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Beltre’s heroics go by the wayside

06.11.10 at 12:06 am ET
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CLEVELAND — It was supposed to be Adrian Beltre’s biggest moment as a Red Sox. Instead, the two-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning was relegated to an after-thought in what turned into an 8-7 win for the Indians, Thursday night at Progressive Field. (Click here for a recap.)

To set the scene …

With the Red Sox trailing by a run heading into the ninth, Cleveland closer Kerry Wood retired both Mike Lowell and Victor Martinez to begin the inning. The reliever then hit J.D. Drew in the foot on a 1-2 count with an 82 mph curveball to keep the Sox’ hopes alive. Beltre, who had faced Wood more than any other Indians pitcher (4-for-13), stepped up, working a 2-0 count.

“I was figuring after throwing two first-pitch fastballs I was figuring he would try and throw me a strike, 2-0,” Beltre explained. “I was looking for a fastball.”

Beltre got his pitch, which he described as being “middle-up” in terms of location, and launched it just over the left field wall for the go-ahead two-run homer.

“I thought it had enough,” said Beltre, who has six walk-off homers in his career. “The flag was kind of blowing in a little bit, but I thought it had enough, yes.”

Unfortunately for the third baseman and the Red Sox, the euphoria didn’t last long. Red Sox closer-for-the-day Daniel Bard would surrender a two-out, bases-loaded single to Russell Branyan, scoring the game-tying and winning run. The hit was just over the out-stretched glove of second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who was playing in shallow right field because of a shift.

It was doubly disappointing for the Sox because it appeared after Bard had loaded the bases with nobody out, he was going to get out of the jam, striking out Travis Hafner and getting Jhonny Peralta on a pop-up to catcher Victor Martinez.

“I thought we were going to come out of it,” Beltre said. “He threw a good pitch to Branyan and he put the bat on the ball, go jammed, and put it in a perfect spot. Like they say, it’s better to be lucky than good. He got the big hit right there with the good pitch.

“I felt when it left the bat it was going to be tough. My only hope was that he was playing a little deep because he was in the shift a little bit. I hoped he could get there but it wasn’t the case.”

New Englanders taken in MLB draft

06.10.10 at 7:17 pm ET
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Thirty-five players with New England ties were drafted in this week’€™s three-day, 50-round MLB draft. In total, 29 were college players while six came from the high school ranks. The Red Sox took three of the 35 New Englanders drafted. Below is a list of each player with ties to New England who was taken, with the Sox draftees in bold.

Round 2, Pick 49 (Rangers): Mike Olt, 3B, UConn, Branford, Conn.

Round 3, Pick 102 (Twins): Pat Dean, LHP, Boston College, Naugatuck, Conn.

Round 4, Pick 144 (Angels): Max Russell, LHP, Florida Southern, Amity, Conn.

Round 6, Pick 191 (Rays): Jesse Hahn, RHP, Virginia Tech, Groton, Conn.

Round 7, Pick 222 (Mariners): Mickey Wiswall, 1B, Boston College, Stoneham, Mass.

Round 9, Pick 278 (White Sox): Kevin Moran, RHP, Boston College, Yarmouthport, Mass.

Round 13, Pick 386 (Nationals): Christopher McKenzie, RHP, San Jacinto, Marian, Mass.

Round 13, Pick 391 (Diamondbacks): Kevin Ziomek, LHP, Amherst Regional HS (Mass.)

Round 13, Pick 400 (Cubs): Pierre LePage, 2B, UConn, Wolcott, Conn.

Round 13, Pick 405 (Twins): Ryan O’€™Rourke, LHP, Merrimack College, Worcester, Mass.

Round 14, Pick 445 (Yankees): Travis Dean, RHP, Newton South HS (Mass.)

Round 18, Pick 545 (Athletics): Jose Macias, RHP, Franklin Pierce

Round 22, Pick 670 (Cubs): Jeff Vigurs, C, Bryant University, South Windsor, Conn.

Round 26, Pick 792 (Mariners): Robert Anston, CF, Boston College Read the rest of this entry »

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Doctors: Ellsbury has rib fracture from dive

06.10.10 at 5:50 pm ET
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CLEVELAND — A joint statement from Red Sox Medical Director Dr. Tom Gill and Dr. Lewis Yocum said that Jacoby Ellsbury had suffered a new injury from his originally diagnosed cracked ribs. The medical team believes that the “non-displaced rib fracture and edema in the left posterior-axillary line” was a result of a dive made by Ellsbury in Philadelphia, May 23, one day after coming off the 15-day disabled list. Ellsbury played in just one game after the start in Philly.

