BALTIMORE -- With several pitchers on the bubble for postseason roster spots, manager John Farrell will try to get as many looks as he can at some of them during this three-game series against the Orioles.
Lefty Felix Doubront is of particular importance, because the Red Sox want to see how well he might be able to transition to a bullpen role after starting all season.
"If there's an inning where you've got left-right-left or if we can pick a spot that might be a little bit more advantageous to his left-handed pitching, that might be the case," said Farrell. "A clean inning would be the ideal thing, and as rested as our bullpen is right now, we can afford to do that. When that is over these three days remains to be seen."
Ryan Dempster is also gaining comfort in his transition to the bullpen and has pitched consecutive scoreless appearances over the last week.
Farrell would also like to get more looks at lefty Matt Thornton, whose time with the Red Sox has been disjointed thanks to an oblique injury that had him on the disabled list.
The position-player roster also has some competition. Outfielders Jackie Bradley Jr. and Quintin Berry could be battling with infielder John McDonald for the final spot on the bench. Berry might have the edge because of his base-stealing capability.
Ortiz joins Williams with another 30-homer season
BALTIMORE -- When David Ortiz belted a line-drive, three-run homer to left in the eighth inning on Friday night, he put himself in some select company.
With 30 homers and 103 RBIs on the season, Ortiz now has seven 30-100 seasons in his career, all with Boston.
The only other player in Red Sox history to have seven 30-100 seasons was the legendary Ted Williams.
"It's a huge honor for myself to be mentioned with one of the greatest that ever played the game in this organization," Ortiz said. "Got to keep the line moving and try to keep on producing for this ballpark."
It is Ortiz's first 30-100 season since 2010, and another sign of how he's been able to stay at the top of his game even as he ages.
"In the minds of many, he's a Hall of Fame-type hitter," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He's been a productive hitter throughout his whole career here, and I think to put himself in the company of Ted Williams is very rare."
With the game being played at Camden Yards, it was fitting that the home run was No. 431 in Ortiz's career, tying him with Cal Ripken Jr.
"Oh, really? Man, another great," said Ortiz. "You're talking about Cal Ripken Jr., the Iron Man, that's something special. You keep on mentioning names, and nothing but greats comes out. Mad respect [for Ripken], though."
Reversed homer becomes record-setting double
BALTIMORE -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia nearly hit his 15th home run on Friday night.
Saltalamacchia's drive to right, which landed on the top of the wall, but below the short railing that separates the stands, was initially ruled a homer by second-base umpire Brian O'Nora.
In fact, Saltalamacchia went into his full trot, thinking he had just delivered the Red Sox a three-run shot. Instead, after the umpires took a look at it on replay, they correctly reversed it to an RBI double.
It turns out that the double had some history attached to it. With 40 doubles, Saltalamacchia set a single-season record for a Red Sox player whose primary position is catcher. Carlton Fisk (1978) and Jason Varitek ('99) held the previous mark at 39.
The double gave the Red Sox a 6-0 lead in the top of the third.
O'Nora might have been obstructed by right fielder Nick Markakis, who went in a full leap to try to catch the ball.
Victorino gets breather to prepare for October
BALTIMORE -- Shane Victorino received the news from manager John Farrell that he wouldn't be playing on Friday night via text message. Victorino typed back as fast as he could, trying to change Farrell's mind.
But it didn't work. With three games left in the regular season, Farrell wants to get his team as healthy as possible before the big games start in October.
Victorino has been bothered in recent weeks by a right thumb injury -- his latest in a season's worth of nagging maladies.
"When he texted me today, I said, 'No, I want in.' [Farrell] said, 'Let's try to get ahead of this thumb thing.' So I understand the situation," Victorino said. "Whatever, I'll be back in there tomorrow and the next day and be ready to go."
Considering the solid season Victorino has had both offensively and defensively, it's hard to believe he's had so many injuries.
But now that the finish line is near, he will continue to play through everything as best he can.
"This has been one of those years where they've been nagging," Victorino said. "I've had injuries in the past where I've gone on the DL, but once I've come back, I've been healthy, 100 percent. That's, I think, to me, what's been frustrating.
"The lingering effects of the hammy, now hitting righty on righty, the back, and now the thumb ... it's like, 'Geez, can anything else go?' But I don't feel sorry for myself."
Victorino looks around the clubhouse and sees a bunch of like-minded players.
"There are a lot of guys banged up," Victorino said. "Pedroia has been battling a thumb injury all year long. I could go on and on. To sit here and talk about my own injuries ... for me, it fires me up because I want to go back out there. Whatever I have, I'm going to leave it all on the field."
While Victorino was out of the mix for the night, Jacoby Ellsbury remained in the lineup for the second straight game since coming back from a compression fracture in his right foot.
And Mike Napoli, who sat out four straight games after the Red Sox clinched the American League East, was back in there Friday. He has been dealing with plantar fasciitis.
"Based on how he was talking in the clubhouse before the game, he feels fresh, he feels like he's gotten over some of the soreness in the foot, and as I said the other day, we hope it has the same effect with the previous rest that he's had," Farrell said. "The one thing that we discussed internally, with the downtime, this should allow him to get through the rest of the season, whatever remains, in good shape."