Notes: Crisp's finger hurting again

Notes: Crisp's finger hurting again

BOSTON -- Though he's never used it as an excuse for his subpar performance this season, center fielder Coco Crisp has had some lingering issues with the left index finger that he suffered a non-displaced fracture of back on April 8.

Crisp had considerable pain in the finger during Saturday's game and was taken out for the final inning of a 12-inning loss. He didn't start Sunday's game, and he had the finger covered with a compression wrap.

"In my second at-bat, when I hit the ball off the end of the bat, I felt like a pop, like when you crack your finger, and it just started hurting," Crisp said. "It just kind of re-aggravated my ligament that I hurt when I broke my finger."

The Red Sox were set to pinch-hit for Crisp in the 11th inning on Saturday, but a bunting situation arose, and the switch-hitter was able to pull off that task, laying down a sacrifice that moved pinch-runner David Murphy to second.

"We knew he couldn't hit," said manager Terry Francona, "but he could bunt."

Crisp is confident that he'll be back in the lineup Tuesday night, when the Sox open a three-game series in Baltimore.

"We have the day off tomorrow, so just come back and keep the compression wrap on it, which took some of the swelling down last night. This stuff is like magic tape, it's unbelievable," said Crisp. "Hopefully I'll be able to come back after tomorrow and play the next day."

Crisp's first season in Boston has been a disappointment. He's hitting .263 with eight homers and 31 RBIs, and has a .315 on-base percentage. Perhaps the finger has been more of an issue than Crisp has let on.

"It's been sore throughout, because it's going to be fractured for the remainder of the year, but it didn't affect [performance]," Crisp said. "I don't even think about it. For the most part, it doesn't really affect my swing. If I catch a ball right on it the outfield, extreme kind of things like that, I feel it. If I hit the ball off the end of the bat, that's when I feel it."

Manny out again: Apparently, 12 innings in left field was a bit much for Manny Ramirez's ailing right knee. The star slugger was out of the lineup on Sunday after returning from his hiatus with five starts.

"He said it hurts today, so we had him in there and then took him out," Francona said.

Since returning to the lineup, Ramirez has managed just two hits in 16 at-bats.

"I think it happens," Francona said. "He came off the Yankees series where he was on everything. Baseball goes like that -- you can't hit .700. I think there's a mixture of guys making pitches, [and] sometimes he gets in that mode where he doesn't get off that back leg. He's still dangerous, but he doesn't get off that back leg, and misses some pitches he normally hits. He hasn't been quite Manny the last [week], but he's missed some time, it happens."

Schilling gets off the mound: Ace Curt Schilling, who has missed his last two starts with a strained lat muscle, was able to throw off the mound before Sunday's game. He'll play long toss on Tuesday and then face some Red Sox hitters on Wednesday.

Schilling is hoping to get back into the rotation for the weekend, when the Red Sox play a four-game series at Yankee Stadium.

Late-season return for Clement? Don't rule out Matt Clement getting into a game or two before the season ends. The right-hander last pitched for the Red Sox on June 15, but he has spent the last three months sidelined with shoulder woes.

Clement has been feeling better over the last couple of weeks.

"I think there's a chance he could get off the mound towards the end of the road trip," said Francona. "Now, again, that's pencil, but we wanted to sit down with him and the training staff. [Trainer Paul Lessard] brought me in a schedule and I wanted Matt to look at it and see if he agrees with it, or thinks it's realistic."

Coming up: Following an off-day, the Red Sox will send left-hander Kason Gabbard (1-3, 3.93 ERA) to the mound for Tuesday's opener at Camden Yards. The Orioles counter with right-hander Daniel Cabrera (7-9, 4.84 ERA).

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