Justin Masterson filled in for an injured Daisuke Matsuzaka and beat the Orioles with 5.1 innings of one-run ball Monday, and the Red Sox also learned that their great depth will be tested even further. Rocco Baldelli was quickly placed on the disabled list after leaving the game with a hamstring injury and reports surfaced during the afternoon that Jed Lowrie will undergo surgery on his injured wrist.
Nothing official has been announced yet, but Lowrie is expected to miss at least six weeks and potentially the remainder of the first half. However, that actually qualifies as somewhat good news given that the Red Sox feared he might be lost for the year. Instead they'll continue to go with Nick Green in the short term while hoping that Julio Lugo is reasonably close to returning from knee surgery.
Lugo hasn't played since last July, but is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A this week after saying Monday that he's about "80 percent" healthy at this point. Lugo has hit just .247/.314/.343 in two years with Boston, but Lowrie's injury clears the path for him to emerge with solid value in AL-only leagues. Even if he continues to be a minus offensively, Lugo still has 20-steal speed.
While the Red Sox celebrate Big Papi's annual triple, here are some other notes from around baseball …
* Jordan Zimmermann won his MLB debut Monday, predictably flashing excellent command while throwing just 72 pitches over six innings of two-run ball against the Braves. He struck out three and walked one while allowing a two-run homer to Matt Diaz for the only damage, and probably would have stayed in for at least another inning if not for a rain delay. He'll face the Reds in his next start.
* Brian McCann sat out his second straight game Monday due to blurred vision in his left eye and is scheduled to be examined Tuesday by a specialist. McCann hasn't been placed on the disabled list yet and actually remains available off the bench as a pinch-hitter, but clearly the Braves have grown very concerned about his status. David Ross will pick up starts in McCann's place and has some pop.
* Andrew Miller again struggled to throw strikes Monday night, allowing four runs without making it out of the fifth inning, and was placed on the disabled list after the game with a strained right oblique. Burke Badenhop is slated to take his spot in the rotation beginning Saturday and may be a short-term upgrade, but doesn't offer much fantasy upside thanks to a poor strikeout rate and being 26 years old.
AL Quick Hits: Alex Rodriguez took 75 batting practice swings Monday and said afterward that his surgically repaired hip "feels good" … B.J. Upton is listed as day-to-day after leaving Sunday's game with a strained quadriceps … Thanks to Monday's rainout, the Yankees will skip Chien-Ming Wang and his 34.50 ERA in the next turn through the rotation … Minnesota put top setup man Jesse Crain on the disabled list Monday with a sore shoulder and called up Jose Mijares from Triple-A … Dustin Pedroia went 4-for-6 with three RBIs and three runs Monday as the Red Sox completed a four-game sweep of the Orioles … Called up from Triple-A last week, Radhames Liz allowed 10 runs in 1.1 innings over two games and was sent back down Monday with his career at 7.50 … General manager Brian Cashman revealed Monday that Hideki Matsui had fluid drained from his surgically repaired knee last week.
NL Quick Hits: Joel Hanrahan had blown consecutive saves, but manager Manny Acta said Monday that he'd retain ninth-inning duties and he closed out a 3-2 win over the Braves a few hours later … As expected, Franklin Morales has rejoined the Rockies and will be added to the roster in time to start Tuesday against the Diamondbacks … Ryan Doumit sat out Monday's game and is day-to-day with a sore right wrist … According to manager Ken Macha, Trevor Hoffman (oblique) is scheduled to come off the disabled list Sunday … Nate McLouth was 2-for-4 with a homer, four RBIs, and a stolen base Monday and has recovered nicely from a slow start … Wily Mo Pena and the Mets have agreed to a minor-league contract and he'll start out at Triple-A … Ross Ohlendorf handed the Marlins their second loss in 13 games with seven shutout innings Monday … Out since Thursday with an abdominal strain, Yunel Escobar rejoined the lineup Monday and was 0-for-4.