Francona to resume duties Friday

Francona to resume duties Friday

BALTIMORE -- Red Sox manager Terry Francona, who missed both games of a two-game series against Baltimore following the death of his mother-in-law in Arizona, will return to his managerial duties on Friday, bench coach Brad Mills said before Wednesday's game.

The funeral for Mary Ann Lang was held Wednesday in Tucson, Ariz., Mills said, and Francona will return to Boston on Thursday with family members. Francona will be at the helm when Boston entertains Milwaukee in the first of three Interleague games on Friday.

The Red Sox are 5-4 in the nine games Francona has missed since becoming manager in 2004. Mills has skippered the team during those absences.

The others Francona missed were four games for a viral illness in 2005, three games following a suspension that season and an '05 game to attend his daughter's high school graduation.

Pete Kerzel is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.