Friday July 02, 2010 | 05:12 AM

Nowhere has the injury bug affected Boston more than at catcher. The Red Sox have four receivers on the 40-man roster. With the reports out of Boston that Jason Varitek has a broken foot, all four are on the disabled list - Varitek, Victor Martinez (broken thumb), Dusty Brown (badly sprained thumb) and Mark Wagner (broken hand).

Boston re-obtained catcher Kevin Cash late Thursday night from Houston, dealing infielder Angel Sanchez to Houston. Cash was batting .204 for Houston before being designated for assignment in late June. He is now the primary catcher, along with Gustavo Molino.

In other injury news, Boston placed reliever Manny Delcarmen (strained forearm) on the disabled list. The likely candidate to replace him is Pawtucket's Robert Manuel, recently named to the Triple-A All-Star team.

The injury reports continue as starter Josh Beckett appears ready for his first rehab start. Beckett told the Red Sox he "felt fine" after pitching two innings of a simulated game Thursday against Independent League players ... The speculation is that Beckett would come to Portland next week (possibly July 6) for his first rehab start.

Outfielder Jason Place has not been injured, but he has been on the inactive list since leaving the Portland Sea Dogs on May 13. Place, 22, a first-round draft pick in 2006, has returned to the Sox organization and is on a rehab assignment in the Gulf Coast League. He was the DH on Thursday and went 1-for-4 with a double. Place was batting .127 in 25 games with the Sea Dogs.

In Pawtucket, Bubba Bell (.309) went 2-for-4 with his fifth home run ... Kris Johnson (4 1/3 9 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 5 K) left in the fifth inning after being struck by a batted ball, just below his right knee ... Recently signed left-handed reliever Rich Hill came in and threw 2 2/3 innings (1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K) ... Kason Gabbard took the loss in relief (1/3 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 3 BB).

Che-Hsuan Lin (.257) and Luis Exposito (.259) had two hits apiece in Portland's win ... Casey Kelly (5.05 ERA) did not get a decision after going five innings (7 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 2 K) ... Bryce Cox (3.72) recorded his 10th save (2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 K).


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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