MINNEAPOLIS -- If the Red Sox hadn't engineered their impressive comeback against Mariano Rivera and the Yankees on Sunday night, one moment that would have been magnified was when Jason Varitek swung at a 3-0 pitch and popped up, thwarting a rally in the bottom of the sixth inning.
To be clear, Red Sox manager Terry Francona did signal for third-base coach Tim Bogar to give Varitek the green light in that spot against Yankees reliever Cory Wade.
"Obviously," Francona said. "We do that a lot. To me, that was a guy that wanted to throw a breaking ball, so you get a fastball count. [Varitek] just popped it up. We give guys the green light probably a lot more than people think. They don't always swing."
Varitek felt bad that he couldn't square the pitch up.
"Got a good pitch to drive in that situation with somebody who doesn't throw real hard," Varitek said. "I had a good pitch to hit. I missed it. I popped it up."
In what situations does Francona like to use the green light?
"It's not that easy," Francona said. "[Depends on] who's pitching, who's hitting, who's coming up behind [him]. Sometimes what I think they might throw 3-1. How they're swinging the bat. Pitch counts. There's all kinds of stuff. If a guy can win a game with that swing, we usually let him hit."