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Red Sox put Bobby Jenks on DL

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Boston Red Sox have placed right-handed pitcher Bobby Jenks on the disabled list with back tightness and have recalled left-handed reliever Randy Williams from Triple-A Pawtucket.

This is Jenks' third trip to the DL this season, all due to the same injury.

"Bobby experienced pain in his left mid-back area when he was warming up (Friday night), similar to the past injury," explained manager Terry Francona. "He's going to fly back to Boston today and we're going to get him checked over the weekend."

Since the club signed Jenks as a free agent last December, the Red Sox have yet to see him be as effective as they were hoping.

"Not yet," Francona said. "That's an important part of our bullpen, that complement to (Daniel) Bard, or in the seventh inning, or however you want to put it. Fortunately, (Matt) Albers has been tremendous and (Alfredo) Aceves, too. But that other arm is a huge arm.

"His ability to pitch, and he's not just a thrower. He can manipulate the ball, he spins it and has a good feel for the game, but we haven't had him out there healthy. We miss that."

Jenks is 2-2 with a 6.32 ERA in 19 games this season.

Williams, 35, is in his 12th pro season and his first in the Red Sox organization after signing as a minor league free agent last December. He's been on the disabled list twice this season with a shoulder injury.

"He's been dominating left-hand hitters," Francona said. "His velocity has been tremendous and it gives us that second lefty where we can match up. His true calling is matching up against lefties and we've wanted to get a look at him anyway. He's that guy who you send to Triple A and say, 'Do your job and you never know.' And here it is."

Lefties were 3 for 22 off Williams, as he's allowed only three hits, two earned runs, three walks and six strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings pitched. At the time of his call-up, Williams had pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings in his last three appearances with three saves and four strikeouts for the PawSox.

"I'm very excited. I was a little bit surprised when I got the call," he said.

He has 90 games of major league experience with Seattle (2004), San Diego (2005), Colorado (2005) and the Chicago White Sox (2009-10) for a career 3-3 record with a 5.74 ERA.

"I was hoping I would get a chance," Williams said. "When the season started and you've got (Hideki) Okajima and (Rich) Hill on your team, and when Tommy Hottovy comes up and does what he did, I couldn't be upset, especially the way I started the year on the DL. When I got the call, with the guys I was playing with, I was probably as shocked as all of y'all."

In other injury news, there is not yet a timetable on a possible return for Clay Buchholz.

"Inch by inch," Buchholz said. "It's taking longer than I thought it would. This sucks. Obviously I want to be pitching and I want to help the team in any way I can. But going out there not 100 percent, or 80 percent, isn't going to help the team."

He received a cortisone injection on July 5 and he admits that it's helped, but he can still feel the discomfort in the muscle.

"There is no schedule. It's all how he feels. (Friday) he felt better than he thought he was going to after the layoff and the plane ride and everything," said Francona. "It's all dependent on how he feels because if there's a schedule that has a chance to mess him up."

Joe McDonald covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com.