BOSTON -- In a perfect world, the Red Sox would only use Andrew Bailey in low-leverage situations until he gets back in a groove. But on a Major League roster with only so many relievers available on certain days, manager John Farrell sometimes doesn't have a choice.
Such was the case Friday, when Bailey came on with the Sox leading the Blue Jays, 5-4, and served up a solo homer to Edwin Encarnacion. A similar situation developed last weekend in Detroit.
"Well, that's a middle-relief role," Farrell said. "Seventh inning is a middle-relief role. There may be some curiousness as to why he was brought into that game. We've got to get him through the spell he's going through, and I thought he took a step in the right direction last night.
"He got a fastball up to Encarnacion, but I thought his stuff was much better last night than five days ago. He was the most rested, the most experienced. [Junichi] Tazawa had been hot five of the last seven days and was unavailable, so that's why Bailey was in last night."
How will Bailey's usage be determined on a given day?
"Based on who's available, that decision will be made in game," Farrell said.
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.