The statement reads: ‘€œAn MRI of Jacoby’€™s thoracic spine and posterior rib area, recommended by us jointly, revealed a non-displaced rib fracture and edema in the left posterior-axillary line.  This fracture, which is in a different area than the initial fractures and which was not present on previous scans, is likely the result of a new injury which occurred when Jacoby dove and impacted the ground during his brief return to play.  Jacoby will require several weeks of rest and physical therapy.’€

Ellsbury will be sent to Athletes Performance in Phoenix, Arizona for the next few weeks to rehab, not participating in baseball activities at the outset. Ellsbury lives near the facility and works out at AP during the offseason.

Five Sox prospects named to Carolina League All-Star game

06.10.10 at 4:24 pm ET
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Five members of the Salem Red Sox were named to represent the High-A Carolina League. They are:

–RHP Brock Huntzinger (5-3, 3.14) — Huntzinger, a 2007 third-rounder, has held opponents to a .229 average, despite having only 31 strikeouts against 24 walks in 63 innings

–RHP Alex Wilson (2-1, 3.40) — Wilson was taken as a second-rounder in the 2009 draft. Opponents are hitting .212 against him (an excellent mark, even if short of the astounding .085 mark to which he held opponents at Lowell last year), and he has a 50-15 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 55 innings.

–C Ryan Lavarnway (.296/.393/.534) — Lavarnway led all Sox minor leaguers in homers a year ago with 21 bombs at Single-A Greenville, and he is once again pacing the organization’s power hitters this year with 13 homers.

–2B Oscar Tejeda (.324/.339/.518) — Tejeda has enjoyed a startling jump forward this year, driving the ball with more authority than ever before in his minor league career. The 20-year-old has already hit eight homers in 222 at-bats, matching his total from over 1,000 at-bats in the first three years of his minor league career.

–3B Will Middlebrooks (.299/.377/.456) — Though Middlebrooks has cooled in recent weeks, he, like Tejeda, has shown dramatic improvement this year. The 2007 sixth-rounder has shown dramatic improvement in his at-bats in High-A Salem, and while he has only four homers (thanks to a line drive swing), Sox officials believe that his size and bat speed will make him one of the better power-hitting prospects in the system.

For more on Lavarnway, Middlebrooks and Tejeda, click here.

For more on Wilson, click here.

Read More: alex wilson, brock huntzinger, oscar tejeda, ryan lavarnway

Red Sox draft picks: Rounds 31-50

06.10.10 at 4:12 pm ET
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On the third day of the MLB draft Wednesday, the Red Sox went catcher-heavy, drafting a total of five players at the backstop position over the draft’s final 20 rounds. They also leaned towards high school players, with 14 of those last 20 picks coming from the high school ranks. Below is a list of Boston picks from Rounds 31-50 with small tidbits about as many as we could gather information on.

Round 31, Pick 953: Dustin Renfroe, C, Copiah Academy (MS)

Ranked 299 in draft by Perfect Game USA

Committed to Meridian Community College

Round 32, Pick 983: Jordan Alexander, CF, Vista HS (CA)

Committed to UC Irvine

Round 33, Pick 1,013: Mark Donham, RHP, Jupiter Community HS (FL)

Experienced shoulder tendinitis during last season

Said to be choosing between pros and Samford College

Round 34, Pick 1,043: Michael Gleason, RHP, Cal St. Chico

Third-team All-American

Round 35, Pick 1,073: Joshua Riddle, SS, Western Hills HS (KY)

Round 36, Pick 1,103: Shane Rowland, C, Tampa Catholic HS (FL)

Father, Donnie, is director of international scouting for Yankees.

MLB Scouting Video

Round 37, Pick 1,133: Aaron Jones, C, San Clemente HS (CA)

Baseball Beginnings scouting report

Round 38, Pick 1,163: Thomas Bourbon, OF, Northwest Catholic HS (CT)

Signed to BC

Round 39, Pick 1,193: Nicholas Robinson, SS, North Central College

Batted .427 with 56 runs

Set team records with 76 hits and 178 at-bats last season Read the rest of this entry »

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Red Sox vs. Indians matchups, 6/10

06.10.10 at 2:02 pm ET
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Following one of their worst losses of the season, the Red Sox will send Jon Lester to the mound on Thursday night in an attempt to take three out of four games against the Indians. Mitch Talbot will counter for Cleveland, which received a complete-game shutout from Justin Masterson for its only win of the series in Wednesday night’€™s 11-0 blowout.

Since his last loss to the Rays on April 18 in which he allowed seven runs, Lester has performed like a completely different pitcher. In his nine starts since, he’€™s 7-0 with a 1.29 ERA while opponents are only batting .157 against him. Over Lester’€™s last three starts, he’€™s allowed only one run in 19 1/3 innings, including his most recent outing in which he pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings to earn a win against the Orioles.

