BOSTON -- Left-hander Franklin Morales briefly scrapped his curveball when he went on the disabled list after just one appearance with the Red Sox in late May.
"When his elbow came up a little sore, he mainly said it was because of his curveball," pitching coach Curt Young said.
Now healthy, Morales has regained his curve, and through some work with Young, he's shown how effective he can be. The 25-year-old tied season highs with two innings and three strikeouts against the Indians in Tuesday's 3-2 Red Sox win. He allowed no runs and one hit, giving the Red Sox a chance to come back from a one-run deficit.
Morales hasn't allowed runs in 12 of his last 14 games since coming off the DL on June 28, posting a 3.46 ERA in that time.
In addition to keeping Morales healthy and bringing back the hook, Young worked on Morales' focus on the catcher's target by watching video.
"He's feeling 100 percent healthy, definitely bringing that pitch back into play," Young said. "Just a little focus thing on seeing the glove a little bit better. It's just him watching himself on TV, a matter of how good you see the glove."
Lowrie works out with staff at Fenway
BOSTON -- Marco Scutaro returned to the lineup on Wednesday, and his counterpart at shortstop, Jed Lowrie, returned to the clubhouse.
Scutaro, batting ninth against the Indians, had been held out on Tuesday after leaving Monday's game early because of dizziness. He was determined to be fine after testing.
On the 15-day disabled list with a strained left shoulder, Lowrie came to Fenway Park to work out with the staff, but said that with just two Minor League rehab games under his belt and six weeks away from the team, he's not going to be activated any time soon.
"I wouldn't say that I'm quite ready yet," Lowrie said. "I think I'm making quality steps forward, but I don't think I'm ready today."
Lowrie went 1-for-3 as the designated hitter for Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday after going 0-for-2 while playing shortstop on Monday, and he said that he's seeing the ball well.
Manager Terry Francona said that the plan for Lowrie is for him to return to the PawSox, who were off on Wednesday, for home games on Thursday and Friday before being re-evaluated. Lowrie is slated to play shortstop on Thursday and DH on Friday.
The PawSox are home through the weekend before heading to Charlotte, N.C., on Monday.
Lowrie has yet to bat right-handed or play nine innings during his rehab assignment. He still feels something in his shoulder but said that is to be expected.
"It's different. I haven't played in five or six weeks," he said. "So I think there's general soreness and fatigue, but it's nothing to be alarmed at. It's the fact that I haven't played in a long time. Got to work through that."
Lowrie is hitting .270 with a .319 on-base percentage and three home runs this season. He's rushed back from injuries in the past, and said on Wednesday that having done so "was a valuable lesson."
Jenks riding roller coaster of recovery
BOSTON -- Bobby Jenks' recovery from tightness in his back continues to be an up-and-down ride.
Manager Terry Francona said that the right-handed reliever felt "just OK" on Tuesday after feeling "great" when throwing the day before. Jenks threw again on Wednesday, and pitching coach Curt Young called it Jenks' "best day."
"[We're] trying to figure out if it was from maybe doing too much lifting or from the throwing," Francona said about how Jenks felt on Monday. "So we just are kind of going back and forth, probably not coming as quick as everyone would like, including himself. He had gotten that cortisone shot before we left, and he felt really good."
Jenks threw about 36 pitches on Wednesday, and the team will continue to evaluate him daily. Jenks has been on the disabled list three times this season and missed 66 games.
He is 2-2 with a 6.32 ERA in 19 appearances.
Francona looking for versatility from Aviles
BOSTON -- Manager Terry Francona has said that he'd like to see if the recently acquired Mike Aviles can offer some depth off the bench in the outfield as well as the infield, and Aviles has started to practice there.
"He went out there yesterday, and he gave me a good answer," Francona said on Wednesday. "I asked him how he felt about it, and he looked at me and said, 'The one thing you need to know about me is, I'm arrogant and confident.' I said, 'That means you can go the outfield?' He said, 'Yeah,' which I thought was a good answer."
The versatility of Drew Sutton, who is back at Triple-A Pawtucket, gave the Red Sox the option of playing him in either the infield or outfield, and the team wouldn't mind replicating that.
"It almost gives us a guy where you can go short [on the bench] and it doesn't hurt you," Francona said. "I'd like to get him out there at some point. One thing I don't want to ever do is embarrass somebody. ... When we sent [Kevin Youkilis] out there and the guy was willing to do it and then the guy makes an error, I feel like I messed up. So if he's comfortable enough, we'll probably do it here at some point."
The Red Sox traded for the 30-year-old Aviles on Saturday, sending Yamaico Navarro to the Royals. Aviles went 1-for-4 in his first start for the Red Sox in Tuesday's 3-2 win over the Indians, playing shortstop.