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Red Sox Notebook

Reward for long night

Victory on Sunday was worth the wait

By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / August 9, 2011

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MINNEAPOLIS - The Red Sox did not leave Fenway Park until close to 1:30 a.m. yesterday, about an hour after they finished off a satisfying 3-2 victory against the Yankees.

Josh Reddick won the game with an RBI single in the 10th inning off Phil Hughes, the ball landing in left field deep enough to score pinch runner Darnell McDonald from second base.

It was a game with several interesting subplots.

Winning pitcher Daniel Bard pitched a scoreless 10th to get the win, retiring the Yankees in order. His first out was the toughest as he struck out Mark Teixeira, who was 5 for 14 against him with four home runs.

Bard, who gave up a home run to Teixeira on Saturday, threw the Yankees slugger a 3-and-2 changeup that he swung through.

“Good pitch at that time,’’ Bard said. “I put it where I wanted it. I’m glad I got him that time.’’

The sixth inning also was interesting. The Sox had two runners on with no outs and had Reddick show bunt, hoping to get him a fastball later in the count. It worked as the Yankees moved their defense in at the corners and Boone Logan threw a fastball. But Reddick popped it up to left.

Jason Varitek then got ahead of Cory Wade, 3 and 0, and swung at the next pitch, given the go-ahead by manager Terry Francona. Varitek fouled out to the catcher.

“We do that a lot,’’ Francona said. “To me, that was a guy who wanted to throw a breaking ball, so you get a fastball count. [Varitek] just popped it up. We give guys the green light probably more often than people realize. They don’t always swing.’’

Francona said a lot goes into deciding whether to turn a hitter loose on 3 and 0. “It’s not that easy. Who’s pitching, who’s hitting, who’s coming up behind, sometimes what I think they might throw 3-1, how they’re swinging the bat, pitch counts,’’ he said. “There’s all kinds of stuff. If a guy can win a game with that swing, you usually let him hit.’’

The pace of the game also became an issue. The game lasted 4 hours, 15 minutes and a good percentage of the reason was how long Josh Beckett took between pitches, especially in the sixth inning.

“I thought Beckett was a little slow. You know, if the league wants to send [a letter] and say speed it up, I don’t blame them,’’ Francona said. “But I’d rather us win.’’

Lowrie steps in Jed Lowrie was activated off the disabled list and started at third base in place of a resting Kevin Youkilis in last night’s 8-6 victory against the Twins. In Lowrie’s first game since June 16, he was 1 for 4 and made an error.

Francona said his plan is to play Lowrie at shortstop tonight. But that could change given that Marco Scutaro was 3 for 4 and is 7 of his last 8.

With Youkilis getting some time off, Dustin Pedroia hit cleanup (going 2 for 5) and Carl Crawford was moved up to second, the highest he has been in the lineup since May 5, when he hit second.

Crawford was 1 for 4 with a triple and a sacrifice. Crawford is 9 of his last 16 and is hitting .259.

Crawford has been working with hitting coach Dave Magadan on using more of the field and being in a better position to hit.

Look for Pedroia to get tomorrow off. With the team off on Thursday, that would give him an extended break before Friday night’s game in Seattle.

Jenks ailing Righthander reliever Bobby Jenks spent the weekend in the hospital because of sickness. He was scheduled for a colonoscopy yesterday as a precaution due to intestinal issues. “He got really sick,’’ Francona said. Jenks has been on the disabled list three times since May 2, the latest stretch starting July 8 because of a strained intercostal muscle on the left side of his back. Jenks had been scheduled to go to the team complex in Fort Myers, Fla., yesterday to intensify his rehab work. But those plans have been put on hold . . . J.D. Drew is making progress with his injured left shoulder. He swung at balls tossed to him before the game, moving up from a ball placed on a tee. Once he is able to take batting practice on the field a few times, he will be ready for a minor league rehabilitation assignment.

Papelbon in groove Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth inning for his 25th save. He has thrown 10 consecutive scoreless innings, allowing two hits without a walk and striking out 12 . . . Lefthanded reliever Randy Williams was optioned to Triple A Pawtucket to make room for Lowrie. The Sox had been carrying an extra reliever. Williams was called up July 16 and made seven appearances, going 0-1 with a 6.48 ERA. He struck out six over 8 1/3 innings . . . One of the team’s top prospects, outfielder Ryan Kalish, was back in the lineup for Pawtucket last night, going 1 for 1 with a double in a game that was suspended by rain after two innings. The 23-year-old had been out since April because of shoulder and neck injuries . . . Lefthander Junichi Tazawa was promoted to Pawtucket and will pitch out of the bullpen. Tazawa has been working his way up through the minors while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He is 3-3 with a 5.31 ERA in 42 2/3 innings over 14 appearances . . . Righthander Kevin Millwood, released from his minor league deal by the Red Sox Saturday, signed with the Rockies and could start for them this week.

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

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