BOSTON - No one could really blame the Boston Red Sox for wanting the rain to fall and wipe out Sunday night's game against the New York Yankees. After all, with a charter waiting to take them to Minnesota, the Sox, after losing five straight games at home, including a Saturday stunner that saw them blow a 9-0 lead and lose 15-9, couldn't have been too disappointed at the chance to get out of town without playing another game. They also were able to avoid facing Yankee ace CC Sabathia. The Yankees, on the other hand, probably wanted to spend another day at Fenway, where they had scored 21 runs in two games and scored that remarkable Saturday comeback. With no game, Joe Girardi's team got on a plane for Texas with a three-game winning streak that brought the Yankees' early season record to 9-6. The Red Sox are off to a 4-10 start and new, and already beleaguered, manager Bobby Valentine gets booed every time he comes out on the field. Valentine held a team meeting after Saturday's disaster, and was also called into a meeting by owner John Henry and general manager Ben Cherington, with Henry making a rare clubhouse visit. Afterward, Cherington said he was "very satisfied" with Valentine. "I think you have to continue to plan all year long," Valentine said Sunday. "I hope that's not the last time that Ben and Brian (assistant general manager O'Halloran) and Larry (CEO Lucchino) and John (Henry) and I can sit in a room and say where we are and figure out where we're going to go and make a plan to get there." The Red Sox traded righty Michael Bowden to the Cubs for centerfielder Marlon Byrd, who would have been in the lineup Sunday night. Daniel Bard, who is making the move from the bullpen to the rotation, was going to be the pitcher, but the rainout led Valentine to skip him and start Jon Lester Monday night in Minnesota. That leaves Bard to work out of the pen if needed before his next start. "I'd like to use him if we have a lead in the eighth inning just as he's been comfortable doing in the past, maybe bail out the seventh," Valentine said. Keeping Bard, the former setup man to Jonathan Papelbon, in the rotation may be reconsidered when you have a bullpen that has had a 16.57 ERA over the last four games and was pelted for 14 earned runs Saturday. Valentine admitted there has been talk of sending Bard back to the pen, but he stays in the rotation. The Yankees don't have as many problems as they head to Texas. Even though their starters have struggled, in a big way, they have scored 28 runs during their three-game winning streak, 55 runs in their last seven games. Saturday, Mark Teixeira (two homers) and Nick Swisher (one) both drove in six runs. NOTES: Sabathia will work Monday night in Texas. That pushes Hiroki Kuroda back to a Tuesday matchup with fellow Japanese star Yu Darvish. ... The potent Rangers scored 24 runs in a two-game sweep of the Red Sox earlier last week. ... The Red Sox designated utility man Nate Spears for assignment to make room for Byrd, who was just 3-for-43 with 10 strikeouts with the Cubs, but is a .278 lifetime hitter. The Sox also placed outfielder Jason Repko (partial left shoulder separation) on the disabled list and recalled outfielder/first baseman Lars Anderson. ... Boston has lost five straight but David Ortiz is 8-for-16 in the last four games and is batting .436 in 14 games. ... The Yankees return to Boston Aug. 5-7 and Aug. 30-Sept. 1 and a day-night doubleheader is likely to be scheduled on one of those six days to make up for the rainout. ... The Red Sox are off to their second straight 4-10 start. ... The Yankee bullpen leads the American League with a 2.16 ERA. ... Kevin Youkilis, who left Saturday's game with a quad contusion, would have played for the Red Sox Sunday night. ... Boston is 11-30 in its last 41 games dating back to last September.
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