BOSTON — Facing three games in a 24-hour period because of the expected arrival of Hurricane Irene, Boston added a 13th pitcher Friday, recalling right-hander Scott Atchison from Pawtucket and sending catcher Ryan Lavarnway to the Triple-A team.
Atchison, returning to the Red Sox for the fifth time this season, was 0-0 with a 4.70 ERA in nine relief appearances earlier this season.
“We just wanted to protect our bullpen,” manager Terry Francona said prior to Friday night’s series opener with the Athletics — the teams then schedule to play a split double-header Saturday, the second game pushed back from Sunday before of the expected storm.
Lavarnway, recalled because of injuries to Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz, was impressive in his seven-game major league debut, going 7-for-23 (.304) with three RBIs, mostly as a designated hitter. He had a .407 on-base percentage, walking four times to go with six strikeouts.
Manager Terry Francona said Lavarnway, who hit 30 homers and drove in 85 runs combined for Doubel-A Portland and then Pawtucket, will be back with the Red Sox when the rosters expand next Thursday.
“He helped us win some games. That’s what we asked him to do and it’s not an easy thing to do,” Francona said. “I think the experience is probably really good for him. He’ll be back. He’ll be back as soon as we can get him back here and spend September with us, hopefully learn some more.”
Orioles honor Flanagan
BALTIMORE — Mike Flanagan was remembered fondly and with no small measure of sadness at Camden Yards on Friday night before the Baltimore Orioles faced the New York Yankees.
It was the Orioles first home game since their former star pitcher died of a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head on Wednesday. He was 59.
The team intended to honor Flanagan with a moment of silence before the game, and his No. 46 was displayed on the right-field scoreboard during batting practice and was to remain there until the end of the game.
“It was pretty appropriate that Friday night is when we wear our black jerseys,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
“Mike brought a can of Oriole pine tar from 1960,” Showalter said. “I’m not sure exactly, where he ended up getting it. His wife found it. And it’s sitting on top of my desk there, and when I got back last night, first thing (I saw). I don’t think I’ll ever go get a cup of coffee back there, without thinking about it, thinking about him. No, it hasn’t gotten any easier. And I’m not trying to lose that emotion. It’s not something I’m trying to figure out a way to get around.”
Flanagan won the Cy Young award in 1979 with Baltimore and was a member of the Orioles’ 1983 world championship squad. He also worked in the front office and was a regular at Camden
For the rest of the season, the Orioles will wear a black circular patch on their right jersey sleeves with the word “FLANNY” written in white.
Angels switching rotation
ARLINGTON, Texas — Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia confirmed on Friday that he’s switching his rotation for the weekend series against AL West-leading Texas, opting to start Ervin Santana on Saturday and Jered Weaver on Sunday.
The right-handers will both be starting on three days’ rest for the first time in their careers.
Scioscia opened the three-game series on Friday with 13-game winner Dan Haren. The additions of Santana (9-9) and Weaver (15-6) meant the Angels would send their top three starters against the Rangers.
Texas began Friday two games ahead of second-place Los Angeles. The Rangers had a seven-game lead over the Angels on Aug. 17.
Jerome Williams and Santana were originally scheduled to start Saturday and Sunday, but the Angels had two days off earlier this week and Scioscia decided to juggle the rotation to take advantage of the extra rest for his staff aces.
“For one time around, it’s no big deal,” Scioscia said. “This is something we consider occasionally. We’ve done it with guys in the past and it hasn’t been an issue. These guys have plenty in their tanks.”
Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher said a lot of thought and research went into the decision, that both Santana and Weaver have gotten stronger as their starts have gone on.
“Looking at the last few weeks how these guys have been bouncing back from their starts, there’s zero doubt in my mind and zero doubt in their minds going into this,” Butcher said. “We’re not trying to pull a rabbit out of our hat.”
The Rangers had dropped five of six entering Friday night. From Tuesday through Thursday, Texas lost three straight to Boston by a total score of 30-7.
But the Rangers insist that the rotation change by their primary division rival would not affect their approach toward the series.
“Bring ‘em on,” Texas outfielder Josh Hamilton said. “They’re good, there’s no denying that. So they’ll either step up on short rest or they won’t.”
“We’re not afraid of Santana,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “We’re not talking about Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax. We’ve faced Weaver and Santana before.”