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Pregame notes . . . and a weather update

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  June 19, 2009 04:25 PM

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Jed Lowrie called Red Sox manager Terry Francona today from extended spring training in Florida with a status report, and he's ready to proceed with the step in his rehabilitation from left wrist surgery.

The shortstop, who has been sidelined since April 11, will travel tomorrow and play for Pawtucket on Sunday. He will play 4-5 innings in his first few games, and Francona did not rule out Lowrie getting a day off in between games.

Francona also said that the possibility of Lowrie spending a couple of weeks with the PawSox is not "out of line."

"It's like starting spring training all over again [for him]," Francona said.

  • Francona said he wants to see tonight's starter, the struggling Daisuke Matsuzaka, "pound the strike zone" against the Braves tonight.

    While Matsuzaka, who is 1-4 with a 7.55 ERA this season, struggled in his last start, a rain-interrupted four-inning, seven-hit, four-run performance against Philadelphia, Francona said he saw at least one encouraging sign, noting that Matsuzaka had "power to his cutter" that had been lacking.

  • Francona said he'd considered giving Kevin Youkilis last night off -- the first baseman entered the game in a 2-for-20 skid -- but the player talked him out of it. Youkilis provided the Sox' lone run of the night with a homer in the first inning.

  • The weather forecast in the vicinity of Fenway Park calls for the possibility of scattered light rain showers to move through the area during the early evening hours. The gates will open at the regularly scheduled time of 5:10 p.m., and the Red Sox expect that tonight’s game will start at its scheduled time of 7:10 p.m.

    Update, 4:45 p.m.: The rain is falling hard at Fenway. Batting practice was just shut down, and the tarp is on the field.

    Update, 5:30 p.m. The rain has stopped, the tarp is off and the sun is out. It's looking good for an on-time start.

    Update: 6:14 p.m. Blue skies over Fenway. We'll see if that's temporary or not.

    Amalie Benjamin of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

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