Apologies for the pre-game technical difficulties that delayed the posting of the lineup. But here are some notes:
• Marlon Byrd was designated for assignment so the Red Sox could activate Daisuke Matsuzaka. Bobby Valentine said it came down to Byrd or McDonald, two righthanded hitting outfielders.
Byrd hit .270 in 34 games (27 starts) filling in for an injured Jacoby Ellsbury. He was picked up on April 21 from the Cubs for the low, low cost of Michael Bowden.
“Marlon came here and kind of saved the day and now he’ll more than likely be with another team,” Valentine said. “Hopefully it’s not in our division whose competing against us. He did a good job while he was here, we just needed room for a starting pitcher for today.”
• After rain prohibited him from hitting on the field for two days, Cody Ross finally got out there and looked a bit rusty, uppercutting a few into the cage. But he also drove a ball into the Green Monster seats.
"Felt good," he said afterward. Ross is on the disabled list recovering from a fractured left foot. He may not be too far away from a rehab assignment.
• Carl Crawford threw for the second straight day, ran the bases and took BP on the field. He had a good BP, too. Plenty of line drives and showed a nice, compact stroke with a much more closed stance than he had last season.
• Jacoby Ellsbury hit off a tee and took soft tosses for the fifth straight day.
• Josh Beckett said the reason he got a hamstring cramp in the eighth inning of his last start was that he was dehydrated after a case of food poisoning.
• Dustin Pedroia didn't have a particularly good BP session then flung three bats into the stands. As an usher started gathering them up, Pedroia stopped him. "Let a fan have them," he said.
• Will Middlebrooks, the youngest of the Red Sox, was flipping groundballs to D'Angelo Ortiz, Hudson Ross and Justin Crawford before batting practice. All three of the kids have uniforms with their dad's number. Fun to watch that.
• Will also was debating NESN's Jenny Dell about who had the most Twitter followers. At last count, Will had 27,765 and Jenny had 27,593.