Notes: Murphy earns promotion
With Drew, Lowell nursing injuries, outfielder joins club
SAN DIEGO -- David Murphy, on a weekend sabbatical from the Minor Leagues, will be at the disposal of Red Sox manager Terry Francona for this three-game series against the Padres and perhaps Monday night's opener against the Mariners at Safeco Field.
The promotion was made possible after the club officially placed ailing right-hander Curt Schilling on the disabled list, retroactive to Wednesday.
When Schilling's spot comes up in the rotation on Tuesday, the Sox will need to call up another pitcher, and that will likely force Murphy back to Pawtucket.
Still, the left-handed-hitting outfielder, who spent last September with the Red Sox, was grateful for the callup.
"It was a surprise," said Murphy, batting .283 with five homers and 34 RBIs for Pawtucket. "I figured with Schilling going on the disabled list that a pitcher would be going up for him, but, obviously, his spot's not up for a few days. Easiest said, I'm just happy to be here."
Murphy was also staying realistic about the length of his visit.
"There's a possibility this could just be a short stint, but I think right now, at a National League park, I'm an extra player just in case we need a defensive replacement or a pinch-hitter," said Murphy. "Just having an extra position player, I think that's the main thing right now."
Francona can use Murphy as a pinch-hitter or a defensive replacement.
"Some of the nervousness won't be there because he's been with us," said Francona. "He's excited."
Drew gets another day: J.D. Drew, who came out of Wednesday's game vs. the Braves in the second inning with right quad woes, also needed another day. Wily Mo Pena started in right field. Coco Crisp led off.
"[It's] much better," Drew said. "The day off and that rest really kind of helped me catch back up. Got some treatment, got some massage, stuff like that. Just going to run around and kind of get a gauge on it. I don't want to aggravate it by any means. I think I'm going to go out there and shag some fly balls and just get a feel. ... The spot that had a strain in it doesn't feel near as big."
With the spacious outfield of PETCO Park, Francona would like to get Drew back in there by Saturday.
"Hopeful for the weekend for sure," said Drew. "Like I said, just really trying to not do anything stupid today in batting practice but enough to see where I'm at with it."
The injury has nagged at Drew for a bit.
"It was just kind of going on for four or five days," said Drew. "I was just trying to get through to that off-day. But when I hit the double, I could kind of feel it start to tighten up and I didn't want to take any more chances with it. So I told those guys and came out of the game."
Lowell hopes for Saturday return: Third baseman Mike Lowell remained out of the lineup on Friday as he recovers from a sprained ligament in his left thumb. Lowell didn't play the final two games in Atlanta and he used Friday to fine-tune his swing. He'll likely be back in there Saturday.
"I had actually talked to Mikey the other day and we had planned that he wouldn't play today, because he went three days without swinging a bat," Francona said. "Hopefully it will be smooth and he'll be right back in there tomorrow. [I] just thought that we'd waited the three days, coming off an off-day, that this would be the smartest thing to do."
Schilling en route: Schilling was set to land in San Diego early Friday evening and will be back with the club on Saturday.
He was re-examined by the medical staff back in Boston in the morning and the report was positive. Schilling also worked out with rehab coordinator Scott Waugh as he rehabs his way back from right shoulder soreness.
"It's too early to get into a timetable," said Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein. "It's unfortunate. No one wants to see a pitcher on the disabled list."
But the way the Red Sox look at it, perhaps something good can come out of it.
"It's also an opportunity to get him rest, rehabilitation and restrengthening so we can get him in peak condition to have an outstanding second half," said Epstein. "There's an argument to be made that all pitchers should get a blow at some point to have optimum performance in the second half. That's not commonly done. We want him back as soon as possible, but we want him back strong and ready to dominate in the second half."
On deck: Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield (7-7, 4.18 ERA) faces Chris Young (6-3, 2.26 ERA) on Saturday night. First pitch is scheduled for 10:05 ET.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.