BOSTON -- Just hours after Jason Varitek went 1-for-3 as the designated hitter for Triple-A Pawtucket, he was placed back on Boston's active roster for the first time since breaking his right foot on a foul ball June 30.

It's unlikely Varitek will play Monday night, but with rosters expanded, the Red Sox saw no reason not to activate him.

"We certainly don't plan on playing him tonight, but it just seems kind of silly not to put him on the roster in case something crazy happens, which we've seen happen," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona.

Boston's captain went 2-for-5 in his two-game stint for Pawtucket. He caught on Sunday.

Prospect Anderson feels good after debut

BOSTON -- There was a different kind of scene that unfolded at the end of Boston's batting practice late Monday afternoon. Lars Anderson spotted his parents on the dirt not far from the dugout and gave them both a long embrace.

His dream had come true. Not only was Anderson in the Major Leagues for the first time, but he was also less than two hours from starting at first base for the Red Sox in the opener of a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays.

In his debut, Anderson went 0-for-4. But the Red Sox thumped the Rays, 12-5.

"I'm happy with the way I felt," Anderson said. "I didn't feel overmatched tonight. I wasn't nervous. I was happy with how calm I felt."

One of the top hitting prospects in the farm system, the 22-year-old Anderson will get a chance to get acclimated to Major League pitching over the next few weeks.

Even though the Red Sox will be in Oakland later this week, Anderson's parents spent all of Monday flying to Boston from Sacramento so they could be there for the debut.

"They were both so happy," Anderson said. "They've supported me so much and I've gotten so much help from both my mom and dad. Not just baseball, but life, and to have realized this goal of mine is really an amazing thing, and I'm happy that they can be here and share it with me."

Anderson's story is not one of a prospect who has dominated at every step of his development. He has been humbled -- both last year during a rough year at Double-A Portland and during the early stages of his promotion to Triple-A Pawtucket this season.

"Baseball is such an ebb and flow throughout the year," Anderson said. "There are so many ups and downs. I'm just happy with the way I've handled the downs and handled the ups as well. I feel like I've progressed in a lot of areas I've wanted to progress and I'm happy about that."

A huge breakthrough for Anderson -- a left-handed hitter who will wear No. 44 for the Red Sox -- was when he learned not to overreact every time he had a bad at-bat or a bad game.

"I think the biggest adjustment for hitting is not making too many adjustments. That can kind of get overwhelming," Anderson said.

He has also improved on defense.

"I feel like in years past, I didn't have that confidence like I have this year," Anderson said. "I've always felt like I was a good defensive player, but it wasn't a constant thing. Wanting the ball hit to you feels a lot better than not wanting the ball hit to you. So I've had that feeling a lot this year and it's been really great."

The Red Sox are looking forward to watching Anderson down the stretch. Manager Terry Francona isn't positive how much Anderson will be in the lineup. Starting first baseman Mike Lowell, who is probably going to retire at the end of the season, has been playing with a fractured rib.

"If you're asking how we're going to use him, I honestly don't know the lineups," Francona said. "Obviously tonight, we're a little younger than we probably anticipated going into this series, for a lot of reasons. But depending on how we play and the health of our guys, we'll always try to do the right thing as far as winning and the organization. We'll just try to do the right thing."

Anderson hit .274 with 37 doubles, three triples, 15 homers and 69 RBIs in 130 games in the Minors this season.

Red-hot Reddick returns

BOSTON -- With three innings left in Triple-A Pawtucket's season finale on Monday afternoon, outfielder Josh Reddick was pulled from the game. He was then given instructions by manager Torey Luvullo to report directly to Boston, where he was activated for Monday night's game at Fenway Park against the Rays.

This is the fourth stint in Boston this season for Reddick, who had a red-hot second half for Pawtucket.

In 67 at-bats since Aug. 23, Reddick hit .388 with seven homers and 15 RBIs.

What keyed his turnaround?

"I think I stopped caring so much," Reddick said. "That helped me out a little bit. I tried to quit worrying about stuff. That really helped. The trip home during the All-Star break was a big thing for me. I got to forget about baseball and all kinds of stuff. It helped me out a lot."

Over the last two seasons, Reddick played in 38 games for the Red Sox, hitting .167 with two homers and six RBIs.

Reddick was not in Monday night's starting lineup. How much will he play for the Red Sox down the stretch?

"Again, I don't know -- he's really come on," said manager Terry Francona. "Talking to Torey and [director of player development] Mike Hazen, he's had an unbelievable two months because he had really started out slow. The last couple of months have really been good. I can't sit here and say he's going to play every day, but you certainly want to see him play some."

Worth noting

With Marco Scutaro getting a precautionary MRI on his right shoulder Tuesday, Red Sox manager Terry Francona opted to keep him out of the lineup for the second straight day. Yamaico Navarro got the start. ... Though Clay Buchholz is still penciled in to pitch Wednesday's game on three days' rest, he will probably be pushed back to the weekend if the Sox don't win the first two games of this series against the Rays. "We'll see how we do," Francona said. "Right now the plan is to pitch Buck. That could obviously change. It's probably not too hard to decipher the reasoning." ... Lefty Felix Doubront, who hasn't pitched since Aug. 31 because of a mild strain in the upper pectoral muscle near his left collarbone, threw a side session Monday. He should be available soon. ... Before Monday's game, the Red Sox had a ceremony honoring former great Luis Tiant. This season is the 35th anniversary of Tiant's magical run down the stretch in 1975. Former teammates Dwight Evans and Bill Lee were among those in attendance. So, too, was Johnny Pesky, who was a coach on the '75 team.