesse pitcher, he doesn't do anything finesse -- to where he doesn't feel it. And we had to take a step backward. That's not easy because of the way he throws." . . . Julio Lugo was not in the lineup for the second straight game, ceding shortstop to Alex Cora.

Strong showing
With the team carrying 11 pitchers, that should put additional responsibility on the right arm of Manny Delcarmen, who showed impressive velocity and location in his strikeout of Sammy Sosa Friday night. Delcarmen feels as though he's getting back to the positive results he experienced last season. "Right now I'm doing a lot more shoulder stuff," he said. "I'm really on top of my workouts with [Dave Page]. Same thing with Greg [Barajas], the trainer back in Pawtucket. I was really stressing on trying to figure out what I wasn't doing, keeping my fastball and velocity-wise on a downhill plane." . . . Josh Beckett, last night's starter, is the seventh Red Sox pitcher to win at least 11 of his first 12 decisions, following Roger Clemens (15-1, 1986), Tim Wakefield (14-1, 1995), Dick Radatz (12-1, 1963), Bob Stanley (12-1, 1978), Roger Moret (11-1, 1973), and Pedro Martínez (11-1, 1999) . . . With one more save, Jonathan Papelbon would become the first Red Sox reliever with at least 20 saves in consecutive seasons since Derek Lowe, who had 42 in 2000 and 24 in 2001 . . . Ellsbury is believed to be the first player of Navajo descent to play in the major leagues . . . Free agent righthander T.J. Nall was signed to a minor league contract after he was released by the Nationals, and was sent to Double A Portland. Righthander Chris Smith was promoted to Pawtucket . . . The Rangers announced that righthander Brandon McCarthy will be activated from the disabled list and will start tomorrow night's series finale . . . Ayla the Monkey threw out the first pitch . . . When Peter Rometti, last night's national anthem singer, stumbled a bit on the words, the crowd joined in to help him finish out the verses.

Amalie Benjamin can be reached at abenjamin@globe.com.

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