Red Sox Notebook

In tough position after Cameron is scratched

By Amalie Benjamin
Globe Staff / April 20, 2010

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Standing at his locker after yesterday’s game, Bill Hall said, “Coming into the season, center field is probably the last place I thought I would have to go and play.’’

That’s because the Sox have depth in center with Mike Cameron and Jacoby Ellsbury. At the moment, they have only Hall, who last played center regularly in 2007.

Hall was not in the lineup initially, but Cameron was scratched around 9 a.m. and went to Massachusetts General Hospital with symptoms similar to the kidney stones he had last week.

“He’s been there all day,’’ manager Terry Francona said after the game. “He had the CT scan. We think [it] ruled out more stones. So he’s in a tube now. Got multiple doctors trying to figure out what’s going on. We don’t know. He’s been there all day.’’

With Ellsbury’s continuing pain in his left chest area, the Sox are in a predicament. Hall did not look comfortable in center yesterday. The Sox likely will have to place either Cameron or Ellsbury on the disabled list and bring up Josh Reddick from Pawtucket.

“That’s something that Theo [Epstein] and I are going to talk about,’’ Francona said. “There’s a lot of uncertainty going on right now. So we’ll probably continue to talk tonight.’’

Ellsbury said the soreness in his chest is gradually going away, but a “stabbing pain’’ remains and he continues to have difficulty breathing. He has been taking swings in the batting cage. Francona said today is key in evaluating his progress.

“We’re hoping to have a pretty aggressive day,’’ Francona said. “Try to swing the bat a little bit more aggressive.’’

Ellsbury couldn’t even predict when he might return.

“I wish it would have been a little quicker, but it’s just one of those things that just needs rest,’’ he said. “It’s hard to say [whether the DL might be necessary]. I’m hoping that I wake up, feel a little bit better.’’

Situational problems
The Red Sox are mired in a slump with runners in scoring position. They did not have a hit in such situations since Jeremy Hermida’s bases-loaded double last Wednesday, and after yesterday’s 0 for 5, they are now 0 for their last 32. Asked if he might consider another lineup reshuffle, Francona said, “We’re always trying to figure out what’s best. We need to get going offensively as opposed to hitting somebody ninth or hitting somebody first. We get some base runners and keep the line moving, we’ll all be better off.’’

Sweeping statements
The four-game sweep by the Rays marked the first time the Sox have been swept in four games by Tampa Bay. The last time the Sox were swept in a four-game series at Fenway Park was in 2006, when the Sox lost five (including a makeup game) to the Yankees from Aug. 18-21 . . . The Sox’ 1-6 start at Fenway Park is the team’s worst since it went 1-9 in 1932, according to the Elias Sports Bureau . . . The Sox committed an error for the fifth straight game, their longest streak since they had eight errors over five games May 25-30 in 2008 . . . Jason Varitek replaced Victor Martinez to open the eighth. Martinez came out only to get rest . . . Dustin Pedroia was bunting for a hit in the first inning with Marco Scutaro on first. Pedroia failed, but he moved Scutaro to second . . . Major League Baseball banned Rays manager Joe Maddon from wearing a pullover. Baseball reissued a memo Friday saying managers and coaches could only wear jerseys or outerwear authorized by MLB. Maddon wore the pullover during a cold weekend at Fenway.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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