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Wells aims for return Friday

Posted by Gordon Edes, Globe Staff  May 20, 2006 05:17 PM

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David Wells, saying he hasn't felt any pain in his right knee, starts tomorrow in Scranton for Double-A Portland and says he expects to be pitching for the Sox Friday night in Fenway Park against Tampa Bay.

Despite his three hits yesterday, including a home run, Mike Lowell was not in the starting lineup, as Terry Francona stuck to his plan of rotating Lowell, Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz. Youkilis was back at leadoff and playing third base tonight, with Ortiz at first. Lowell had a three-homer game here with the Marlins on April 21, 2004, then homered the next day.

Jason Varitek reports consdierable improvement in his strained gluteus muscle, and said a prolonged solo session of early hitting in Baltimore on Thursday has him feeling much better about his swing.

There was little reaction in the Sox clubhouse when Barry Bonds hit No. 714. There were loud whoops, however, when FOX showed Michael Barrett smoking A.J. Pierzynski with a punch in the Cubs-White Sox game, and a good bit of attention to the Yanks' comeback against the Mets.

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