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Miller penned in for relief

Lefty won’t start for a little while

By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / August 6, 2011

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A day after he threw 71 pitches in relief, Andrew Miller was informed he would remain in the Red Sox bullpen for a while.

Miller is not scheduled to start again until Aug. 16 or 17 against Tampa Bay. He met with manager Terry Francona and pitching coach Curt Young before last night’s game against the Yankees and received the news.

“We’ll give him some downtime,’’ said Francona. “We may ask him to cover in the bullpen a little bit and then we’ll get him prepared for a start.’’

The Sox have a doubleheader against the Rays Aug. 16, then one game the next day.

“That’s a pretty logical landing point,’’ Francona said.

Meanwhile, Tim Wakefield will pitch Monday against the Twins, followed by Erik Bedard and Jon Lester.

Miller is 4-1 since being called up from Pawtucket in June but has a 5.44 ERA and a 1.91 WHIP. He did not help his cause Thursday, allowing two runs on four hits, two walks, and a hit batter over 2 2/3 innings against the Indians.

Bedard also met with Francona and Young yesterday and assured them he is ready to go on regular rest. The lefthander has made only two starts since coming off the disabled list but threw 70 pitches over five innings Thursday.

Bedard is not fully stretched out, however.

“He pitched really well,’’ said Francona. “We want to keep an eye on this guy. We want him to continue to get stronger. We’re certainly going to up the workload as he goes but we’ll keep an eye on him.’’

Bedard had been out with a strained left knee and is pitching with a brace.

One more time Jed Lowrie will extend his rehabilitation assignment with Pawtucket for another game. Lowrie was the designated hitter against Buffalo last night, going 1 for 4 with a walk and an RBI, and will play shortstop today. He would then take tomorrow off and be activated Monday. There was a chance Lowrie would be activated for the Yankees series, but Francona felt that would have been “pushing it a little bit.’’ Lowrie has not played since June 16 because of nerve damage in his left shoulder. He has looked solid since joining Pawtucket Monday, going 4 for 12 with two walks and three RBIs. “Real good,’’ Francona said. “He did fine.’’

Faith in Crawford Carl Crawford entered last night’s game in a 6-for-40 slump that stretched over 10 games. His .276 on-base percentage is 79th among American League qualifiers, his .242 batting average 69th. Crawford, who turned 30 yesterday, started slowly this season, then spent a month on the disabled list with a hamstring strain. He has been inconsistent since. But Francona believes Crawford can still be a factor. He was 2 for 4 with a double last night. “Even though his batting average is a little lower than it’s supposed to be, that doesn’t mean he can’t be the player that we’re looking for,’’ said the manager . . . Righthander Bobby Jenks, who has not pitched since July 7 because of a back strain, is scheduled to throw a bullpen session tomorrow. When the team heads on the road, he will report to Fort Myers, Fla., to continue working out there. The hope is that will lead to a rehabilitation assignment with Pawtucket. “That’s what we’re mapping out with him going forward,’’ said Francona. “It’s obviously in pencil. The last couple of times, we’ve reached a little quick and it’s gone backwards. The biggest thing is he feels good Sunday when he throws.’’ Jenks has pitched in just 19 games this season.

A-Rod absent Alex Rodriguez, who is on the disabled list with an injured right knee, did not accompany the Yankees to Fenway Park. He is working out at the team facility in Tampa. According to an Associated Press report, Rodriguez took ground balls and some batting practice yesterday. He is not expected back for 7-10 days at least. The Yankees have been using Eduardo Nunez and Eric Chavez at third base . . . Francona did a double-take when a New York reporter mentioned that Dustin Pedroia was “so humble’’ when talking about his recent hot streak. “You got the right guy?’’ Francona said.

Streak is over Adrian Gonzalez’s hitting streak ended at 14 games. He was 0 for 4 . . . Mariano Rivera appeared in his 1,022d game, tying Jose Mesa and Lee Smith for 10th all time . . . The Yankees did not walk a batter during their four-game sweep of the White Sox this week. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last team to sweep a four-game series and not allow a walk was the Red Sox against the White Sox Aug. 5-8, 1968 . . . Both teams are carrying 13 pitchers. The Yankees will have Phil Hughes available as an extra reliever for the final two games of the series . . . Before the game, Jim Rice presented David Ortiz with a framed display commemorating his 1,000th game as a member of the Red Sox. Ortiz hit the milestone July 27 . . . The Red Sox did not use a singer for the national anthem, just the Fenway Park organ and some old-school singing from the fans.

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

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