BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox placed shortstop Jed Lowrie on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a left shoulder injury and recalled utility man Drew Sutton from Triple-A Pawtucket.
Lowrie, already dealing with an injury to the non-throwing shoulder that resulted from a May 29 collision with teammate Carl Crawford, left Thursday night’s game at Tampa Bay after a first-inning swing and was sent for an MRI. He had been slumping while dealing with the problem.
“Jed got an MRI this morning and actually the MRI was really pretty good,” manager Terry Francona said before Friday night’s game against Milwaukee. “Structurally, it didn’t look like there was any significant damage, which is really good.”
Francona didn’t have a formal diagnosis of the injury, calling it “a strain.”
“We’re going to have the MRI sent to (Dr. Lewis) Yokum as a kind of a backup, let him look also and give (Lowrie) some rest and treatment and see how quickly we can progress with him,” Francona said. “Regardless of what we found, when you take a swing like that and it hurts like that, we’d better slow him down.”
Also on Friday, Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon had his suspension stemming from a bumping incident with an umpire reduced from three games to two by Major League Baseball on Friday.
Papelbon, ejected by plate umpire Tony Randazzo during a June 4 game at Fenway Park, will serve his suspension Friday and Saturday, missing two home games against Milwaukee.
Lowrie, batting .270 with three homers and 25 RBIs, was on the disabled list twice in 2009 with left wrist trouble and started last season on the DL while fighting mononucleosis.
Marco Scutaro, who opened the season as the starting shortstop and then went on the disabled list for a month, will man the position while Lowrie is out.
Right-hander Clay Buchholz, who left Thursday night’s start with continued back trouble, will be pushed back at least a couple of days to get some extra rest. Francona called that “the best case scenario.”
“He’s going to fight us tooth and nail to not miss a start, which we like but we need to see how he progresses the next couple of days.”
Veteran left-hander Andrew Miller will come up from Pawtucket to start Monday night, but Francona said that doesn’t mean the Sox will go to a six-man rotation.
Sutton had just been sent back to Pawtucket on Tuesday and could only be recalled in fewer than 10 days by another player being disabled.
Papelbon felt his situation was handled fairly.
“It’s pretty simple, man. I put in the appeal, they looked at the videotape for, I guess a week now, and said two games is fair enough,” he said.
Papelbon, who blew a save in the game, was upset over Randazzo’s ball-strike calls, and the situation actually boiled over when Randazzo called a strike on a pitch Papelbon thought was a ball. A verbal exchange between the two led to the contact between player and umpire.
“I had to own up to it and I did,” Papelbon said.
Francona said it wasn’t etched in stone that eighth-inning setup man Daniel Bard would close in Papelbon’s absence, saying an eighth-inning situation could result in Bard pitching in that inning and someone else working the ninth.
“We got one game knocked off,” Francona said. “I wish we would have gotten two, just because we like him pitching, but we’ll get it over with. Take your medicine and get it over with.”