ST. PETERSBURG -- With the calendar flipping to Sept. 1, the Red Sox were able to add five players to their roster for Tuesday night's opener of a three-game series against the Rays.
Outfielder Joey Gathright, acquired on Saturday in a Minor League trade with the Orioles, will provide speed in the late innings. George Kottaras, who had been on the disabled list since Aug. 1 with a back injury, gives the Red Sox a third catcher behind Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek.
Chris Woodward will help out in the middle infield while Jed Lowrie continues his comeback from recurring left wrist woes at Triple-A Pawtucket. Junichi Tazawa, who was optioned to the Gulf Coast League on Saturday in what was merely a procedural move, will start Saturday's game against the White Sox.
And Brian Anderson, now embarking on his second stint with Boston after being acquired from Chicago for Mark Kotsay, offers plus defense at all three outfield spots.
For Gathright, who has always considered Fenway Park his favorite place to play, it was a thrill to join the Red Sox in the heart of a pennant race.
"It feels good, being on a team that's winning and has a chance to go to the playoffs," said Gathright. "I've never really had that. For me, it's a good feeling. I've always liked being in Boston. It's a little different playing for them, though."
The Red Sox are fairly set in the outfield with Jason Bay, Jacoby Ellsbury and J.D. Drew as starters, not to mention an offensive threat off the bench in Rocco Baldelli. How does Gathright think he can help?
"I kind of have an idea. We haven't really talked about it that much, but just coming off the bench, just kind of like [Dave] Roberts that one year," said Gathright. "Doing the little things you need to do in the late innings, or defensive replacement or something like that. I've done it before so I'm kind of used to it. It's a role I think I can do."
The 28-year-old Gathright has played 428 games in his career, stealing 79 bases.
"My favorite stadium is in Boston, so it's kind of ironic that I came here," Gathright said. "I'm excited. I can't really explain it anymore than that, but I'm ready to go. I'll just be that guy that can come out late and maybe steal a base and score some runs and play some defense."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.