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Notes: Graffanino puts gaffe in past

Notes: Graffanino puts gaffe in past

BOSTON -- This is a tough town, but second baseman Tony Graffanino survived his personal crisis nicely.

Never mind that his error cost the Red Sox dearly in their Game 2 loss Wednesday night in Chicago.

When he emerged from the visitors' clubhouse, he was greeted by his two young sons, A.J. and Nicholas.

"That's one of the things you appreciate after a game like that," he said. "When I walked out of the clubhouse, I saw those two faces smiling and they're hugging me," Graffanino said.

"They probably knew, but I'm still their dad. So that's nice."

Graffanino, one of the game's nicest guys, has spent just a half-season with the Red Sox after being obtained from the Kansas City Royals for outfielder Chip Ambres and Minor League pitcher Juan Cedeno.

But he's learned quickly that Boston takes its sports very seriously. So he wasn't surprised to be surrounded by reporters after Thursday's off-day workout.

And, yes, some of them ask about the 1986 World Series gaffe by Bill Buckner.

"I don't know what to say to them," Graffanino said. "Obviously, it was unfortunate. I don't wish that on anybody, but it happened. Since I got here, I've really busted my [rear end] and really done everything I could to help the ballclub win. It was just something that happened. I wish it didn't happen, but it did."

Juan Uribe's apparent double-play grounder skipped past Graffanino's glove as he seemed to look toward second base an instant too soon.

"I've probably replayed it in my head so many times, wishing you could go back and do it over, but in the clubhouse it was good. The guys were upbeat, I guess as much as you can be after a game like that," Graffanino said.

"You just have to put it behind you. The past can't affect today."

In the Wake: Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz likes his club's chances with knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.

"When he's going well, he's untouchable," Ortiz said. "So I think we'll be fine tomorrow.

It's a Jenks: The Red Sox were suitably impressed by right-hander Bobby Jenks, who clinched Wednesday night's 5-4 White Sox win with two scoreless innings.

Manager Terry Francona said he was grilled because the Red Sox have just one non-intentional walk in the first two games.

"If you actually watched the game, there were none to take," he said. "Sometimes you come up against pitchers that are throwing strikes.

"I mean, Jenks came in, and it was our hope he would not command the strike zone. He did. When you're throwing 98 with a breaking ball from here to there and you're throwing strikes, that's not really easy to hit."

Or, as Graffanino put it: "He's got an unbelievable arm. All I really try to do is get started early on him, because he throws the ball so hard. Hopefully, we don't have to see him again."

Not Clement time: Francona cast doubt on the availability of first-game starter Matt Clement for bullpen duty on Friday.

"That leg doesn't feel real good, and he's pitched a lot. We're trying to keep every option we have available to us open," Francona said. "At the same time, we'll never be unfair to a player."

Foulke update: Keith Foulke underwent a right knee arthroscopy on Thursday. The procedure to address the cartilage in the knee was performed by Red Sox medical director Dr. Thomas Gill at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Foulke will begin a rehab program immediately and is expected to be at full strength for the start of Spring Training.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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