BOSTON -- With Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester on the hill for Friday's series opener against the Tigers, manager John Farrell decided to give David Ross the start behind the plate instead of A.J. Pierzynski.
"We had to look at the way Jon Lester and David Ross have paired up, and that has been consistent and effective," said Farrell.
Ross has caught six of Lester's eight starts this season. The left-hander is 4-2 with a 2.45 ERA when Ross is behind the plate compared to 0-2 and 3.86 ERA when Pierzynski is behind the dish.
Farrell expected Friday's contest to be a low scoring affair with Lester going against right-hander Max Scherzer.
"If this game goes the way we would project between two very good starters, it will be a low run game," Farrell said. "We are trying to preserve the battery between the two."
Farrell said it was a particularly difficult decision to make because of Pierzynski's success against Scherzer. He's hitting .333 (11-for-33) with one home run and seven RBIs.
"It is just noticing that over the past year or more that David and Jon have paired up and executed a game plan," Farrell said. "It has been consistent. We are looking to preserve that."
Ross caught Lester in both of his starts against the Tigers in last year's American League Championship Series. Lester allowed just three runs in 11 2/3 innings in those games.
Victorino's return unclear, but DL stint unlikely
BOSTON -- Following Friday night's 1-0 loss to the Tigers, the Red Sox were still uncertain when right fielder Shane Victorino would return to the lineup, but they seemed confident a trip to the disabled list can be avoided.
Victorino, who hasn't started the last two games, injured his left knee in Minneapolis against the Twins.
"Vic, there was some swelling in the joint," said manager John Farrell. "We don't think this is going to be a DL situation. He'll be fitted for a brace to wear. We'll check him [Saturday] on his availability."
Victorino banged his left knee sliding into third base in Tuesday's game against the Twins. He stayed in the rest of that game and played all nine innings in Wednesday's contest. Grady Sizemore replaced Victorino in right.
"At the recommendation of the medical staff, we are holding him out today at a minimum and hopefully the information we get back is that it is a short-term situation," said Farrell.
Victorino's been hitting well as of late after a right hamstring strain sidelined him for the first few weeks. He's recorded five multihit games in his last 12 contests, hitting .340 with a triple, three doubles and nine RBIs.
Bogaerts hit above left wrist, escapes serious injury
BOSTON -- Though the Red Sox suffered a 1-0 loss to the Tigers on Friday night, they dodged a serious injury to shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who was hit in the bone just above his left wrist by a pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning.
"It was weird. He got me, I felt it and I guess after that, I pretty much didn't feel anything. But he got me good," said Bogaerts of the pitch from Evan Reed.
Bogaerts winced in pain, but was able to stay in the game.
"You see the ball, try to get out of the way," Bogaerts said. "He's throwing, what, 98? 99? So you don't have too much time to get out of the way."
Bogaerts is fully confident he'll start Saturday night against the Tigers.
"It was pretty scary, but I guess I'm blessed," Bogaerts said.
• The Red Sox are the only American League team that has used only five starting pitchers this season.
• Entering Friday, David Ortiz was batting .552 (16-for-29) with three doubles, five home runs and eight RBIs during his season-long eight-game hit streak.
• Boston has had 14 games decided by one run, which leads the AL. The team is 5-9 in those contests.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.