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Minor progress for Lowrie

He’s happy with Pawtucket work

Jacoby Ellsbury puts a punctuation mark on his ninth-inning homer that gave the Sox a victory. Jacoby Ellsbury puts a punctuation mark on his ninth-inning homer that gave the Sox a victory. (Barry Chin/Globe Staff)
By Michael Vega
Globe Staff / August 4, 2011

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Shortstop Jed Lowrie, fresh off two rehab starts at Pawtucket, was in the Red Sox clubhouse yesterday to conduct a workout before heading back to make a third appearance at Triple A tonight against Buffalo at McCoy Stadium.

Lowrie went 0 for 2 in three innings at shortstop in his first rehab start Monday night against Louisville. He came back Tuesday afternoon as the designated hitter and went 1 for 3.

“I was happy with it,’’ Lowrie said. “I’m progressing well and we’ll just take it day by day. I think I was happy with the way I saw the ball.

“After not playing 5-6 weeks, jumping in and facing a guy with good stuff the first day, too, I was happy with the way I saw it.’’

Lowrie, who has been on the disabled list since June 17 because of a left shoulder strain, said he didn’t feel any discomfort in the five at-bats.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Lowrie would start at shortstop today and DH tomorrow.

“The one thing we want to do is get him stretched out a little bit before we get him back here,’’ Francona said before last night’s dramatic 4-3 victory over the Indians on Jacoby Ellsbury’s walkoff homer with two out in the ninth inning.

Lowrie didn’t have a time frame for his return, but was proceeding cautiously.

“Whenever I’m ready,’’ he said. “Whenever I know I’m ready to play nine innings every day.

“You got to make sure that you don’t take any steps backward in the process. You want to progress at a natural rate.’’

Slow going for Bedard When Erik Bedard makes his Red Sox debut tonight against Cleveland, it will in effect serve as the second rehab start of the season for the 32-year-old lefthander, who was acquired Sunday from Seattle in a three-way deal at the non-waiver trade deadline.

Bedard, who had sprained his left knee, came off the DL Friday and gave up five runs in 1 1/3 innings in a loss at Tampa. He gave up three hits and four walks in what was the shortest start of his career.

Bedard threw 57 pitches, and Francona said he would be limited to 75-80 tonight.

“We need to be [patient] because what we want to do is balance winning now, which is important, and also getting this guy locked in with what we want to do,’’ Francona said.

Salty well-armed While Jarrod Saltalamacchia may have opened some eyes recently with his strength (on a broken-bat homer) and speed (he pinch ran for Jason Varitek Tuesday and scored the winning run from second on a single), Francona said he has been impressed with the catcher’s arm.

Saltalamacchia has caught 15 runners out of 73 stolen base attempts (20 percent).

“He’s done a terrific job,’’ Francona said. “His throwing has come so far, and certainly the player always deserves the credit, but what doesn’t go unnoticed is that [bullpen coach] Gary Tuck’s really done a terrific job.

“These guys don’t just work in spring training, they get after it all year. And Salty’s better, he’s better than he was. We’re excited.

“Last year, at the beginning of the year, you got guys not only running but the next team coming in was wanting to run. Now they’re not trying to as much, and when they do, we throw them out. It’s great.’’

Jimenez joins Indians Ubaldo Jimenez joined the Indians at Fenway Park after being acquired from the Rockies Sunday. The 27-year-old righthander is scheduled to make his first start for Cleveland tomorrow at Texas. Jimenez said he was surprised by the trade. “I had heard so many rumors the last two weeks, I didn’t know where I was going to end up,’’ he said. “But when I heard that I had been traded to the Indians, I got really excited. They have really good players and they’ve been playing really good ball.’’

Pedroia honored Dustin Pedroia was named American League Player of the Month for July after hitting .411 (46 for 112) with 9 doubles, 1 triple, 8 home runs, 22 RBIs, and 27 runs. It was the first time he had been recognized with the honor. Pedroia also cobbled together a career-high 25-game hitting streak from June 29 to July 28 . . . Reliever Bobby Jenks, on the DL since July 8 because of left back tightness, threw from 60 feet Monday “and felt great,’’ Francona said. However, “He showed up [Tuesday] and felt [only] OK,’’ the manager said. “Trying to figure out if it was from throwing or maybe doing too much lifting. So we keep going back and forth. Probably not coming as quick as everybody would like, including himself.’’ . . . Jason Kipnis’s fourth-inning solo homer was his fourth of the season and fourth in as many games for the Indians. Since 1919, he is the only second baseman ever to homer at Fenway in three consecutive games of a single series vs. the Sox . . . The Sox improved to 8-1 when the game is tied after eight innings and 14-10 in one-run games this season. It was their seventh walkoff win of the season and second in as many games. The last time the Sox won back-to-back walkoff games was April 20-21, 2010 vs. the Rangers.

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

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