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Red Sox Notebook

Things kicked off with a boot

By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / April 26, 2010

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Baltimore’s leadoff man yesterday, Nolan Reimold, hit a sharp grounder to third that Adrian Beltre booted. The same thing happened with the next hitter, Adam Jones.

Official scorer Mike Petraglia initially gave Beltre an error on both plays before changing his mind and giving Reimold a hit because of a bad hop off the notorious Fenway Park infield.

One of the best third basemen in the game, Beltre’s only thought was that he wanted the next ball hit to him.

“You want to redeem yourself and do something positive,’’ he said.

He got that chance a batter later when Miguel Tejada drove a ball down the line. Beltre snared it, saving at least one run. He then ended the inning by catching a foul pop off the bat of Luke Scott.

Beltre made another stellar play in the fifth inning to rob Tejada of a hit. The Baltimore third baseman threw his hands in the air in frustration as he reached first base.

Two on deck?
Injured outfielders Mike Cameron (hernia) and Jacoby Ellsbury (fractured ribs) accompanied the team to Toronto last night. According to manager Terry Francona, that’s a sign of progress.

But while that does seem to be the case with Cameron, who is optimistic about returning earlier than first expected, Ellsbury is dour about his prognosis.

“There’s no real improvement,’’ he said. “It hurts. It just takes time to heal up a little bit.’’

Ellsbury suffered four hairline fractures in Kansas City April 11. At this stage, his ability to play hinges on pain tolerance.

“Whenever I can duplicate my swing, that’s when I’m playing,’’ Ellsbury said.

Cameron has been working out and is moving around much better. He hopes to start taking swings in the next few days.

“I believe, talking to our trainers, hitting will be before a lot of the harder running,’’ Francona said. “That movement doesn’t seem to be getting in the way as much as the lifting of his legs when he’s striding.’’

Francona would not hazard a guess as to when the Sox will get the two starters back.

“We don’t have any idea on timetables,’’ he said. “But if they’re going to travel with us, that means they’ll be able to do some baseball things, which is good.’’

Roles defined
With Tim Wakefield officially demoted to the bullpen, the Sox announced that Daisuke Matsuzaka would start against the Orioles in Baltimore Saturday. The righthander, who has been on the disabled list all season, will throw a four-inning simulated game in Toronto this afternoon as a tuneup . . . Righthander Boof Bonser will return to Pawtucket today and is scheduled to throw a bullpen session. Shoulder pain stopped his injury rehabilitation assignment April 14 and he has been receiving treatment from the Red Sox training staff since. “I’m feeling fine now,’’ said Bonser, who had shoulder surgery 14 months ago. “Just needed a little time.’’ Bonser said he would need a few bullpen sessions before he is ready to pitch in a game. Once he gets into a game, his 30-day rehabilitation assignment would start over again.

Lowrie progressing
Infielder Jen Lowrie, who was left behind in Fort Myers, Fla., to recover from mononucleosis, has become largely a forgotten man.

But there was some news from Francona, who said Lowrie has increased both the frequency and intensity of his workouts.

“The last four or five days to a week, he’s been able to do more of the back-to-back things, you know, when he does something physical,’’ the manager said. “Because before, it was when he did something the next day [he] really had to take a day and not catch his breath but rebound.’’

Francona said Lowrie is hitting off a tee and doing some weightlifting.

“I think the hope is the next couple weeks, that you start to see a real turn where his energy level returns,’’ Francona said.

Lowrie has lost 10 pounds because of the illness. Because of injuries and illness, he has played only 32 major league games since the end of the 2008 season.

Collision course
Kevin Youkilis was called out for interference in the second inning when he ran into first baseman Rhyne Hughes, who was settling under the foul pop Youkilis had hit. Jogging with his head down, Youkilis didn’t see Hughes until it was too late and both players tumbled to the grass . . . Francona gave Jonathan Papelbon a day off. The closer had appeared in four of the previous five games, throwing 76 pitches . . . Victor Martinez is 9 for 30 (.300) in his last nine games but has only one RBI and no extra-base hits . . . The game was the 500th for Dustin Pedroia . . . The Red Sox are 1-3 in extra innings, with all four games coming at home.

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @peteabe.

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