Martinez getting turn with Matsuzaka

September, 26, 2009

NEW YORK -- Victor Martinez was scheduled to be behind the plate for Daisuke Matsuzaka's start on Saturday, marking another first for Martinez. This, manager Terry Francona said, is all part of a plan to be prepared for any scenario that may arise in October.

"We want to have everyone catch everybody,'' Francona said. "It's like last night with Jon (Lester being injured). We want to be ready.''

Jason Varitek, the Red Sox's everyday catcher for the past 11 years, has been mired in a slump that has seen his average drop to .208. Varitek is batting .120 (11 for 92) since July 30. He has one extra-base hit (a double) this month. Martinez is batting .335 with 35 RBIs in the 48 games since being acquired by Boston from Cleveland.


Backup shortstop Nick Green, who is suffering from back issues, has had minimal improvement, manager Terry Francona said. Green returned to Boston last weekend and has been working with the club's medical staff back in Boston. "He's played catch at 90 feet,'' Francona said. "It's not drastically (better)." ... Switch-hitter Jed Lowrie started at shortstop on Saturday, his first start since Aug. 5. He was still nursing his sore left wrist and said he is having difficulty swinging left-handed, which is one of the major reasons he started Saturday. Facing the lefthanded throwing CC Sabathia allowed Lowrie to bat right-handed. Lowrie was 0 for 2 and was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning. ... A reminder that Sunday's game at Yankee Stadium was originally scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. but has been moved up to 1 p.m., in order to observe Yom Kippur.

ESPN's Pedro Gomez covered the Oakland A's home and away nearly every day from 1992-97 for the San Jose Mercury News and Sacramento Bee and then became the national baseball writer and later a general columnist at the Arizona Republic before becoming an ESPN bureau reporter in 2003.



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