Jarrod Saltalamacchia goes to hospital

Updated: June 9, 2011, 12:54 AM ET
By Gordon Edes | ESPNBoston.com

NEW YORK -- Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who would have been in the lineup Wednesday night to catch knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, was hospitalized earlier Wednesday after an episode of vomiting, manager Terry Francona said.

Saltalamacchia was back at the ballpark before the end of the Red Sox's 11-6 win.

"They ruled out anything besides intestinal turmoil, which is good news," Francona said. "He might have had food poisoning. He was just good, old-fashioned sick."

Doctors had also performed a CT scan on Saltalamacchia's abdomen, which came back negative, according to a baseball source.

Veteran catcher Jason Varitek, who has been for the most part exempted from catching Wakefield for years, started in Saltalamacchia's place.

"He was sent to the hospital to rule out anything but the flu,'' Francona said.

In order to protect themselves, the Red Sox made a roster move to get a second catcher on the active roster, calling up 24-year-old Luis Exposito from Triple-A Pawtucket and putting reliever Bobby Jenks (back spasms) on the 15-day disabled list. Jenks, who was just activated from the DL last week, was administered an MRI on Wednesday morning.

"We've got a lot going on right now," manager Terry Francona said. "We don't want to get caught short. ... We're kind of scrambling here a little bit."

In his sixth season in the Red Sox organization, Exposito was hitting just .223 with three homers and 15 RBIs for Pawtucket, but had been playing well of late. In his last 15 games, he had a .293 average with two homers and seven RBIs. Last season, he threw out 30 of 80 attempted base stealers (37.5 percent), best in the Eastern League. He has played in seven spring training games with the Red Sox, going 1-for-10 at the plate.

Jenks lasted just four pitches Tuesday night before having to depart with pain in his back.

"It's my back,'' Jenks could be seen telling Saltalamacchia after running the count to 3-and-1 on Jorge Posada, the first batter of the seventh inning for the New York Yankees.

After the game, Jenks confirmed that it was indeed his back that forced him out of the game, a recurrence of a problem dating back to his tearing a small muscle behind his left shoulder blade in his second year of pro ball.

"It's an injury that happened years and years ago,'' Jenks said Tuesday night. "Unfortunately it gives me little fits now and then. Everything's fine once I cool down and it starts relaxing. It'll be all right maybe in a day or two.''

Jenks was on the disabled list from May 2-30, missing 27 games with a strained right biceps. Since being activated, he had put together four scoreless outings.

The former White Sox closer has struggled in his first season with Boston, going 2-2 with a 6.57 ERA in 15 appearances. He has 11 walks and 14 strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings, and opponents are batting .340 against him.

Jenks signed a $12 million, two-year contract in the offseason to be Jonathan Papelbon's setup man.

Shortstop Jed Lowrie, who was out of the lineup for a second straight game with a sore shoulder, also got an MRI. He said before Wednesday's game that the MRI was clean and was hoping to start Thursday in the series finale against CC Sabathia.

Marco Scutaro started at shortstop Wednesday for the second consecutive game. Scutaro was activated from the disabled list Tuesday after missing 26 games with a strained muscle on his left side

Francona also said left-hander Franklin Morales "did really well" in a 35-pitch side session Monday and was slated to throw again Wednesday. He could start a minor league rehab assignment soon.

Morales, acquired last month from Colorado, is on the DL with a strained left forearm.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox announced Wednesday night that Daisuke Matsuzaka will undergo Tommy John elbow surgery on Friday in southern California. The surgery will be performed by orthopedist Lewis Yocum.

The Red Sox also said that left-handed reliever Rich Hill will undergo the same procedure Thursday in Pensacola, Fla. The operation will be performed by orthopedist James Andrews.

Gordon Edes covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Gordon Edes

Red Sox reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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