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Notes: Lowrie has bell rung in rundown

Notes: Lowrie has bell rung in rundown

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Top Red Sox infield prospect Jed Lowrie didn't need a cup of coffee to wake up on Monday. All it took was a run-in with Minor Leaguer David Mailman during rundown drills on Field 3.

Lowrie and Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis had Mailman sized up. Lowrie chased him down. For whatever reason, Mailman stopped in his tracks, and jarred into Lowrie with his helmet. Ouch.

Fortunately, Lowrie was not injured. It was just getting his bell slightly rung.

"I don't know what happened," Lowrie said. "He just stopped in the middle of the basepath, I kind of tried to jump out of the way, it was kind of a grazing blow, hit me on the glove and the bill of the hat and the side of the head. I think it looked worse than it really was. It was just one of those things -- both guys were going hard, he stopped, just a grazing blow."

Manager Terry Francona chatted with Lowrie immediately after the collision.

"He was just telling me to just be a little bit more under control," Lowrie said.

And as Francona later noted, "It will teach you to keep your head up."

Torre happy for Tito: Dodgers manager Joe Torre was pleased to hear about Francona's contract extension. Francona and Torre developed a bond the last few years while taking part in the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry.

"I'm happy for Terry," Torre said from Dodgers camp at Vero Beach, Fla. "He's had a roller-coaster ride. The media is very tough there, but he seems to maintain a good grip on the team. There are so many different personalities, but between the lines, they play baseball."

Early release day: Wednesday's trip to the White House will make for an abbreviated workout by the Red Sox. The team will take the field at 8:45 a.m. ET, 45 minutes earlier than usual. On a typical day, the Sox don't come off the field until noon, or after. But Wednesday's workout will be over by 10:30.

Francona and bench coach Brad Mills will try to maximize the time.

"We have a fundamental that we need to do that day, popups and cutoff relays," Francona said. "It's supposed to rain the night before. We'll see. We're going to try to get everything done."

Kolb giving it a shot: Remember Dan Kolb? The Brewers do. Back in 2004, Kolb saved 39 games for Milwaukee while posting a 2.98 ERA. The next year, he went to Atlanta and started his decline, going 3-8 with a 5.93 ERA and losing the closer's job in short order.

Kolb went back to the Brewers as a Minor League free agent in 2005, and posted a 4.84 ERA in 53 games. Last year, the Pirates demoted Kolb to the Minor Leagues, and he came back up to pitch three games before being designated for assignment. On June 30, he was placed on the voluntarily retired list.

Now, Kolb is back, unretired, and trying to win a job with the Red Sox.

"Health will be huge; he looks very healthy," said Francona. "Sometimes it's a guy in that situation opening eyes, throwing the ball well and then getting the right opportunity for that situation. Some things have to come together, but it certainly could."

The Red Sox have one spot open in the bullpen, and Kolb is one of many candidates in the mix.

Quotable: "I don't know, I'm not a pitching coach." -- Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez, when asked how his close friend and former teammate Bartolo Colon might help the Red Sox

Coming up: The Sox have a 9:30 a.m. workout on Tuesday. Starting pitchers Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jon Lester and Tim Wakefield will be among those who throw batting practice.

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

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