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Sunday morning Sinatra

Posted by Adam Kilgore, Globe Staff  July 19, 2009 11:08 AM

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Quiet morning in the Sox clubhouse, a fact underscored by the Frank Sinatra album that Mark Kotsay is playing on the speakers. And, speaking of Kotsay, he is in the lineup for the first time post-break, playing first base. His calf is feeling pretty much back to normal after the days off. Yesterday, he told Terry Francona he could play center field if needed.

"That shows me he's feeling a lot better," Manager Terry Francona said.

Francona moved Kevin Youkilis across the diamond and gave Jed Lowrie a rest because he didn't want to play Lowrie back-to-back right after his return. Lowrie said he felt "a little sore" Saturday night, but his right knee and left wrist came through just fine. Jacoby Ellsbury is also back in the lineup after Francona checked with him this morning.

Daisuke Matsuzaka will travel to Boston from Fort Myers, Fla., Thursday or Friday so team doctors can take a look at him and get a more clear picture of when he might be able to return. Matsuzaka has only thrown on flat ground at a maximum of 120 feet. The Red Sox have been impressed with his work in Florida, particularly his conditioning.

"I'm not sure we want to rein him in," Francona said. "We just want to get him in a position where when he throws, he can throw and build. I think we're on the same page.

The non-throwing training Matsuzaka is doing in Florida "would be good for anybody," Francona said. "Normally, you can't take an opportunity in the middle of the year to kind of build a foundation physically. We're trying to always turn something that's maybe not a positive into a positve."

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