Wednesday September 21, 2011 | 05:08 PM

BOSTON - Terry Francona met the press as he does before every game. Here is tonight's lineup and Francona's comments. (And be sure to follow notes on the game on Twitter, a ClearTheBases)

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mike Aviles 3B
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
David Ortiz DH
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Josh Reddick RF
Carl Crawford LF
Marco Scutaro SS
Jason Varitek C
(Josh Beckett P)

ON CLAY BUCHHOLZ after his simulated 32 innings on Tuesday: "Normal stiffness down his side. No repercussions. He'll throw against Thursday or Friday … I hope (Buchholz can pitch in New York or Baltimore) … the good news is he feels really good. If he can pitch, that will be a bonus.
"He can't start. He's not stretched out enough."

ON THE ROTATION. "We got Lester (Friday) and then Wake (Saturday). Bedard is not a candidate (for Sunday). That 50-pitch inning was pretty tough. He'll probably come back on Tuesday. We have (Lackey), but we have to figure it out. We have three days there and we obviously have some moving parts."

ON ALFREDO ACEVES possibly starting. "I don't know … we have moving parts."

ON J.D. DREW & KEVIN YOUKILIS: They both will try to hit Friday in New York.

ON THE PLAYERS watching TV in the clubhouse. Should they be more focused? (an actual question). "I don't want them to watch TV. No television." Francona smiled and then really answered the question. "We're 152 games into the season (actually 154). It's like every other day. We got to let them eat. Got to let them watch TV. And then hopefully we'll play a good game."

ON MATT ALBERS' resurgence (three straight scoreless outings): "It's good because we need him. He's been such a pivotal part of that bullpen. Getting him back, if he's throwing the ball like he can, that's going to really help."

ON FALLING BEHIND EARLY in games. "The one thing you need to do is fight the frustration - like 'oh no, here we go again' - and I think we have actually done a pretty good job of that. We came right back (Tuesday) and took the lead."

ON PEDROIA BATTING FIFTH: "We're missing Youk. The way Aviles is swinging so well right now (.444 in last 14 games), we'll hit him second. He can run a little bit and he's hot. And we'll have Petey protect David and Gonzy.
"Petey's not being demoted. You can say that, though" (smiles).


About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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