Notes: Foulke's pride intact

Notes: Foulke's pride intact

TORONTO -- Keith Foulke insisted rather emphatically on Saturday morning that he has no wounded pride while he watches Jonathan Papelbon overpower one hitter after another. In fact, Foulke is so focused on getting himself back to top form that he seems to have zero concern that he's being used as a setup man, and not the closing role he's been so accustomed to in his career.

"That's the way of the world. Like I said before, it's good for the team if Jonathan's going to be the guy," said Foulke. "If he's going to be the closer for now, then so be it. I'm not going to [complain] and moan about it. It's what's best for the team. I'm not going to fool myself thinking that I'm better than he is. At this point right now, I'm not. If I've got to pitch in a different role to help this team win, I've got no problem with that."

This was not a defeatist attitude from Foulke. He was simply being realistic.

Foulke was used in a highly pressurized situation in Friday's 12-inning loss, and held up well. Technically, he was the losing pitcher. Foulke walked Troy Glaus on a borderline 3-2 pitch with two outs in the 12th and then was removed in favor of Rudy Seanez, who then surrendered a game-ending double to Lyle Overbay.

"I thought it was a strike," said Foulke. "If that one wasn't a strike, then the one before it probably wasn't a strike or vice versa. But he called it a ball and that's what we have to live with."

What separates Foulke from getting back to his place as one of the elite relievers in the game?

"A routine, mechanics, finding something that's consistent with just the whole mechanical process," said Foulke. "I'm trying to break bad habits still from how I've pitched for a couple of years. I can do things now [with healthier knees] that I haven't been able to do. A lot of times, you'll see my velocity fluctuate some. Sometimes when I don't stay closed and I don't use my legs, that's when you'll see the 85 mile an hour fastball compared to when I kind of do things right, you'll see it a little bit harder."

Foulke recently mentioned to a reporter that his knees, both of which were surgically repaired last year, still bother him at times. But he wanted to clarify something on Saturday.

"The thing I have to make sure everybody understands is that it's not affecting my pitching," Foulke said. "That's the one thing that's different this year. They may ache in everyday life, but it doesn't affect my pitching this year."

Foulke admitted that he sometimes contemplates retirement, but he made it clear that is a ways off yet. When Foulke signed with the Red Sox, the pact came with a unique mutual option for 2007 which means there's at least a chance he'll be elsewhere next year. But he definitely plans on pitching.

"I'll pitch for a couple of more years," said Foulke. "I really think that hopefully, like I said, with things going better, that I'm going to enjoy going out and pitching and being a pretty good pitcher again, and when that happens, I want to play again. Now, it's just getting back to not being an average pitcher."

Delcarmen recalled: The Red Sox made a roster move after Saturday's game, recalling right-handed reliever Manny Delcarmen from Triple-A Pawtucket. To make room for Delcarmen on the roster, the Red Sox optioned righty Jermaine Van Buren to Pawtucket.

Van Buren, who was recalled on April 15, made his first appearance for the Red Sox on Saturday, giving up two hits and a run over three innings.

"From what everybody says, [Delcarmen has] done a real good job in Triple-A," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "He's thrown the ball very well. We don't want to get caught if something happens, if somebody gets a ball of the shin. We just need to kind of cover our backs a little bit. We've gone through some arms."

Delcarmen was off to a hot start for Pawtucket, reeling off 10 scoreless innings over five appearances. He has 10 strikeouts. Delcarmen pitched in 10 games for the Sox last season, posting a 3.00 ERA.

Varitek gets a blow: After catching 12 innings on Friday night, catcher Jason Varitek did not start Saturday afternoon's game. Typically, Varitek is only out of the lineup when Tim Wakefield pitches.

"I just don't think it makes sense to send him back out there. He's certainly got a chance to get in this game, but I'd rather not," said Francona. "He's been battling that [gluteus maximus] muscle. I just don't want to run him into the ground two weeks into the season."

Mike Lowell also got the day off, with Kevin Youkilis moving to third base and J.T. Snow getting the start at first. Alex Cora subbed for Alex Gonzalez at short.

This was Josh Bard's first time catching Lenny DiNardo in a regular season game, but he did catch him a few times in Spring Training.

"It's not rocket science," Bard said as he walked away from his locker.

Struggles of Seanez: Seanez has simply been unable to get in any kind of rhythm. Entering Saturday's game, he had given up 11 hits and six runs over six innings. Opponents held a .393 average against him.

"His fastball has been getting hit," said Francona. "When he's gone to his off-speed pitches, he's been real successful. But he can't sneak that fastball by right now. He's just not locating it good enough and he's been getting hit around a little bit. It won't happen all year."

Coming up: Right-hander Matt Clement (1-1, 7.00 ERA) will close out this three-game set against the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon. Josh Towers will pitch for Toronto.

Ian Browne is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.