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Sports

Red Sox Notebook

Red Sox reliever Andrew Bailey suffers setback

ARLINGTON, Texas — Red Sox manager John Farrell said before batting practice on Saturday that Andrew Bailey would be available for the game. That changed an hour later after Bailey did some throwing.

The righthander felt continued discomfort in his biceps and was not cleared to pitch. A team doctor will examine Bailey on Monday in Boston. He has not pitched since last Sunday.

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Bailey was concerned that after feeling good on Friday there was more discomfort.

“I went out, and played catch normally and I guess it’s not ready yet,” Bailey said after the 5-1 loss against the Rangers. “I’m very frustrated, got a lot of different notions. Just have to wake up tomorrow and see how it goes.

“Yesterday it was good, and we wanted to give it another day to make sure and today, it just wasn’t ready.”

Farrell and general manager Ben Cherington do not believe that Bailey re-injured his arm.

“It wasn’t maybe as improved as we had hoped,” Farrell said. “We determined he wasn’t going to be available just to give it another day of rest.”

Breslow ready?

Lefthanded reliever Craig Breslow pitched a perfect inning for Triple A Pawtucket against Durham on Saturday. He struck out one and threw nine pitches, six for strikes.

“He came out of it feeling fine. The velocity has been consistent with what he has been pitching with here of late,” Farrell said.

Breslow, who has been on the disabled list all season with a sore shoulder, has appeared in five minor league games and thrown 3 innings. After a couple of rocky outings, he has improved significantly in his last two.

“Getting closer,” Farrell said when asked if Breslow would be activated soon. “We’ll review that internally and determine if that’s when we return immediately on the homestand or if there’s a need for an additional [rehab] appearance. But the most important thing is with each outing he’s gotten more crisp with all his pitches and moving in the right direction.”

Patience pays

The Red Sox were ninth in the American League in home runs through Friday with 31, just one above the league average. Patience has proven a better source of run production instead of power this season.

The Sox are second in the league in walks and second in pitches per plate appearance. That has helped to make them one of the league’s best offenses at 5.1 runs per game.

Despite stumbling in the first two games against the Rangers, the Red Sox have a .347 on-base percentage. That’s significantly up from .315 last season. It was .299 after the All-Star break.

“I think it probably starts with the personnel,” Farrell said. “Knowing that there was an approach that was drifted away from a year ago — in large part because there were a lot of injuries — there was a concerted effort to bring in players that had on-base percentage track records.”

The additions of Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino helped turn the Red Sox back into a lineup that can wear down opposing pitchers. Napoli is fifth in the league with 4.34 pitches per plate appearance. Victorino has a .348 on-base percentage.

Jonny Gomes had a .377 OBP in Oakland last season and is at .391 through 64 plate appearances this year.

Having a healthy Dustin Pedroia also makes a difference. He is seeing 4.13 pitches per plate appearance and has an OBP of .394. It fell to a career low .347 last season.

Farrell said it was something that was stressed from first day of spring training.

“What we’ve been able to do with starting pitchers is run up pitch counts [which] is nothing short of impressive,” he said.

The statistics bear that out. Through the first 30 games, the opposing starter lasted five innings or less 14 times. The Sox won 12 of those games.

Early knockouts can impact the next day’s game because it taxes the bullpen.

“It has a lasting effect through the three or four games in which you’re going to play a team,” Farrell said. “We’ve had a number of those games when maybe we’ve missed that two-out hit to score a couple of more runs. But there are 95 pitches on the board in the fourth inning.

“Just that the fact that you start to get into multiple pitchers inside a game has lingering effects.”

Emergency man

Infielder Pedro Ciriaco, who plays second base, third base, and shortstop, was working on the field at first with coaches Brian Butterfield and Torey Lovullo before the game. The Sox are getting him ready in the event of an extra-inning game . . . The fourth annual Run-Walk To Home Base raised $1.8 million on Saturday for the clinical care of veterans and their families at Massachusetts General Hospital. The event started and ended at Fenway Park . . . Napoli looked upset after being hit by a fastball from former teammate Tanner Scheppers in the eighth inning. Scheppers said there was no ill intent on his part . . . Ellsbury was 2 for 4 with a stolen base. He leads the AL with 12.

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.
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