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Andrew Bailey making progress

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  May 3, 2013 06:27 PM

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Andrew Bailey, who was unavailable Thursday because of a sore biceps, is available in an emergency tonight for the Red Sox.

Bailey played catch this afternoon and threw some pitches from flat ground.

"Each and every day it's feeling better," said Bailey, who first felt something on Sunday and hasn't appeared in a game since. "It's a positive sign we have it going in the right direction.

"We're doing the right thing by being smart and not trying to push it so early on. That way take a day or two. Better than taking a long time later on."

Red Sox manager John Farrell was very pleased with the development.

"He's much improved over yesterday and the last couple of days," said Farrell. "He would be available in kind of an emergency situation. Ideally we can give him another day to stay away from him. Good news nonetheless."

Joel Hanrahan, who closed the game Thursday in Toronto, said he feels fine and is ready to go tonight if needed. He came off the disabled list Tuesday after missing 16 days with a strained right hamstring.

Also:

• Shane Victorino is back after missing seven games with a strained lower back.

"It's good to have Shane back on the field," Farrell said. "He's done such a good job, not only in the 2 hole but defensively. He gives some speed at the top of the order."

Farrell said the Red Sox do not intend to play Victorino every day now that he is back. They want to make sure the injury will not flare up again. But he has no physical restrictions in terms of stealing bases, switch hitting, etc.

• With the Red Sox facing their third lefty in a row, Stephen Drew is on the bench and Pedro Ciriaco is getting a chance to start. Farrell said he would be looking to give other regulars a day off in the days to come. The Sox do not have another off day until May 13.

• Mike Napoli warmed up Ryan Dempster between innings at one point Thursday. It was the first catching he's done all season. "Like riding a bike," he said.

Napoli was a catcher for the Rangers the last two seasons. One reason he signed with the Red Sox was the chance to play more first base because he felt that would improve his offensive statistics.

• Farrell remains more bemused than angry at the cheating accusations hurled at Clay Buchholz by two Toronto broadcasters. In that vein, nice sentiments from Tampa Bay ace David Price, even if his spelling needs work:

pricetweet.jpg

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