Papelbon would have been good to go if a save situation had presented itself on Wednesday. But the Red Sox rolled to an 11-5 victory, meaning he will have at least four full days of rest before Boston plays next on Friday night in Oakland.
In fact, Papelbon might have even been able to pitch Tuesday if the occasion called for it, but instead, Boston took a 14-5 loss.
"Yeah, he was doing well," Francona said. "That's good. I think that shows that he's worked hard, because to bounce back from something like that is not easy to do. We were very encouraged by that. We didn't feel the need to pitch him [Tuesday night]."
Papelbon has been extremely dedicated to his right shoulder program since his injury in September 2006.
"Pap's been really good about telling us how he feels, but [trainer] Mikey [Reinold] will give us a holler, too," Francona said. "I don't think there's been an instance all year where they've had a disagreement where Pap's said he could pitch and Mikey said he shouldn't pitch. I don't think that's happened all year."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.