The Boston Red Sox have struggled to stick near the .500 mark all season, but manager Bobby Valentine isn't writing off the possibility of a playoff berth.
"I think we're a playoff team and I think we're going to be there before the season is over," Valentine said Wednesday on WEEI Boston radio before the Red Sox lost 10-9 to the Texas Rangers.
The Red Sox entered the game with a 55-56 record and it was suggested to Valentine that a 34-17 record would be required the rest of the way to have a chance at the second wild-card spot.
"Yeah, of course," Valentine said. "Of course, we can do better than that."
The Red Sox could get some help during the next few days with the return of designated hitter David Ortiz.
He has been on the disabled list since July 16 because of a right Achilles strain.
"I'm good, I'm good," Ortiz said Wednesday after running the bases and taking indoor batting practice.
The Red Sox made a roster move Wednesday, placing right-handed pitcher Vicente Padilla on the 15-day disabled list because of tightness in his right arm.
The 34-year-old reliever is 4-1 with a 4.62 earned-run average this season. The Red Sox recalled right-handed pitcher Clayton Mortensen from triple-A Pawtucket.
CABRERA CONTRACT TALKS OFF
Melky Cabrera is having such a fine season he is no longer talking contract with the San Francisco Giants, CBSSports.com reports.
The 28-year-old outfielder, who entered play Wednesday night with a .353 average, 11 home runs and 56 RBI, could become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
The Giants obtained him in an off-season trade with the Kansas City Royals for pitcher Jonathan Sanchez.
YANKS LEFT TUNES UP
Bullpen help could be on the way next month for the New York Yankees.
Reliever Pedro Feliciano, formerly a workhorse for the New York Mets, has been throwing batting practice after seemingly recovering from surgery for a torn rotator cuff.
The 35-year-old left-hander could begin a rehab assignment soon, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told New York Newsday. Feliciano hasn't pitched in the majors since 2010 because of the shoulder woes.
Feliciano made more than 85 appearances in each of the 2008, 2009 and 2010 seasons with the Mets.
Cleveland Indians Travis Hafner was scheduled to have an MRI Wednesday because of a stiff back that has sidelined him for the past three games. The 35-year-old has a .239 average with 11 homers and 32 RBI this season. Hafner missed part of May and all of June because of surgery on his right knee ... The Texas Rangers have placed catcher Yorvit Torrealba on waivers for the purpose of giving him his unconditional release. Torrealba, 34, will become a free agent Friday if he is not claimed. He hit .236 with three home runs and 12 RBI over 45 games for the Rangers this season.