ATLANTA -- One day after he missed the great game against
the Yankees, Nomar Garciaparra was well enough to play.
The Boston shortstop sat out Thursday night's 5-4, 13-inning
loss at New York because of Achilles tendinitis in his right foot.
Garciaparra was back in the lineup Friday night for the opener of
Boston's series at Atlanta, going 3-for-5 and grounding into a big
double play in a 6-3, 12-inning loss.
Red Sox manager Terry Francona said he spoke with Garciaparra on
Wednesday night and was determined to give the shortstop a day off.
"I went to him," Francona said. "That's why we communicate so
much, to make the best decisions we can. If I would have sent him
up there to hit, this wouldn't be a story, but I'm not sure that
would have been the right thing to do."
Garciaparra and Doug Mirabelli were the only non-pitchers not
used by the Red Sox, who had gone ahead 4-3 in the 13th on Manny
Ramirez's 22nd home run.
Francona said Garciaparra was pacing in the dugout while holding
a bat in the ninth inning and "was in the tunnel in the 12th
stretching. Then we scored, and I decided not to do it."
Against the Braves, Garciaparra singled in the fourth, seventh
and ninth innings. After Ramirez's go-ahead single in the 10th,
Garciaparra came up with runners at first and second and hit into a
5-4-3 double play.
Boston, 27-30 since April, is 8½ games back of New York in the
AL East and began the night two games behind Oakland, the wild card
"The season is not over," outfielder Trot Nixon said. "We
can't pull all our chips in and say the season is over because we
got swept by the Yankees."
Francona was more impressed by the drama than devastated by the
"That was one of the most amazing baseball games I've ever been
a part of," he said. "I wish I'd had a chance to watch it."
Francona was so busy making moves, including putting together a
five-man infield that included left-handed second baseman David
McCarty -- normally a first baseman and outfielder -- that he
couldn't enjoy the great plays.
Before Friday's game, the Red Sox activated third baseman Bill
Mueller, the defending AL batting champion, from the disabled list
and immediately inserted him into the starting lineup. But
right-handed reliever Scott Williamson was put on the DL with a
nerve impingement in his right forearm.
Boston also designated infielder Cesar Crespo for assignment,
meaning the Red Sox have 10 days to trade him, put him on waivers
or send him outright to the minors.
Also Friday, the Red Sox acquired left-handed pitcher Jimmy
Anderson from the Chicago Cubs for minor league pitcher Andrew
Shipman and a player to be named. In another deal, Boston obtained
right-hander Brandon Puffer from San Diego for a player to be
Anderson and Puffer were assigned to Pawtucket.
"Basically, we're trying to strengthen organizationally,"
Francona said, noting the Pawtucket roster "has taken a pounding"
and needed help.