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Atchison, Cameron in; McDonald out

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Should the Red Sox be in a position where they're voting on playoff shares this October, you can be certain they won't forget what Darnell McDonald did for them while he was here.

McDonald was designated for assignment Monday, a prelude to Mike Cameron being activated in time for Tuesday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays. The move could hardly be termed unexpected, with both Jacoby Ellsbury and Cameron returned to health.

Meanwhile, the Sox recalled reliever Scott Atchison from Triple-A Pawtucket and optioned infielder Angel Sanchez to the International League club. The moves were announced before Monday night's game.

In the brief time McDonald wore a Sox uniform, he made an impact. Dramatically, at first, with a game-tying, pinch-run homer in his first at-bat for the Sox, followed by a game-winning single in his first game, then a home run in his second. Then, mostly dependably, especially at the plate, where in 30 games he batted a respectable .263, with three home runs and 11 RBIs. Defensively, he was exposed as time went on, but the 31-year-old filled a breach when called upon.

"There was nothing else to do,'' manager Terry Francona said. "I hope for his sake somebody claims him. I'm very appreciative for what he did for us.''

Gordon Edes is ESPNBoston.com's Red Sox reporter. He has covered the Red Sox for 12 years and has reported on baseball for 25 years. Ask a question for his next mailbag here.