Wright recalled to be long man out of pen

BOSTON -- The Red Sox recalled pitcher Steven Wright from Triple-A Pawtucket prior to Sunday night’s game with the Yankees as insurance in case a long man is needed out of the bullpen.

If starter Clay Buchholz were to struggle early, the Red Sox would need a fresh arm. Right-hander Alex Wilson, who pitched 2 1/3 innings Saturday, was optioned back to Pawtucket.

Wright, a knuckleballer, posted a 6-2 record with a 2.85 ERA, 60 strikeouts, 16 walks and only 56 hits in 12 starts between Double-A Portland and Pawtucket.

“We needed length, we needed another fresh arm,” manager John Farrell said. “He’s been throwing a lot of strikes. He’s pitched out of the bullpen here for us in the past. In the event that something were to happen unforeseen to Clay early on, we needed to protect ourselves with length.”

Wright made his big league debut with the Red Sox last season. He went 2-0 with a 5.40 ERA in four outings.

If Wright is needed Sunday against the Yankees, Farrell said the knuckleballer would be able to get warm quickly.

“Based on what he did for us last year for the four or five appearances, we would give him extra time knowing that it’s a change of role inside of the season,” Farrell said. “I would say within 20-25 pitches he’d get ready.”

* Despite a tough outing on Saturday against the Yankees, Allen Webster will remain in the Red Sox rotation and is scheduled to make his next start against the Angels on Friday in Anaheim. The right-hander allowed four runs on two hits, with six walks and one strikeout in 2 2/3 innings of work.

After the outing, Webster said he lost his release point and couldn’t regain it before the damage was done.

“He has a tendency to lead with his body a little bit more and it kind of spiraled in a way yesterday with him,” Farrell said. “As that inning was unfolding, he started leaning more and more with his body and his arm had the inability to catch up consistently to get his release point out front.”

While Webster issued four consecutive walks in the top of the third inning, Farrell and pitching coach Juan Nieves were both discussing what the 24-year-old pitcher should work on during his next bullpen session. Still, Farrell believes Webster isn’t too far off.

“The one thing we have to be clear with Allen is he’s not as far away as he might seem coming out of that outing,” Farrell said. “Sure, the line score doesn’t lie, but he’s a small adjustment away from being in the strike zone more consistently.”

* Since being activated from the disabled list Friday, Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks has played only one game. He started against the Yankees on Friday and went 1-for-3, with a double and run scored. On Saturday, Brock Holt played third, and he’s back in the starting lineup Sunday in the series finale.

When asked how he would split the playing time between the two, Farrell said, “I wouldn’t pin a platoon on it. Finding at-bats for Brock is going to come from the left side of the infield as well as center field. He’s earned those at-bats. I guess the better way to describe it would be just from those three positions he’s going to get nearly everyday at-bats.”

* Red Sox newcomer Allen Craig, who injured his right ankle during his debut Friday night, remains day-to-day. Farrell said the outfielder still has some soreness, but the team is hopeful Craig will be able to return to the lineup this week in St. Louis.

* Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino is traveling to Los Angeles on Sunday and will meet with back specialist Robert Watkins on Monday to determine whether Victorino will need surgery.