Drew returns to Boston lineup for Game 2

Drew returns to Boston lineup for Game 2

Drew returns to Boston lineup for Game 2
NEW YORK -- Just when it seemed he was falling completely off the radar, J.D. Drew re-appeared in Boston's starting lineup for Game 2 of Sunday's day-night doubleheader at Yankee Stadium

It's Drew's first start -- or playing time of any kind -- for the Sox since July 19.

Drew was first placed on the disabled list on July 26 with a left shoulder impingement. Just as he was ready to return from that ailment, he fractured his right middle finger in a Triple-A rehab game at the end of August.

As recently as Sunday morning, Sox manager Terry Francona didn't think Drew would be available for Game 2.

Apparently, Drew felt enough progress from his recent work in the batting cage to get back on the field.

At this point, the Red Sox -- their lead down to a half-game in the American League Wild Card standings -- need all the healthy bodies they can get.

Though Josh Reddick initially played so well that he supplanted Drew in right even before the veteran was injured, the rookie has struggled of late. Reddick is hitting .209 with two homers and five RBIs in 115 at-bats since Aug. 8.

In Game 1 of Sunday's day-night doubleheader, Francona had Conor Jackson play right field against New York right-hander A.J. Burnett.

It will be interesting to see what the Red Sox can get from Drew down the stretch. Before going on the disabled list, he was having perhaps the worst season of his career, hitting .219 with four homers and 21 RBIs in 233 at-bats.