ANAHEIM -- The Red Sox had a daunting task for Wednesday afternoon. They were hoping to win the finale of their three-game series in Anaheim without their two most trusted relievers -- Jonathan Papelbon and Daniel Bard.
Before Wednesday's game, manager Terry Francona said his 1-2 punch would not be available in any situation. The Red Sox are off on Thursday, so both key righties will be fresh when the club opens a homestand against the Tigers on Friday night.
Papelbon notched a four-out save on Monday and also earned the save Tuesday night. Bard recorded two outs on Tuesday night, and he had pitched in six of the previous 10 days.
"We used Bard, Pap, kind of hoping that we would win that game [Tuesday]," said Francona. "Knowing that, with the quick turnaround, we would stay away from them today and would have tomorrow off. [It's] a little bit of a gamble, but when you win, it helps."
As for available closing candidates for Wednesday, Francona didn't have an obvious candidate. It would probably be Manny Delcarmen, Ramon Ramirez or Hideki Okajima, depending on matchups.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.