‘Tennis elbow’ slowing Scutaro

Sanchez recalled; Schoeneweis cut

By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / May 20, 2010

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Terry Francona said before last night’s victory over the Twins that he was simply giving shortstop Marco Scutaro a day off. But that story changed before the day was over.

Scutaro actually has a sore left (non-throwing) elbow and was given a cortisone shot. He will not play tonight and the Red Sox will purchase the contract of infielder Angel Sanchez from Triple A Pawtucket.

Lefthanded reliever Scott Schoeneweis was designated for assignment to make room for Sanchez, who Francona said would start against the Twins tonight.

The Red Sox are describing Scutaro’s injury as “tennis elbow.’’ That’s soreness on the outside bone of the joint.

“It’s actually been bothering him for a while,’’ Francona said. “We know it’s been bothering him when he’s been swinging the bat. He really wanted to play through it. He’s done a nice job. We talked about it last week a little bit and the more we talked it made sense to do that. He’s going to be just fine.’’

Scutaro is hitting .267 with a .359 on-base percentage and has filled in adequately for Jacoby Ellsbury as Boston’s leadoff hitter. His defense has not been as solid as hoped, which could be related to the injury. According to general manager Theo Epstein, Scutaro has trouble closing his glove around balls.

“I’ve been playing like that for a while,’’ Scutaro said. “[Francona] was trying to give me a day off because he knows I’ve been pretty sore since spring training. It’s the same.’’

Scutaro committed two errors in the 7-6 victory against the Yankees Tuesday night and has six on the season, four fewer than he had all of last season playing for the Blue Jays.

Bill Hall played shortstop last night. But with Minnesota starting lefthander Francisco Liriano tonight, Hall will play left field and Sanchez will be at shortstop.

Sanchez is hitting .313 through 36 games for Pawtucket with nine RBIs. He was held out of last night’s game. The 26-year-old has eight games of major league experience, all coming with the Royals in 2006. He was 6 for 27 (.222) in those games.

At the recommendation of assistant general manager Allard Baird, the former Royals GM, the Red Sox signed Sanchez to a minor league contract over the winter. He spent last season with Las Vegas, Toronto’s Triple A affiliate, where he hit .305.

“I don’t think the game will quicken up on him,’’ Francona said. “[Pawtucket manager] Torey [Lovullo] has been praising his ability to play the game.’’

Schoeneweis, signed as a free agent March 26, had a 7.90 ERA in 15 appearances. He allowed 19 hits and 10 walks over 13 2/3 innings. Lefthanded hitters were 9 for 26 (.346) against him.

The loss of his job came a day before the one-year anniversary of the death of his wife, Gabrielle, of a drug overdose.

“Tomorrow’s a tough day for me and my family anyway,’’ he said. “But I guess everything’s for a reason. I’ll get to be home . . . There are worse things obviously. I’ve been through all that.’’

Schoeneweis, 36, said he wasn’t sure he was going to continue playing.

“I can pitch,’’ he said. “I had to do some things here I’ve never done in my career. But I had a blast and I loved being here for the time I had. The game’s a business and it’s a business move.’’

Peter Abraham can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @peteabe.

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