Middlebrooks feels good, but still sitting out

BOSTON -- Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks is not feeling any more ill effects from a hamstring strain that has kept him out of the lineup for seven consecutive games. The bad news, however, is that Valentine has decided the rookie infielder will not play in the series finale against the Yankees just to be on the safe side, especially with a upcoming four-day break due to All-Star festivities.

Valentine said he wants to avoid "a major setback somewhere between now and then," adding that Middlebrooks "looked really good today out there running and says he feels really good. Because it's just one game, and it could be five more days of safeness, I'm leaning toward not having him play."

Middlebrooks has been able to participate in all baseball activities.