With an off-day Monday, Francona has a little bit of flexibility. Curt Schilling will kick off the series at Minnesota on Tuesday and Tim Wakefield might go on Wednesday, depending on how his ailing back is feeling.
Clement fired six strong innings in his June 4 outing against the Tigers, allowing six hits and three runs. He had to come out of the game three pitches into the seventh when he began to experience the cramping in his arm.
Timlin tuneup: Setup man Mike Timlin, who hasn't pitched since May 25 because of a right shoulder strain, will make a rehab appearance for Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday. Timlin is expected to be activated when the Sox open a six-game road trip in Minnesota on Tuesday night.
Pena confident: It had been speculated that Red Sox outfielder Wily Mo Pena, who underwent surgery on his left wrist on June 1, would miss up to two months of action. Pena, however, is hoping to beat that timetable by a good margin.
"That's too long. In four weeks, I'm going to be playing," vowed Pena. "I don't know if it will be in the Major Leagues. But they'll probably send me down to the Minor Leagues [for a rehab assignment]."
Pena had the hamate bone removed from his left wrist. He'll have stitches removed on Tuesday, at which point he'll be able to intensify his workouts.
The right-handed slugger is confident that the surgery will not hamper his power when he returns.
"I don't worry about [anything]," said Pena. "I just have to be ready. Get this [wrist] strong, the same way it was before. I don't worry about my home runs going up or going down. I just have to come back healthy. I just have to keep it strong. That's the only thing they told me."
The Red Sox have missed Pena, as they no longer have a strong right-handed bat off the bench.
Boomer's second opinion: Sox left-hander David Wells flew to San Diego to have Dr. Jan Fronek take a look at his surgically repaired right knee, which was struck by a line drive on May 26. The diagnosis? Essentially the same thing the Red Sox said a couple of weeks ago.
"He's got a deep bone bruise," said Francona. "I think the diagnosis concurs with what [Red Sox medical director] Tom Gill said. He's got some issues with his knee, though. It's just going to be up to Boomer, when he can tolerate [throwing]. He's going to have to take some time off. Then, [it's a matter of] what he can tolerate and when. [Everything's] intact. There's no damaged ligaments, things like that. His knee hurts."
Wells, who has a home in San Diego, will likely stay out there until Boston's next homestand, which starts on June 19.
"It doesn't make sense for him to come back while we're gone," Francona said. "It will give him a little time to maybe catch his breath."
Wells' expected last season in the Major Leagues has not been enjoyable, as this is his third DL stint.
Tough decision on Hansen: In one sense, the Red Sox were confident enough in prospect Craig Hansen that Francona gave him the ball on Friday night, leading by just a run in the eighth inning. On the other hand, the righty was sent back to Pawtucket after the game.
"It was what we planned, and it was tough.," Francona said. "But ... I know it's the right thing to do, let him go back to Triple-A, work out of the bullpen. His innings had been real structured up to this point and they had been for development, he was throwing all his pitches. Now he can go back there, and they can get him up in between innings and things like that. Hopefully he can come back and help us, because I don't think there's anybody here, myself included, that doesn't think this kid is going to help us. I think he's going to be good."
Coming up: Beckett and Pauley will face Kevin Millwood and John Wasdin, respectively, in Sunday's doubleheader at Fenway.