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Cash carries himself like he never left

By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / July 3, 2010

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As Kevin Cash spoke to reporters before last night’s game against the Orioles, Red Sox manager Terry Francona playfully yelled out a few insults from the doorway to his office.

“As you can see,’’ Cash said, “they know me here.’’

Cash, a member of the Red Sox from 2007-08, was acquired from the Astros Thursday for infielder Angel Sanchez. The Sox needed a catcher immediately when Jason Varitek was found to have a fractured bone in his right foot.

When Cash woke up Thursday in Memphis, he was the catcher for the Round Rock Express, the last-place team in the American South Division of the Pacific Coast League. By the time he went to bed, Cash had become the starting catcher for the Red Sox, the team now a half-game out of first after a 3-2 victory over the Orioles last night.

Francona praised general manager Theo Epstein for his quick action.

“In a short period of time, he went and got, in my opinion, the perfect guy,’’ the manager said. “He’s a guy who caught here before. He knows our staff, he knows our coaches, he knows our team. He walked through that door today and it was a welcome sight.’’

Varitek was the second catcher to go on the disabled list in a span of five days, joining Victor Martinez, who broke his left thumb. Martinez is expected to return after the All-Star break. Until then, Cash will be the regular catcher with Gustavo Molina as his backup.

Cash was 0 for 3 last night, but threw out Adam Jones attempting to steal to end the second inning and had only one passed ball, that coming when his glove broke. Tim Wakefield went eight innings for the win, allowing two runs.

“I felt pretty comfortable,’’ Cash said. “I learned a long time ago, don’t burn bridges. I’ve had a good relationship with the staff here.’’

Cash was Wakefield’s personal catcher for much of 2008. But he also has experience with other Sox pitchers.

“That’s huge,’’ Cash said. “I’ve already gone through with [bullpen coach] Gary Tuck some of the pitchers I didn’t know. The guys I do know, it’s comforting. It gets a little nerve-wracking when you’re in a ball game and you haven’t caught a guy for a while. It’s nice to know.’’

Cameron scratched
Outfielder Mike Cameron was in the starting lineup, but was scratched just before first pitch when he had trouble getting loose. Cameron has been playing all season with a torn lower abdominal muscle. Francona said he hopes the veteran will be able to play tonight.

Darnell McDonald replaced Cameron and went 1 for 3. “Just like Little League,’’ he said. “Run out there and play.’’

Beckett set to pitch
Beckett will pitch for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox Tuesday at noon in Sarasota, Fla. He will face the Orioles at the Ed Smith Stadium Complex.

The righthander is scheduled to throw three innings or 55 pitches, whichever comes first.

“It feels good,’’ said Beckett, who has been on the disabled list since May 19 with a lower back strain. “I’ll pitch Tuesday and go from there.’’

Beckett threw 41 pitches over two innings in a simulated game Thursday at Fenway. “Hopefully it’s just two or three [minor-league games] before I’m ready, Beckett said.

Delcarmen disabled
Righthanded reliever Manny Delcarmen was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sore forearm. The initial diagnosis is that the problem is muscular in nature, a good sign.

“A couple weeks down should kind of snuff this out and then he can come back and be the guy we need,’’ Francona said.

Delcarmen has been dealing with the issue for about a week. The hope was he could pitch through it, but that idea was derailed when he allowed nine runs on nine hits over a span of three appearances. That sent his earned run average skyrocketing to 4.59.

“When it gets in the way of guys getting productive, then we’ve got to do something about it,’’ Francona said. “He was obviously having a tough time.’’

Delcarmen had an MRI yesterday; the results are expected today.

“Better be safe than sorry. Just to make sure everything’s OK,’’ Delcarmen said. “I’ve always been tight in my forearm, but not this bad. This is the worst that it’s been.’’

Second chance
Robert Manuel was recalled from Pawtucket to fill Delcarmen’s spot in the bullpen. The righthander was with the Red Sox from June 19-22 but did not pitch. “It’s nice to get another chance,’’ said Manuel, who had a 1.54 ERA at Pawtucket and had held righthanded hitters to a .154 batting average . . . The Sox also called up infielder Niuman (pronounced “Newman’’) Romero from Pawtucket to take the spot vacated by Sanchez. The 25-year-old switch-hitter can play all of the infield positions and the corner outfield spots. He was hitting .268 for the PawSox . . . Jeremy Hermida, another resident of the disabled list, took batting practice in the cage for the third time in four days and said his fractured ribs are feeling better. “There’s soreness when I swing but less each time,’’ he said . . . Infielder Jed Lowrie, out all season with mononucleosis, will start a 20-day rehab assignment with Single A Lowell Monday . . . Anthony Ranaudo, one of the team’s supplemental first-round draft picks, continued to dazzle in the Cape Cod League, throwing seven shutout innings for Brewster against Bourne. In three starts, Ranaudo has not allowed a run over 17 2/3 innings. He has given up seven hits, walked two, and struck out 16. He is pitching on the Cape to try and improve the contract offer he will receive and appears to be succeeding.

Globe correspondent Robert Mays contributed to this report.

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