BOSTON (AP) -The flu is about the only thing that can slow the Red Sox lately.
Boston, which has won five straight games and nine of 10 entering Tuesday's game against the Los Angeles Angels, were without reliever Manny Delcarmen and catcher Jason Varitek.
Delcarmen changed out of his uniform and into street clothes and went home about an hour before the game started. Varitek, who appeared weak while walking around the clubhouse, was also expected to be sidelined with the flu.
``I hope I don't get it like Tek,'' Delcarmen said. ``Tek is really bad right now. I'm going home.''
Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Varitek would be unavailable, too.
``He came in,'' he said. ``We're getting him out of here.''
During his pregame meeting with the media, Francona said second baseman Dustin Pedroia was the backup to Tuesday's starting catcher Kevin Cash.
``Everybody who has always volunteered, (Alex) Cora or (Mike) Lowell, guys who say they can do it, are on the DL,'' Francona said. ``Pedroia was next in line and, at this point, as soon as somebody tells you they can do it, that's good enough. Honestly, the only way we'd ever do it is if something happened to (Kevin) Cash. We're not going to pinch-hit or pinch-run, and as long as someone can go back there and not get hurt and catch it, that's what you look for.''
Third basemen Lowell was placed on the 15-day DL April 10 with a sprained right thumb. Cora, a utility infielder, went on April 16 with a sprained right elbow.
``At least I have an idea if something happens,'' Pedroia said before the game. ``I think the last time I did was in high school.''
When asked if he'd call for fastball from hard-throwing closer Jonathan Papelbon, Pedroia joked: ``I might chase it to the backstop, though.''

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