BOSTON (AP) _ The Boston Red Sox purchased the contract of infielder Lou Merloni from Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday and placed Izzy Alcantara on the 15-day disabled list with a strained lower back.

Merloni played for the Red Sox in 1999, hitting .254 with one homer and 13 RBIs. He signed with the Yokohama BayStars of Japan's Central League in the offseason, but asked for his release because he wasn't playing regularly.

Alcantara had 11 hits in 37 at-bats for the Red Sox, but has been in manager Jimy Williams' doghouse after failing to hustle on several plays.