Despite the good results, Damon will remain in Boston to rest his shoulder.
He is expected to rejoin the Red Sox at Fenway Park for their series opener
against Oakland on Thursday.
"The hope is that he can play on Thursday, but even if he can't the news is
good," Francona said. "He's going to be OK, we've just got to let him settle
With his absence on Tuesday and Wednesday, Damon -- who is second in the
American League with a .321 batting average -- will have sat out for four of
five games. He received a cortisone shot after Friday's game with the
Yankees, sat out on Saturday and served as the designated hitter for the
finale in the Bronx on Sunday.
On Monday, Damon told Francona that he was still feeling soreness while
throwing, but that he would play through it.
"I'm not sure when it's going to be feeling good," Damon said quietly before
Monday's game. "I know what my job is, though. ... I'll just keep battling
and keep working through it."
Playing through pain wasn't what Francona wanted Damon to do, especially
with the Red Sox in the midst of a playoff race.
"We all know how tough he is," Francona said, "so when he says it's hard for him to play it
makes you a little concerned. We took the shot and we DHed him. We probably should have let him rest a little more, but we didn't. You try to do the best you can."
Francona said that they didn't perform an MRI on the shoulder at an earlier
date because Damon had passed the strength tests he went through, which
indicated he probably did not have structural damage. Damon also wasn't
experiencing pain while hitting -- only when throwing.
When Damon returns to the team, Francona expects him to be back in center
"I think [having Damon DH is] something to consider if the news came back
bad," Francona said. "I'd rather give a guy an extra day's rest and keep our
"He needs to be [in center]," he added. "He knows that because David [Ortiz]
is our designated hitter."