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Jenks thrown right back in

He comes off DL, works an inning

By Michael Vega
Globe Staff / June 1, 2011

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As he strode toward the Red Sox bullpen with the rest of the relievers before last night’s game against his former team, the White Sox, Bobby Jenks got a pat on the back from Daniel Bard.

Jenks no doubt was a welcome sight in the bullpen, the big righthander coming off the 15-day disabled list yesterday. Jenks had been on the DL with a strained right biceps and tendinitis he said bothered him for “a solid two weeks’’ before going on the list.

“I’m back at 100 percent,’’ said Jenks, who made two rehab appearances with Pawtucket. “My arm is feeling great after a few rehab starts. I was throwing the ball well and commanding my pitches and feeling very good.’’

Jenks backed up that feeling in last night’s 10-7 loss by giving up just two hits in a scoreless eighth inning. With one out and two runners in scoring position, Jenks got out of the inning by catching Paul Konerko’s sharply-hit liner and doubling off Brent Lillibridge at first after he had reached on a single to left.

“Threw all strikes, which was good to see,’’ Sox manager Terry Francona said. “I thought he stayed in his delivery and he threw all his pitches for strikes.’’

“I think we did it the right way,’’ Francona had said before the game. “We got him a couple of [rehab] outings where he could shake off the rust.’’

Jenks detected a mechanical flaw in his delivery following his last outing, May 1.

He tied a career high with three walks in that appearance and blew a save for the second time this season.

“Throwing those bullpens before my rehab starts, I was able to work on it,’’ said Jenks. “I was able to take those two weeks on the DL and make a lot of dry runs on basic mechanics without a ball.’’

Asked to specify what corrections he made, Jenks said, “Just small adjustments, that’s all it is, really. Just keeping my shoulder closed longer and keeping my head on top of the ball.’’

Jenks said it would “be a little weird’’ to face some of his former teammates, “but when it’s time to go, it’s down to business.’’

After signing a two-year, $12 million deal Dec. 21, 2010, with Boston, Jenks engaged in a war of rhetoric with White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen on his way out of town.

“It’s water under the bridge,’’ said Jenks. “I’m here with the Red Sox now, and as much as I enjoyed my time in Chicago, my focus is on this organization and this team now.’’

A hot week Carl Crawford, who hit .155 the first month of the season, yesterday was named American League Player of the Week. He went 11 for 23 with 2 doubles, 2 triples, 3 home runs, and 8 RBIs as the Sox went 5-2. “I’m feeling a lot better,’’ said Crawford. “I’m feeling a lot more comfortable at the plate. Things are slowing down a lot for me and I feel like I’ve definitely gotten a lot better from the way I started out.’’ After singling in the fifth inning last night, Crawford made a baserunning mistake that turned into a double play. As Jed Lowrie was flying out to center, Crawford slid into second, turned for third, then hurried back to first after the ball was caught. But Crawford did not retouch the base, and he was called out by umpire Mike Estabrook. “He [umpire] was right on the play,’’ Francona said. “Carl’s slide took him toward third, so he’s got to touch second coming back [to first base].’’

Time change The Red Sox announced that the start time for Saturday’s game against Oakland has been moved from 7:10 p.m. to 1:10 p.m. to avoid a conflict with Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals between the Bruins and Canucks. The game will be televised on NESN . . . Francona said shortstop Marco Scutaro, who has been on the DL since May 8 with a left oblique strain, was cleared to begin baseball activities. Scutaro took batting practice and grounders. “We’ll see where that takes him and when,’’ Francona said. “It could be as early as this weekend he may be playing, but we’ll see.’’ . . . Francona said the club received good news on the MRI Franklin Morales underwent Monday for his left forearm strain. “Structurally, very good and sound, which was very good news,’’ Francona said. “He had some swelling in his flexor mass, which I’m sure was causing him what he’s feeling. He was actually feeling way better yesterday than he was the day before, so that’s good news.’’

Awaiting word Francona reported that Daisuke Matsuzaka received a second opinion on his arm injury yesterday from Dr. Lewis Yocum in California, and that the Sox were still awaiting word on Yocum’s findings. “I think it’s more getting some help on the timetable,’’ Francona said. “That’s the biggest thing we were looking for here. There’s just so much experience on Dr. Yocum’s part.’’ . . . University of Connecticut women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma was a guest of Francona’s. Before the game, he chatted in front of the dugout with the manager and Dustin Pedroia. “Got the whole month of June off,’’ Auriemma said.

Michael Vega can be reached at vega@globe.com.

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