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Pregame: Red Sox Vs. Tigers

Posted by Ben Collins, Today's Soundtrack  August 10, 2009 04:23 PM

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Tim Wakefield, sidelined a month with a back injury that led to problems with legs, threw 51 pitches and rested three times in a simulated game today. Red Sox manager Terry Francona said he was optimistic about the results.

"His calf is not 100 percent, but it doesn't affect him when he pitches," said Francona. "Amazingly, yes, he is [unchanged from his last start]. He looks great throwing the ball."

Wakefield was placed on the 15-day disabled list July 21 with a sore lower back. He has since developed soreness in his right calf, which is believed to be a nerve issue related to sciatica. Francona said Wakefield will test out his arm again tomorrow.

"We made him cover first a lot, but (the injury) is not anything that's affecting his pitching," said Francona. "We've got to keep the strength going in the right direction."

The 42-year-old last pitched July 8, when he earned his then-Major-League-leading 11th win, giving up 10 hits and 3 runs in six innings against Oakland.

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Victor Martinez's eighth-inning two-run home run last night provided the only two Red Sox runs in the final three games of the Yankees four-game sweep. He returns to Fenway tonight for the first time as a Red Sox.

"There are great fans here. I Iook forward to playing tonight," said Martinez before the game against the Tigers. "It's been kind of crazy these past couple of weeks, but these guys, my teammates, make things real easy."

The Red Sox have lost six straight games and are 2-6 since they acquired the catcher/first baseman for Justin Masterson and minor leaguers Nick Hagadone and Bryan Price.

"It's a marathon. Everybody wishes that they could go out there and win 162 games, but it doesn't always happen like that," said Martinez. "We go through tough stretches. We've just got to make sure we stay strong mentally. There's plenty of baseball left."

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Shortstop Jed Lowrie will receive an electromyogram, or an EMG nerve test, on his left forearm today. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list yesterday with soreness in his forearm, just three weeks after returning from a three-month DL stint because of injuries to his left wrist.

"It's the kind of test that will teach Jed not to get injured again," said Francona. "I guess they plug needles into your nerves and start giving them electric impulses. It's supposed to be very painful. It's like '24.' "

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