Bay takes a breather against Doc
Sensing that durable left fielder Jason Bay could use a day off, Red Sox manager Terry Francona picked Sunday’s matchup against Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay to make it happen.
Bay entered the day with 122 games played, tied with Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury for the team lead.
“I think Bay needs a day off. I think I need a day off,” Francona said. “I just think it’s a day that – there’s certain guys that don’t get very many. He’s one of them so you try to pick and choose and make it be a day where it really helps him.”
The Red Sox don’t play on Monday, which effectively gives Bay a two-day respite leading into Tuesday’s game at Tropicana Field against the Tampa Bay Rays.
“I just think that going home and knowing this morning that he was waking up not playing should help him a little. He plays a lot,” Francona said. “I just think he needed it. He didn’t put up a fight. When he doesn’t put up a fight, he must need it.”
Rocco Baldelli occupied Bay’s spot in left field and batted seventh. Mike Lowell was also out of the lineup for the third time in the last four games. Victor Martinez started at first base, with Kevin Youkilis playing third and Jason Varitek catching Paul Byrd’s first Major League game of 2009.
— Ian Browne