Francona’s team facing a heavy workload

The Red Sox will be playing four games in fewer than 48 hours beginning tonight against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park, so manager Terry Francona and his staff are preparing for the best way to utilize their personnel.

  • Francona said that J.D. Drew is likely to play in the day game of tomorrow’s doubleheader — that is, if his troublesome back doesn’t tighten up in the meantime.

    “We’ll let him run around today,” Francona said. “If he feels OK, we’ll play him in the day game tomorrow. It’s tough when somebody tells you that they hurt, as much as you want them to not hurt, you can’t tell them that [they don’t]. So you do the best you can. We’ve been patient, so to get impatient, doesn’t make a lot of sense. I think he’s real frustrated. He wants to get out there and play. Hopefully he will tomorrow. That would be welcome, having his bat in the lineup.”

  • Kevin Cash will catch Tim Wakefield tonight. Tomorrow, Francona said Jason Varitek will catch one of the games but obviously not both.
  • Francona said he’s expecting most of his players to play in three of the four contests this weekend.

    “Everybody’s going to play a lot this weekend,” he said. “We’re going to try to play everybody three out of four if possible. We’ve got [third baseman] Mikey Lowell hurting a little bit. We’ll just try to keep guys on a combination of fresh, not overdone, and hot. We’ll just keep moving guys around. We’ve got a lot of flexibility out there because [Jacoby] Ellsbury can play all over the place [in the outfield]. Again, we’ll try to run lineups out there in both games where we can win and not go backwards physically.”

  • On Lowell’s ailing hip: “He’s got some issues going on that we need to be cognizant of and we will,” said Francona. “I think the hip things are what’s bugging him a little bit.”
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