BOSTON -- Shortstop Marco Scutaro was out of the lineup for Tuesday's series opener against the Diamondbacks after receiving a nerve-root injection Monday to alleviate pain and irritation he's been experiencing because of a pinched nerve in his neck.
"I think everything went real well," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said of the procedure. "I think he really wanted to play tonight. Just talking to all the medical people, it sounded like if we could give him one more day to let everything work, he would be better off long-term. So that's what we'll do."
The shortstop wanted to play Tuesday, but said he would be back in the lineup Wednesday.
"My neck has been pretty [sore] in the morning, so I'm kind of used to that," Scutaro said. "But I wasn't used to doing things [without] strength in my arm. I guess the inflammation's going to go down and everything's going to start working normal. That's what I'm thinking."
Scutaro said the problem had sapped him of strength in his left arm.
"He's been really good about not complaining about it, so if it's been bothering him, which I don't doubt, he hasn't said much," said Francona. "He really likes to play. I think he's afraid if he says something to us, we won't play him. He's been doing a good job with the medical people keeping it under control. But I think we kind of pointed to this day off to get it done. When you start talking about irritating nerves and things like that, then all of a sudden you're hurting the strength. You can't get stronger. You start getting worn down, and muscles atrophy and things like that. That's really not what we're shooting for. This game's hard enough."
Bill Hall played shortstop and batted seventh, while left fielder Daniel Nava, who hit a grand slam in his first big league at-bat Saturday, served as the leadoff man.
Beckett continues throwing program
BOSTON -- Right-hander Josh Beckett, on the disabled list since May 19 with a lower back strain, continues to progress toward a return to the rotation.
Beckett threw during Monday's off-day from 120 feet and was monitored by pitching coach John Farrell.
"That was his third day in a row, so today's a real light day," said manager Terry Francona.
Boston's ace will throw again Wednesday and Thursday, eventually stretching out to 150 feet, and then Friday will serve as another low-key day. From there, the club will see how he feels.
When Beckett (1-1, 7.29 ERA in eight starts) returns is still up in the air.
After the long-toss sessions, a bullpen session would be next.
"That would be the next step," Francona said. "I think we'd really want to be aggressive with his long toss. When you start getting out to 150 [feet], he's got to let [it] loose pretty good. How often we do that, a lot of it's just going to depend on how he feels. I don't think that you're back to a Spring Training [status], just because he's got innings under his belt. But at the same time, you can't shortcut it too much. But we don't want to rush him back and lose [him].
"He's working hard now so he can come back and pitch effectively and feel healthy and all the things we always say, because we believe in them. So we don't want to shortcut anything either."
All-Star Game voting ends at Fenway Park
BOSTON -- While fans can continue to vote for All-Star Game starters online at MLB.com until July 1, Tuesday was the last day fans could vote at Fenway Park.
This year's All-Star Game will be played on July 13 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites using the 2010 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Sprint until July 1 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Sprint subscribers can now vote on the go with select Sprint devices. They can learn more about how to vote on their smart phones at MLB.com/Sprint.
Starting rosters will be announced during the 2010 All-Star Game Selection Show on TBS on July 4. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2010 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint.
And the voting doesn't end there. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet at the Midsummer Classic via the 2010 All-Star Game MVP Vote Sponsored by Sprint.
The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX and around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio play-by-play, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage.
After the latest All-Star ballot results were announced Monday, five Red Sox are in the top five at their respective positions.
-- Quinn Roberts
Matsuzaka's strained forearm improving
BOSTON -- Right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka, who was placed on the disabled list with a right forearm strain just minutes before his scheduled start Saturday, is making progress.
"I think he's feeling pretty good," said manager Terry Francona. "The throwing will certainly be a little bit of a gauge, though, on where he is."
According to several reports, left-hander Felix Doubront, 22, will be called up from Triple-A Pawtucket to start Friday in the series opener against the Dodgers. Doubront is 2-1 with a 1.08 ERA in four starts for the PawSox, after earning a promotion from Double-A Portland, where he was 4-0 with a 2.51 ERA. A native of Venezuela, he signed with the Red Sox as an international free agent in 2004.
Maureen Mullen is a contributor to MLB.com. Quinn Roberts is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.