|Embree gets his work in at Pawtucket||04.08.10 at 9:38 pm ET|
The Alan Embree comeback story continued Thursday night, as the 40-year-old left-hander got in a solid inning of work for the Pawtucket Red Sox against the Rochester Red Wings in the season-opener for the Red Sox Triple-A affiliate.
Embree came on in relief in the top of the sixth inning and was immediately greeted by a hard grounder at his right leg off the bat of Rochester right fielder Brian Dinkleman. Embree’s 2009 season ended last July when he broke his tibia after being struck in that same leg by a line drive off the bat of Atlanta Brave Martin Prado, but he fielded this one cleanly and made the out at first.
Embree was helped by an outstanding defensive play in center by Josh Reddick, who ran down a long fly ball off the bat of Trevor Plouffe and made the grab on the warning track. In all, Embree wasn’t making anyone miss and the Red Wings hit the ball hard, but he kept the PawSox’ 7-3 lead intact despite a walk with one down in the inning. He needed just 10 pitches to get out of the inning.
“I was working on my four-seam fastball today and I didn’t have to use anything else,” Embree said.
“Embree was attacking the strike zone with a pretty good fastball,” PawSox manager Torey Lovullo added. “He is just coming off a big injury, so for him to get out there and get his timing and get his rhythm, it was pretty good to watch.”
Embree’s fastball was in the 90-94 mph range on the night as he looked to be loose in just his third week back on the mound. The lefty came back to Boston on a minor league deal on March 20 and appeared to be rusty in his three spring training appearances. If Embree is not added to the big league roster by April 15, he said that he will search for another opportunity.
“They only have me until the 15th, so that is the timetable,” he said. “There are 29 other baseball teams out there that are probably looking for relief help. The goal is on the 15th to sit there and go, ‘OK, I am going to Boston.’ But if that is not the case, I have to think about the rest of the season as well.”
Embree said he is not keeping tabs on the big league relief corps, including Scott Schoeneweis, the lefty specialist in the Sox bullpen who has gone 1-2/3 innings and allowed one earned run in his two appearances so far this season.
“It is one of those things where if I do what I am supposed to do down here, I will either be able to help the Red Sox or I will help another team or I will go home,” Embree said. “I don’t look at it as a competition with anybody. If I just do what I am capable of doing I will be fine.”
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