NEW YORK -- Although Junichi Tazawa has struggled as the Red Sox's primary setup man, the team has gotten a highly underrated season from lefty Craig Breslow.
In some ways, it's not surprising that Breslow's solid season has gone unnoticed. He's always had a way of blending in.
"I think one thing I pride myself on and strive for is consistency," Breslow said. "I'm not only going to post the gaudiest numbers, but I like to think that going into the game, the guys know what to expect."
In 52 games this season, Breslow has a 2.12 ERA and a .241 opponents' batting average.
Breslow has proved that he's a lot more than a lefty specialist.
"I think what I try to bring is a sense of stability and reliability, and I've spent the better part of my career debunking this notion that I can only face lefties," Breslow said. "I think I said it the other day, where my season kind of follows this predictable path where it's like early on, I just face lefties. And as I start to get them out more readily and start to face some righties, I get to do this more and more and then I get to pitch a full inning. But it seems like every Opening Day, we start this process over again."
Bradley resurfaces in Bronx, starts in center
NEW YORK -- Jackie Bradley Jr. resurfaced in the Red Sox's clubhouse on Saturday morning and was immediately inserted into the starting lineup to help fill the void for the injured Jacoby Ellsbury.
Back in Spring Training, Bradley was a big storyline. But he faded a bit after an early slump with the Red Sox before having a solid season at Triple-A Pawtucket.
"I feel good," said Bradley, who is ranked Boston's No. 2 prospect. "My body's strong. It's holding up great. I've been fortunate enough to not have to deal with any injuries, so to speak. It feels good."
In 80 games at Pawtucket, Bradley hit .275 with 10 homers and 35 RBIs while compiling an .842 OPS.
"Being the type of person I am, I constantly want to get better and look for things that you can get better in and focus on those things and continue to get better," said Bradley.
Though Bradley was in the midst of a playoff series with Pawtucket, he was more excited to join the Red Sox in the middle of a pennant race.
"I sure hope it's beneficial," said Bradley. "I just take it like any other game. You can't put any magnification on it. ... It's the same game whether it's the playoffs or the regular season. Go out there and give it your all and do your best."
Uehara's 'perfect' feat team record
NEW YORK -- How rare is it that Red Sox closer Koji Uehara has retired 27 consecutive batters dating back to Aug. 17?
The right-hander is the first reliever in team history to pull off the feat, topping lefty Tom Burgmeier's previous record in 1980.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen retired 27 straight batters from July 23-Aug. 8 this season.
The last reliever to retire more than 27 batters in a row was the Giants' Sergio Romo, who got 31 consecutive hitters out from July 4-Aug. 6, 2011.
Uehara has gone 27 innings without allowing a run, his longest streak in either the Majors or Japan.
• At this time last year, there was much talk about the disconnect between manager Bobby Valentine, his coaches and the players. This year, there is nothing but cohesion with John Farrell and his staff. While Farrell has been mentioned in many circles as the top candidate for the American League's Manager of the Year Award, he emphasizes how key his coaches have been to the team's success.
"Maybe to the public they're behind the scenes, but to our guys, they're in the forefront," Farrell said. "We're fortunate to have a group of guys on our staff that are selfless and that are extremely prepared and are as much a part of the success. … This is about the players -- it always will be.
"At the same time, we've got guys who spend an incredible amount of time here with each and every one of the players. And the sacrifices they make, they probably don't get enough credit for the work that they've done. The unity, the camaraderie, the working relationship, I couldn't be more happy with the way that continues to grow. They've grown, because they've probably gotten to know the players better as well. We're able to better put them in position to succeed."
• Clay Buchholz was still in the process of traveling to New York before Saturday's game, and Farrell will probably wait until Sunday to announce when the righty will slot back into the rotation. Ryan Dempster or Felix Doubront will likely come out of the rotation.
• The Red Sox hoped catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia would return on Saturday, but he was out for a fourth straight game with back woes. Ryan Lavarnway started the day game after the night game. Saltalamacchia could return Sunday.