BOSTON -- Mike Cameron was penciled into the starting lineup, and he was ready to play.
Until he discovered during the national anthem that he just couldn’t get loose.
The Red Sox center fielder, who has been battling an abdominal strain for most of the year, told manager Terry Francona that, while he wasn’t sore, he was tight and therefore afraid he might not be able to track down fly balls.
So Francona was forced to scramble at the last minute. He replaced Cameron in center with Darnell McDonald, keeping McDonald in Cameron’s eighth spot in the batting order.
Francona said he hoped Cameron would be able to play Saturday.
Cashing in: The old oversized catcher’s mitt that Kevin Cash used when he served as knuckleballer Tim Wakefield’s personal batterymate in 2008 was resting in Jason Varitek’s locker.
But Cash, acquired by the Sox from the Astros on Thursday, was told the mitt had been “retired.”
So Cash was given the mitt Victor Martinez has used to catch Wakefield. Cash wore it and at one point during the seventh inning he had to do a quick fix on the laces. The glove didn’t betray him, though.
While Cash was guilty of one passed ball, he was able to throw out a would-be base stealer and generally caught a clean game, with Wakefield tossing eight stellar innings.
“Victor has done an excellent job of breaking it in,” said Cash. “It’s red, probably a color I wouldn’t choose, but it will do.”
Wakefield, who allowed two runs on seven hits, matched his season high with his eight-inning performance. It was his first win at Fenway of the year -- in his record 201st start at Fenway -- snapping an 11-game home drought. He was 0-5 with a 6.32 ERA during the winless stretch.
Quick work: The time of last night’s game was 2 hours 7 minutes, the shortest game at Fenway since a 4-2 win over Cleveland on Sept. 17, 2002. That game lasted 2:06. The starting pitchers were Wakefield and CC Sabathia, with Wakefield allowing only one run in eight innings ... J.D. Drew notched his 17th career multiple-homer game and second two-homer game of the year. The other one this season also came against Baltimore, at Camden Yards on April 30 ... Jonathan Papelbon recorded his 19th save, lowering his career ERA against the Orioles to 0.79 in 34 innings.