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Bedard to skip next start

He opts for rest for sore left knee

By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / September 6, 2011

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TORONTO - Erik Bedard picked up his first victory for the Red Sox Saturday, going six innings against the Rangers. But the lefthander also aggravated his injured left knee and will skip his next start.

“I’m not concerned. It’s just sore. I just don’t want to make it too bad for later in the season and the playoffs,’’ Bedard said yesterday. “It’s not bad. It hurts a little bit once in a while and a little more in the last start. I’ll just take a start off.’’

Bedard has a sprained medial collateral ligament and was on the disabled list from June 1 to July 28. He returned to start one game for Seattle and was traded to the Sox July 31.

He has pitched well for the Sox, going 1-2 with a 3.66 earned run average in six starts. Bedard projects as the third or fourth starter in a playoff series.

“It’s been sore, but I think he’s been dealing with it,’’ manager Terry Francona said. “I think it got a little more sore the last couple of innings the last game. I checked with him after the fifth inning because it looked like he was using a lot of arm, but he was doing so well.

“He stayed out for the sixth, and after the game he started talking to the trainers. The idea is to try to not have him limp through the last three or four starts and keep him where he can really help us, and try to give him a little blow and see if one missed turn will help.’’

It appears that rookie Kyle Weiland will start in Bedard’s place Friday at Tampa Bay. He was called up yesterday from Pawtucket.

Weiland started two games against Baltimore in July, allowing nine runs on 14 hits, five walks, and two hit batters over 10 innings.

Bedard seems confident he will be able to return next week.

“We’ll skip a start, see how it feels, and go back at it,’’ he said. “That would be the positive thing, skip one start and see how it goes from there.’’

Jenks shut down Francona said Bobby Jenks is likely done for the season. The righthanded reliever, who has not pitched since July 7 because of a back injury and still-unexplained illnesses, did not accompany the team on the trip.

“I would say the chances of Bobby pitching - we’re probably past that point now,’’ Francona said. “He just couldn’t get it going this [past] weekend and that was probably the cutoff point.’’

Jenks is scheduled to see a back specialist, Dr. Kirk Wood, at Massachusetts General Hospital tomorrow. He has been on the disabled list three times this season and appeared in only 19 games.

“It’s just been like one thing after another,’’ Francona said. “When we got back [to Boston last week], he wanted to take one more shot at it, but it just wasn’t happening.’’

Jenks had a 6.32 ERA and a 2.23 WHIP, giving the Sox a poor return on the first year of his two-year, $12 million deal.

“We’re not disappointed in him, but, yeah, we’re disappointed in the role we had envisioned never came to fruition, for various reasons, all year,’’ Francona said.

No progress for Drew J.D. Drew is not close to being ready to play because of a sprained knuckle on the middle finger of his right hand.

“He’s still sore,’’ Francona said. “He’s with us but it’s pretty sore.’’

Drew has been out since July 20, initially with a strained shoulder. He played two minor league rehabilitation games, injuring himself again last Tuesday while taking a swing.

Francona said he didn’t know whether Drew would be able to return this season.

“I’m not trying to be disrespectful. But when a guy hasn’t played for that long, you kind of get used to going with what you’ve got,’’ he said.

A flip-flop For only the second time this season, the Sox tried David Ortiz at cleanup with Kevin Youkilis hitting fifth. Ortiz was 1 for 4 with a walk and Youkilis 0 for 4 with a walk.

“With Youk protecting David, as opposed to the other way around, maybe it’ll help us. Maybe it won’t,’’ Francona said. “If guys swing it like they can, then we’re OK. But we’d just rather do it now than wait until the playoffs to see what it looks like.’’

Roster additions Along with Weiland, the Sox added catcher Ryan Lavarnway and infielder Nate Spears to the roster. Spears, 26, has played nine seasons in the minors. Yesterday was his first on a major league roster. “It’s pretty exciting,’’ he said. “I’ve been waiting for this a long time.’’ Spears was hitting .248 with a .751 OPS at Pawtucket. Drew Sutton, who hit .315 in 31 games for the Sox this season, may have been the choice but recently returned from a broken finger. So Spears got the call and Sutton was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster . . . Josh Reddick was 2 for 5 with a double after missing Sunday’s game with a bruised left hand . . . Conor Jackson remains sore after running into the bullpen fence on Sunday, but hopes to be ready in a few days . . . Former Sox pitching coach John Farrell was back on the job managing the Jays after missing 10 days with pneumonia . . . Toronto stole five bases and has 21 in 13 games against the Sox this season.

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

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