BOSTON – Allen Craig is back in the Red Sox lineup for the season finale against the Angels. It is the first time he has been in the lineup since Aug. 1, when he sprained his left foot trying to beat out a double play.
In two rehab games with Pawtucket, serving as the designated hitter and playing right field, Craig went 1-for-5 with a walk, two RBI, and a run scored.
Craig was originally expected to play three rehab games for the PawSox, with the third game tonight. But with both Will Middlebrooks and Mike Napoli ailing, manager John Farrell said the decision was made to activate Craig.
To make room on the roster for him, Alex Hassan was returned to Pawtucket.
• Middlebrooks is not in the starting lineup for the second straight game after leaving Tuesday’s game in the fourth inning when he strained his hamstring beating out an infield single. Farrell said Middlebrooks could be available tonight, if needed.
• Napoli is not in the lineup for the second straight game because of back spasms. He was still receiving treatment before the game, so Farrell could not say if he would be available.
• David Ortiz went 4-for-4 Wednesday night, hitting his 30th home run of the season. He has reached base four times in three straight games for the first time in his career. But he left before his ninth-inning plate appearance, with Farrell saying after the game Ortiz was feeling some general soreness. He is not in the lineup tonight, but Farrell said it was a planned day off for Ortiz.
• While the Red Sox have struggled offensively for most of the season, with hitting with runners in scoring position being particularly problematic, that situation has been even more so recently. In the last four games the Sox are 2-for-39 with runners in scoring position, leaving a combined 41 runners on base.
“That’s a point in our conversations,” Farrell said. “We’re well aware of it.”