"I have an idea who's going to be that guy in the … situation at the end," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said before the game. "It all depends how the game goes."
Cora brought Kimbrel into a non-save situation Tuesday, and he allowed a late two-run double to Mark Trumbo that cut the lead to 6-4. Kimbrel got out of it, though.
Cora said that because the bullpen was thin -- it pitched 8 2/3 innings as a unit in the first two games -- he wanted Kimbrel to finish it off. In fact, the skipper said Kimbrel actually could have been used in the ninth today, if needed.
The skipper was happy that Chris Sale went to the seventh (six innings plus two batters) and gave the bullpen a rest as it's likely to be a bit short when the Red Sox try to complete the series sweep. Brandon Workman and Justin Haley combined to finish the final three innings.
• Mookie Betts went through a normal routine Tuesday even though he did not play. He was activated from the disabled list Monday after being out since May 26 with a left abdominal strain. He was back in the lineup on Wednesday.
• Drew Pomeranz, on the disabled list with left biceps tendinits, still has a sore neck. Cora said they're hoping he improves after the Seattle trip.
• Dustin Pedroia (left knee inflammation) is making progress, according to Cora. However, they will be keeping him away from baseball activities for now.
Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com based in Baltimore.