--LF Carl Crawford was moved to the No. 6 spot in the Red Sox' lineup on Wednesday. Since then, he has gone 9-for-12 with six extra-base hits, including a two-run homer in Friday night's 6-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers. And so, Crawford is expected to continue batting sixth for the foreseeable future, according to manager Terry Francona. Crawford was dropped to eighth in the lineup for nearly a month after batting only .155 in April. "I think I kind of like the idea of moving him up in the order," manager Terry Francona said. "First of all, I think it's justified. He's hot as can be. I didn't want to hit him eighth for the whole year. I think that was pretty obvious. I can see it being this way for a while. As soon as I say that, something will happen. But I like the idea of hitting him up there a little bit higher."
--CF Jacoby Ellsbury did a little of everything Friday night to lift the Red Sox to a 6-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers. In the first inning, Ellsbury singled, stole second, went to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch. In the Red Sox' five-run third inning, he hit a leadoff home run. And in the sixth inning, he made a diving catch to steal a hit from the Tigers' Alex Avila. "He's a great player," 2B Dustin Pedroia said. "We knew. We expect this from him. He can do anything. He hits homers, he steals bases, he plays defense. He's a special player, man."
--RF J.D. Drew, who missed the past three games with a right hamstring strain, went through a full set of pregame activities, including running the bases and shagging flies, before Friday night's game in Detroit. He's hopeful of being ready to play Saturday, although with lefty Andy Oliver slated to start for the Tigers, Drew may not be in the lineup until Sunday's series finale. Drew sounded like a trainer when he said he felt tightness in the "latter band" of his hamstring while making a running catch in foul territory Tuesday night in Cleveland. "When you've been around and had as many (hamstring problems) as I've had, you can figure out what's going on real quick," Drew said. "I always had a thing for that in college. I loved the sports medicine stuff."
--RHP John Lackey threw 40 pitches, including breaking balls, over two simulated innings with infielder Drew Sutton standing in as a hitter before Friday night's game in Detroit. Lackey will next make a rehab start Tuesday night at Class AAA Pawtucket. Lackey, who has been on the disabled list with a strained right elbow, is expected to throw approximately 70 pitches in that start, and barring a setback, he would be in line to rejoin the Red Sox' rotation on June 5 against the Oakland Athletics. "I don't see why I shouldn't be ready," Lackey said. "I don't think I'll ever get to the point where I don't feel anything, but it definitely feels a lot better. I feel like I was finishing (pitches) a whole lot better."
--RHP Bobby Jenks, recovering from a right biceps strain, allowed a two-out single in a scoreless, 14-pitch first inning Friday night for Class AAA Pawtucket. Based on the report he received, manager Terry Francona said "it sounded like everything was really positive." Jenks is scheduled to pitch again Sunday for the PawSox and may return to the Red Sox early next week, possibly in time for a series against his former team, the Chicago White Sox, in Fenway Park.
BY THE NUMBERS
12 -- Wins for the Red Sox in the last 14 games
QUOTE TO NOTE
"The four starts they've given us, I know they haven't been able to go nine (innings), but they're been really solid starts. That gives your ball club a huge lift." -- Red Sox manager Terry Francona, on spot starters Tim Wakefield and Alfredo Aceves.
Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.