Red Sox reliever Jonathan Papelbon stopped in for a chat with the Mut & Merloni show Wednesday afternoon from Fenway Park as part of the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon.

Papelbon has combined with Daniel Bard to give the Red Sox a formidable end-of-the bullpen duo, and the closer is looking forward to continuing it after this season, assuming he re-signs with the Sox.

Red Sox outfielder Ryan Kalish will undergo season-ending surgery on Thursday to repair a bulging disk in the neck that is impinging a nerve, according to source.  The outfielder was placed on the DL last week due to a recurrence of soreness in his upper trapezius/neck region. He flew to Los Angeles this week to consult with orthopedist Dr. Robert Watkins, when the decision was made to have surgery. The planned surgery was then confirmed before Wednesday's game by skipper Terry Francona.

On Thursday, five years to the day after his diagnosis with anaplastic large cell lymphoma was announced by press release, Jon Lester will make a start against the Yankees at Fenway Park. The 27-year-old suggested that he found it difficult for the initial years following his diagnosis and treatment to be known as a cancer survivor, but that he has learned to embrace his experience and his ability to help others with it.

On the one hand, it is an event that no longer feels present. So much has happened in Jon Lester’s life over the last five years that the memory of being diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma, a rare, fast-spreading but highly treatable cancer of the lymph nodes, can seem distant.



Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli, who was criticized by Red Sox starter John Lackey for his excessive celebration in clapping while crossing home plate following a home run, suggested that he was not trying to show up the Sox with the gesture.

Things got heated in the seventh inning of the Sox' 5-2 loss to the Yankees on Tuesday when John Lackey hit Francisco Cervelli leading off the inning. Lackey said he wasn't trying to hit Cervelli, who had homered in his previous at-bat and celebrated with a clap as he crossed home plate. "I thought it was a little excessive, honestly," Lackey said. "But that's not a spot to handle something like that." 

Jarrod Saltalamacchia said he was sore, but X-rays revealed no further damage on his left forearm after he was hit by a Mariano Rivera pitch in the ninth inning of the Sox' 5-2 loss to the Yankees.

"It hit me right on the bone," Saltalamacchia said. "I had no way of getting out of it. I kind of turned into it and it hit me right on the bone. It stung pretty good, but we got X-rays and everything and was fine, so we'll just deal with the sore and stiffness for a couple of days." 

The Red Sox suffered just their third loss in 13 meetings with the Yankees, dropping a 5-2 decision to New York in the series-opener Tuesday night at Fenway Park. 

The Sox' downfall could be largely attributed to their inability to capitalize on baserunners, stranding 16 while going 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

Third baseman Will Middlebrooks, the consensus top prospect in the Red Sox system, will headline a group of six Boston prospects who play for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League. He will be joined by pitchers Jeremy Kehrt, Will Latimer and Brock Huntzinger, along with catcher Dan Butler and outfielder Alex Hassan.

Tim Wakefield, who is sitting 199 career wins, will make his next start against Toronto next week, while Andrew Miller, Erik Bedard and John Lackey -- in that order -- will start against Texas this weekend, Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.