Mike Lowell is the primary first baseman, but manager Terry Francona doesn’t want to run the veteran infielder into the ground, so he has had Lowrie and Hall taking grounders at first. Lowrie, who also has experience at second, short and third, already has played the position. Hall has begun taking grounders at first.
Injuries, of course, have played a major role in forcing the Red Sox to become creative with their lineup, but thanks in part to the versatility on the roster, Boston still has legitimate designs on a postseason berth.
“One thing we have going for us is we have guys who can move around. They are able and willing. That has really helped us,” Francona said.
One at a time for Bard
Daniel Bard worked two innings in Saturday night’s win against Toronto, tying his season high.
Don’t expect the Red Sox to extend him to two innings very often. The team is trying to be careful to limit the 25-year-old right-hander’s innings, and Saturday night’s outing boosted his total to 56 2/3 innings. It was his 55th appearance, the sixth-most in the American League.
But Francona said that if the Red Sox need to use Bard for more than an inning to help win a game down the stretch, they will do so.
“We try to monitor guys all year so when we get to this point in the season, they can do what we need them to do,” Francona said. “We don’t want to hurt anybody. We want to pitch guys who are getting guys out without hurting them.”
Bard had a very efficient two-inning appearance against the Jays, needing only 13 pitches to record the six outs.