The schedule has been unforgiving to the Red Sox lately. Their three-game battle with the Yankees at Fenway was sandwiched between a 10-game road trip and a six-gamer that will start Monday night in San Francisco.
Sunday’s prime-time matchup put the Sox in a tight spot in terms of travel. They could either take the 6½-hour flight late Sunday night or fly out on game day.
Before choosing the latter option, manager John Farrell surveyed the clubhouse.
“We recognize what the schedule is and that’s why we polled a number of them if they were open-minded to changing up the routine and making sure we get a decent night’s rest and we’ll change things up,” Farrell said. “Guys were all for it.”
The Sox are on the back end of a stretch in which they play 16 of 19 games on the road, going 4-6 on their 10-game trip. Farrell emphasized keeping his team fresh.
In the middle of the 2007 season, when Farrell was the pitching coach, the Sox faced the Yankees in a Sunday night game that lasted more than four hours. The Sox started a seven-game West Coast trip in Oakland the next night.
Starting with an 11-inning loss, the Sox dropped their first three games to the A’s.
“[We] went to Oakland and felt the effects for three or four days following,” Farrell said. “Just felt like the priority was to make sure a good night’s sleep was here and to get some rest and we’ll travel tomorrow and show up to play.”
In his usual spot
Even though Dustin Pedroia was limping through the clubhouse after fouling a ball off his left ankle Saturday, Farrell didn’t think twice about putting the second baseman’s name in the lineup.
“If his name wasn’t in the lineup, I guarantee you he’d be in the office,” Farrell said.
Pedroia played in his 125th game Sunday, most in the majors. He’s started all but one game at second.
If Pedroia wants to play, Farrell said he’s not getting in the way.
“He’s earned the right to speak his mind and we trust what he says with how he feels or what he’s feeling at the plate or any area of his game,” Farrell said. “So honestly, coming in here today, this wasn’t even a second thought in my mind that he wouldn’t be in the lineup.”
At the start of the season, Pedroia quietly played through a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb and earned his fourth All-Star nod.
“He leads by example,” Farrell said. “In situations like this or his thumb or how he goes about every at-bat, the way he plays defense. We also know he’s a vocal leader in his own right, but his actions speak volumes and much louder than anything he can possibly say. He’s full of grit, as we know, and sets the tone for how we play this game.”
Ortiz slated for first
With Mike Napoli banged up, Farrell expects to use David Ortiz at first base for two games in San Francisco.
“We’ll get through that series first before we look to address the Dodgers series,” Farrell said. “We’ve got three righthanded starters going against us in San Francisco, so matchups are going to be a part of it.”
Napoli hasn’t played since aggravating a lingering foot injury Friday night.
“We’ve got to get Mike back off the foot issue before we address that involvement,” Farrell said.
Matt Thornton, who’s been on the disabled list since Aug. 7 (retroactive to Aug. 5) with an oblique strain, threw a “strong bullpen” Saturday, Farrell said. He will throw another on Tuesday. “[Thornton] could remain back here and potentially go on a rehab assignment,” Farrell said. “[Or] he could go with us and then do a sim game with us. There’s a couple of things here that I want to include him in how we move forward.” . . . Farrell said the organization is in the early stages of discussing potential call-ups for the Sept. 1 roster expansion. But he added that the promoted prospects should be able to contribute to a pennant race. “I would side to the players that have a chance to impact us,” Farrell said. “Recognizing that some exposure in September is beneficial to a young player, but we’re in the heat of it and guys that come here would have the ability to help us.” . . . The national Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team will play first responders involved with the Marathon attacks — including members of Boston’s police, fire, and EMS departments — at Fenway Park on Monday. The event is free and fans can enter through Gate D starting at 5 p.m.
Julian Benbow can be reached at email@example.com.