ANAHEIM -- The wait ended at 28 days for Victor Martinez, who on Monday went 1-for-4 with an RBI in his return to Boston's batting order for the first since time fracturing his left thumb on June 27. "To be honest with you, I just didn't feel anything," Martinez said after the Red Sox's 6-3 victory. "I was having a lot of fun out there. I didn't feel anything." Though Martinez generally hits fifth or third for the Sox, he batted sixth on Monday night for the start of a three-game series against the Angels.
"He certainly won't be hitting sixth for very long," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "I didn't think it was real fair to him to stick him up there third, fourth, so hopefully we can get him some games under his belt and get him back somewhere in the middle." Martinez's return came on a night Dan Haren was making his debut for the Angels. Martinez was 8-for-16 lifetime off Haren with a homer and three RBIs. With Boston's offense scuffling badly since the All-Star break, the return of Martinez could not have come at a better time. "This is a great offensive team," Martinez said. "Obviously we're going to struggle through the course of the year. I'm just going to go out there like always, to put together good at-bats and be a tough out." To make room for Martinez on the roster, the Red Sox optioned Dusty Brown back to Triple-A Pawtucket. Kevin Cash will serve as Martinez's backup. Jason Varitek is still on crutches after fracturing his right foot on June 30. Cash will catch Wednesday afternoon's game against the Angels.