CINCINNATI -- Red Sox manager John Farrell had to put together a revised lineup on Saturday that excluded two of his best players.
Right fielder Mookie Betts was scratched a couple of hours before game time due to a left foot contusion sustained when he fouled a ball off his foot on Friday. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia had to rest his troublesome left knee.
With a four-game lead in the American League East entering Saturday, Farrell is trying to whittle down the magic number while also making sure his team gets to the postseason with his best players in the best health possible.
While the Red Sox have a schedule for Pedroia with off-days mapped out, Saturday was not supposed to be one of them.
"After coming out of the game last night, there was some increase in the symptoms, and we've adjusted with today's lineup," said Farrell. "The thing with Pedey is we have to get the best plan of how we get him in the best position to be as fresh as possible, provided we go to that next level. Nothing is taken for granted, nothing is achieved as of yet, but we've got to do what's best for him and put his knee in the best position from a health standpoint for him to be the best player right now possible."
The Red Sox provided as much time as possible on Saturday to see if Betts could give it a go.
"He was hindered by it last night in the second half of that game. Woke up a little bit more sore," said Farrell. "Went through treatment. Came out, tried to run him to get some activity, but felt it was best to give him a day to fully recover and get some additional treatment."
• The Red Sox will have a better idea of how close Eduardo Nunez (right knee) is to a return when he runs the bases before Sunday's game. Nunez hasn't played since Sept. 9.
• After a solid relief outing (2 2/3 scoreless innings) by David Price on Friday, Farrell expects the lefty to be out of action for the next three days and be available again on Tuesday.
"I almost look at it like, for every inning, or every up and down, or inning started, you look at needing that many days of rest, up to five, that he would be accustomed to," Farrell said. "I thought last night, he had good stuff once again. In fact he jumps up almost twice the number of pitches as his previous outing. It started to show a little bit I thought, but that's to be fully expected in terms of the stamina and duration of an outing right now."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.