Red Sox Taking It Easy With Veteran Smoltz

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CLEVELAND (AP) - John Smoltz, recovering from shoulder surgery last June, will not throw batting practice Thursday, Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.

"I just think it's in his best interest to slow down for a week," Francona said after the Red Sox beat Cleveland 6-5 in 10 innings Wednesday night. "That's the best way I can put it."

Smoltz, who signed with Boston in January after 20 years with Atlanta, will not travel to the team's spring training facility in Fort Myers, Fla. He is scheduled to rejoin the Red Sox on May 6, when they return home from their current nine-game road trip.

"He's been grinding pretty hard," Francona said. "Let's let him take a week of strengthening, a little rest from the throwing and I think he'll be better for it."