Lowrie coming along for the ride
Marco Scutaro was at shortstop against the Yankees last night. But starting today, he has some competition.
Jed Lowrie accompanied the Red Sox to Minnesota and will be activated off the disabled list before tonight’s game against the Twins. His left shoulder, weakened by nerve damage, has recovered sufficiently.
“Now that we will have Jed back, we can kind of split it up,’’ manager Terry Francona said. “Because Jed’s not ready to be out there every day, we can look at day game/night game, matchups, and hopefully get the most out of both of them.’’
The position has been in flux for much of the season. Scutaro was the starter out of spring training, lost the job to Lowrie after a few weeks, then regained it when Lowrie was injured in a collision with teammate Carl Crawford May 27.
Scutaro has started 63 games at shortstop - including last night’s 3-2, 10-inning victory in which he went 4 for 4 - and Lowrie 42. Francona is leaving it open as to who will play the most going forward.
“Normally those things kind of take care of themselves,’’ he said. “The way Jed played earlier this season, it was kind of hard not to play him. I don’t think that it really matters what I say in advance. We’ll see how those guys play.’’
Lowrie is hitting .270 with a .723 OPS. Scutaro entered last night hitting .260 with an OPS of .684.
“Jed has proven when he’s healthy he’s a really good hitter,’’ Francona said.
Lowrie was 7 for 17 with four doubles and five RBIs during a five-game rehabilitation assignment with Triple A Pawtucket.
“I feel good,’’ he said. “You have to get back up after being knocked down.’’
Lowrie will continue to get treatment on his shoulder, which is still regaining strength.
“After the injury, my strength was next to nothing,’’ he said. “I don’t know what 100 percent is anymore, but I know that I feel good.’’
Scutaro has played 44 games since Lowrie went on the DL.
“He’s held up,’’ Francona said. “I know he doesn’t like to hear that because he likes to play every day, but I think it’ll be good for him not to.’’
Upper hand Daniel Bard’s strikeout of Mark Teixeira in the 10th inning was a rarity. Going into last night’s game, the Yankees first baseman was 5 for 14 against the Red Sox setup man with four home runs, including one on Saturday, and just one strikeout.
No other hitter has more than one home run against Bard. Teixeira also has the most hits against him.
Teixeira, who has faced Bard more than any other hitter, dismissed it as a fluke.
“Those are just weird stats. You can find hundreds of them in baseball,’’ he said.
But Bard is bothered by it.
“Obviously I think some guys get comfortable in the box against you and I think he’s pretty comfortable against me,’’ Bard said. “I’ve faced him a lot. If you look at the pitches he’s hit out, maybe one of them was executed well.’’
Bard believes that locating his pitches better would solve the problem.
“We’re trying to go down and away,’’ he said. “Sometimes I’ve thrown pitches that he should have hit out. They were bad pitches. But I’ve got a lot of at-bats left against him.’’
Try, try again For the third time, Tim Wakefield will try to for his 200th career victory when he faces the Twins tonight at Target Field.
The 45-year-old would be the 111th pitcher to win 200 games. He is 199-176 in 19 seasons. Wakefield pitched well in his last two games, allowing three runs in seven innings against Chicago July 29 and three runs in 6 2/3 innings against Cleveland Wednesday, but did not get a victory.
Wakefield flew ahead of the team to Minnesota last night to get a full night of sleep.
Posada sits The Yankees are dropping Jorge Posada out of their everyday lineup. Manager Joe Girardi started Eric Chavez at designated hitter last night.
“We’re going to see how it works,’’ Girardi said. “I told Jorge, ‘You’re still going to be a big part of this and we’re going to need you. We’re just going to do some different things.’
“He has a lot of pride and respect for what he’s done. You could see the disappointment and understand that. At this time, I felt like I had to do what I did today.’’
Posada, who turns 40 Aug. 17, has hit .230 with a .309 on-base percentage in 90 games. He has nine home runs.
“I’m not happy about it, but right now I can’t do nothing about it,’’ Posada said. “I put myself in this situation. I’ve just got to keep on working.’’
The Yankees also could look to Triple A catcher Jesus Montero as their DH.
Millwood released Righthander Kevin Millwood, who had been pitching for Pawtucket since June 1, was granted his release on Saturday. The 36-year-old Millwood was 5-1 with a 4.28 ERA in 13 starts, allowing 79 hits with 25 walks and 66 strikeouts over 73 2/3 innings. He was signed May 19 after being given his release by the Yankees. Millwood is 7-2 with a 4.36 ERA in 16 minor league starts this season but scouts do not feel he would fare well in the majors because of a diminished fastball . . . Outfield prospect Ryan Kalish had a two-game rehabilitation assignment with Single A Lowell, going 3 for 6 with a walk and a strikeout. He is expected to rejoin Pawtucket this week. Kalish has been out since April because of shoulder and neck injuries . . . The Yankees are likely to give CC Sabathia an extra day off after his battering at the hands of the Red Sox on Saturday. He is not expected to pitch until Friday against Tampa Bay.