Valentine will try to keep bench involved

Valentine will try to keep bench involved

DETROIT -- One hallmark of teams managed by Bobby Valentine is that they've had key contributors off the bench.

Valentine hopes that is again the case in his first season with the Red Sox, as he opens with a three-man bench of Nick Punto, Darnell McDonald and Kelly Shoppach.

"I like to get participation, yeah," Valentine said. "This is a smaller bench than I'm used to. We're trying to protect against everything possible."

On Opening Day, Darnell McDonald came off the bench and contributed to the comeback in the top of the ninth inning, stealing second and scoring on Ryan Sweeney's game-trying triple.

"Darnell and I have had a lot of talks about him being the kind of player he can be any time we need him to be it," said Valentine. "He says he's always ready. He was ready physically from about the seventh inning on to do just that, and he did it."

Shoppach, Boston's backup catcher, will see action mainly against lefties. His debut could be Wednesday in Toronto, when the Red Sox face Blue Jays southpaw Rocky Romero.

Punto will move all around the infield.