BOSTON -- So much for the plan to give Marco Scutaro the night off on Wednesday. Not only was Scutaro in the lineup, but he was back at shortstop after switching to second base on Tuesday night. And not only did Scutaro play, but he recorded four hits, including two home runs.
Scutaro made a temporary switch to second on Tuesday night to alleviate some stress on his right rotator cuff, which has been ailing him for a month. But he felt he'd be OK making the throws from short on Wednesday.
"In the first inning when I made the error, I said, 'Here we go again. I should have stayed out of the lineup.' But, you know, I can't complain," Scutaro said.
Scutaro stiffened up later in the game and manager Terry Francona took him out in the top of the eighth.
"He feels good today," Francona said before the game. "Probably the easiest explanation is when he has inflammation in there, it certainly makes him feel uncomfortable, but it creates that feeling of weakness. But he showed up today and said, 'I really feel good.' He goes, 'This is the best I've felt in a while.'"
When that message was relayed back to Scutaro through the media, he chuckled.
"Oh, OK. I lied to [Francona]," quipped Scutaro. "It feels better than those two days I didn't play for some reason. If I don't get any flow going or I don't do anything, it feels worse, but today doesn't feel as bad."
In all seriousness, the Red Sox will keep tabs on Scutaro over the next couple of days before deciding exactly how much he will play the rest of the way.
"We're going to monitor him," Francona said. "To what extent [he'll play down the stretch], we'll see how he feels the next couple of days. I've talked to him at length about this. I know [general manager] Theo [Epstein] has even talked to his agent. We'll continue to keep an eye on him. The good news is he feels good. I'm glad about that."
As much as Scutaro resists being taken out of the lineup, he vows to be smart the rest of the way.
"Like I said before, you don't want to do anything stupid," said Scutaro. "I want to be able to heal my shoulder stronger and don't do anything stupid for next year. That's pretty much what I'm going to try to do -- get on a shoulder program, get some rest, get the inflammation down a little bit and go from there."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.