ST. PETERSBURG -- Adrian Gonzalez was unexpectedly back in the Red Sox's starting lineup for Sunday's series finale at Tropicana Field despite being described Saturday by manager Bobby Valentine as "real doubtful."
Gonzalez, who was scratched Friday and sat Saturday with back spasms that started when he bent down to talk to a child in a stroller, came to the park Sunday feeling better. On top of that, Valentine said, he tested better in the training room and got the green light to play.
"He said he's ready to go today, and that's very good news," Valentine said. "I was a little surprised, actually. Pleasantly surprised."
Outfielder Ryan Sweeney, meanwhile, had the day off Sunday with left hamstring tightness. He wasn't available Saturday but hoped after the game that he could play Sunday. Sweeney said he has been trying to change the way he runs after going on the disabled list with soreness in the sesamoid bone in his left foot, which might have played a part in the injury.
Having to play on the uncomfortable artificial turf at Tropicana Field wouldn't have helped the situation any, either. Sweeney said Saturday night: "Turf's probably the worst thing for it."
"Another day is probably the way to go with him," Valentine said Sunday.