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Beltre MRI turns out ‘pretty good’

07.15.10 at 5:38 pm ET

Adrian Beltre had an MRI on his sore left hamstring and manager Terry Francona said the preliminary findings were “pretty good” but decided to hold him out of the starting lineup against the Texas Rangers on Thursday night at Fenway Park. Francona replaced Beltre with Bill Hall at third base for Thursday’s four-game series opener.

“I wasn’t real comfortable playing him tonight,” Francona said. “Hopefully, he’ll go out move around, maybe be available to pinch-hit, play [Friday], that would be, for me, best case. I just think with the travel, I just didn’t have a real good feeling running him out there. Just knowing the way he plays, I didn’t want him hurting himself.”

Beltre said he felt a cramp in his left hamstring that forced him from Sunday’s game in Toronto. General manager Theo Epstein said on Wednesday he didn’t anticipate Beltre winding up on the disabled list.

Victor Martinez told Francona that his left thumb is ‘€œfeeling a little bit better’€ and he is getting an exam on Thursday night.

Dustin Pedroia will get his broken left foot looked at noon on Friday and Jason Varitek will have his broken right foot examined at 12:30.

Mike Lowell [strained right hip] went out early Thursday and ‘€œtook some ground balls, [hit] some balls off the tee and in the cage,’€ Francona said. ‘€œHe actually felt pretty good. We’€™re going to start ramping him back up, too.’€

‘€œA little bit,’€ Francona said of the relaxation he got during his All-Star break. ‘€œI don’€™t know if I ever can quite get away but you try to use it to your advantage. I got away for a couple of days and again, there was a lot going on that we needed to stay in touch with but when there’€™s not a game hanging over your head, it’€™s a little easier to relax a little bit.”

One form of relaxation for Francona is to lose himself in a mystery. He began the book ‘€œStorm Prey’€ – a Lucas Davenport thriller in a series of novels by Davenport.

“I read about a half a book,” Francona said. “I guarantee you that book will be right there half-read when the season is over. I’€™ll read it in the winter.’€

Read More: Adrian Beltre, left hamstring, Lucas Davenport, Michael Young
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