By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON Through the quirks of an unbalanced schedule, the Red Sox visit Fenway Park for a brief two-day, three-game "homestand" with the Rays, in the middle of what is essentially an 18-day road trip.
The fact that I didnt unpack, yeah, its weird and the doubleheader makes it more wacky, said manager Terry Francona. Thats just the way it is. Just like a long road trip . . . a little weird.
Because of a rainout on April 13, the Sox will play a day-night doubleheader Tuesday, the first game scheduled for 1:05 and the second game at 7:10. With Wednesdays game scheduled for 1:35 p.m., the Sox and Rays will play three games in about 27 or 28 hours. But those are just adjustments that have to be made.
I dont think you really have a choice, Francona said. I always notice thats when you see guys with sniffles, sometimes tight legs. I think thats probably understandable, but everybody goes through it. You kind of have your own stories and you talk to other teams and it happens to everybody. With the unbalanced schedule thats the way its going to be.
Whatever happens the night before you're supposed to show up and play baseball. If we dont win, I dont feel its going to be because we dont show up. Sometimes you just dont win.
Tickets for the April 13 rain-out will be honored for the first game today.
Mike Aviles will start at shortstop in the first game, his second start at that position since joining the Sox, with Marco Scutaro, whose back tightened up on the off day in Seattle, getting a rest.
Marcos backs tight still so thats that, Francona said. And really want Jed Lowrie to play against the lefty (David Price) tomorrow. So were looking at probably two out of three for him. So thats why were doing it. Somebodys going to play two. I think Mikes probably better suited right now.
Francona said Scutaro would be getting treatment on his back today.
Reliever Bobby Jenks, on the disabled list since July 8 with left back tightness, remains in Fort Myers at the Sox complex where he is scheduled to throw a side session today.
J.D. Drew, on the DL since July 20 with a left shoulder impingement, will take batting practice along with the rest of the team in the indoor cages. The Sox are not planning to take BP on the field while they are at Fenway today or tomorrow.
It doesnt matter with his shoulder because hell get the same amount of swings in the cage, just like being on the field, Francona said. Hell hit in the cage today just like everybody else. Same thing tomorrow. At some point he probably needs to play a little bit. Well get to that point when its appropriate. But were not there yet. The one thing hes been doing really well, hes been tracking balls in the outfield, hes been running. So hopefully when he does come back he wont have that initial five, six, seven days of soreness, almost like spring training.
This is the second doubleheader for the Sox this season. They split the first one in Detroit on May 29. According to Elias, the Sox all-time record in doubleheaders: they have swept 494, they split 827 splits, and they were swept 444 times, with one of the games ending in a tie 33 times.
Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen