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Tireless Salty draws another start for Red Sox

Tireless Salty draws another start for Red Sox

BOSTON -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia will finally get a chance to rest on Thursday night, when the Red Sox open a four-game series in Detroit.

But even after playing both ends of a day-night doubleheader on Tuesday and catching all 18 innings, Saltalamacchia was right back behind the plate on Wednesday.

David Ross was supposed to start Tuesday's nightcap, but had to go on the seven-day disabled list with a concussion.

"[Saltalamacchia] felt good coming out of yesterday," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "We felt like, with today's matchup, and then with [Jose] Alvarez a left-hander going tomorrow, it's likely [Ryan] Lavarnway will be back there handling [John] Lackey over in Detroit, first game."

If the Red Sox seem to be relying a lot on Saltalamacchia lately, it's because he's earned that trust.

"I think even from the beginning of this year, there's been, I think, more familiarity with the guys on the mound, what their capabilities are," said Farrell. "And his ability to read swings is, I think, has shown up in the pitch selection that he's used. He's had obviously a couple of good games where his throwing and his transfer has been quick and efficient. He's always had arm strength, but I think his overall game has taken a step forward."

Saltalamacchia is eligible for free agency at the end of the season, and his stock within the organization seems to be growing.

"I think he has taken a step forward all around," said Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington. "You get feedback from pitchers and you see it yourself with the job he's doing behind the plate managing the game, the respect he's getting from pitchers and umpires. I thought [Farrell] might give him the day off today, but he's [in there]."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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