For his career, when Lester is on the mound against the Tribe, the Red Sox have never lost, winning all six of his starts. He’€™s 3-0 with a 3.89 ERA overall against the Indians but has a 6.06 ERA in Cleveland. Lester’€™s last start against the Indians came on Oct. 1 of last season when he tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings, while punching out seven batters.

Mitch Talbot enters Thursday night’€™s game as the best Cleveland starter this season. He holds the lowest ERA and only winning record of any starter in the rotation. After beginning the season 3-1 with a 2.05 ERA in his first four starts, Talbot has gone 4-3 and seen his ERA rise to 3.54. In his last outing, he outdueled Jake Peavy and pitched seven innings while allowing only run to earn the win.

Though Talbot has never started against the Red Sox, he made a relief appearance on Sept. 15, 2008, when he was on Tampa Bay. Talbot allowed four runs, including two home runs, over three innings in a 13-5 Boston win. No Red Sox hitter has more than two career plate appearances against Talbot, with Kevin Youkilis enjoying the most success with a double and a home run.

Tonight’€™s matchup will be the final contest of Boston’€™s seven-game homestand before it continues interleague play with a three-game tilt against the Phillies on Friday. The Red Sox return home on June 22 when they face the Rockies. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Indians, Jon Lester, Mitch Talbot, Red Sox

Remy on D&C: Pedroia will ‘turn it around’

06.10.10 at 2:00 pm ET
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NESN Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy joined the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning for his weekly discussion about the Red Sox. He spoke about the recent struggles of Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz, the situation with Mike Lowell, as well who on the Boston roster could return next season.

‘€œI think [Adrian Beltre] is here for one year ,and if he has a big year, he’€™s looking for a big contract,’€ Remy said. ‘€œ[Jason] Varitek, he’€™s viable to come back. Ortiz, I’€™m not so sure. I think they’€™ll probably go out and try to find another DH, a younger guy. Lowell is gone and Victor Martinez is a big question mark.”

Remy also touched on Stephen Strasburg‘€™s impressive debut with the Nationals.

Below are the highlights of the interview. Visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page to hear the interview.

On Justin Masterson‘€™s performance:

He was pretty good last night. That’€™s what we saw a little bit here with the Red Sox. I still believe he’€™s better off in the bullpen than as a starter, but he sure had a great game last night. That power sinker he throws, he was throwing 95-96 all night long. He just got a lot of ground ball outs, he was really good. ‘€¦ Even though it was against the Red Sox, you’€™re happy for the kid because he’€™s one of the nicest kids you’€™re ever going to meet in your life. Everybody pulls for him, they really do. Even through his tough times, they say around here that he handled it with nothing but class and dignity, like we would expect for him.

On Dustin Pedroia:

I think he’€™ll turn it around. Watching his at-bats, they’€™re not bad at-bats. He’€™s making solid contact, he’€™s hitting the ball well, I think. I think right now he’€™s just running into some bad luck, and one thing I’€™ve learned is never count out Dustin Pedroia. He said it the first year, ‘€œWhen I get hot, I get hot.’€ I don’€™t worry about him. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Adrian Beltre, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Jason Varitek

Video: The Full Count Show

06.10.10 at 11:34 am ET
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Read More: mlb draft, Red Sox,

Ellsbury needs ‘a little bit more rest’

06.09.10 at 10:38 pm ET
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CLEVELAND — According to Red Sox manager Terry Francona the report from Dr. Lewis Yocum in regards to Jacoby Ellsbury’s injured ribs suggested “he needs a little bit more rest.” Francona couldn’t give the complete evaluation since he hadn’t gotten the opportunity to fully debrief with both Yocum and the team’s medical director, Dr. Thomas Gill.

“We want to talk through it,” Francona said. “I think Tom and Yocum have talked since I heard about it, but we’ll probably stay here a while and try to get some information tonight.” Ellsbury was in Los Angeles being examined by Yocum Wednesday. For more information on the Red Sox see the team page by clicking here.

Closing Time: Indians 11, Red Sox 0

06.09.10 at 9:49 pm ET
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CLEVELAND — Former Red Sox pitcher Justin Masterson turned in perhaps his best start as a major leaguer, allowing no runs on two hits over nine innings. The result was an 11-0 victory for the Indians, Wednesday night at Progressive Field. Masterson, who was 1-0 with a 2.92 ERA over his previous two starts, induced 17 ground ball outs to just three fly outs.

It was Masterson’s second career complete game, having pitched on in his last start of the 2009 season.

Masterson’s counterpart, Sox starter Clay Buchholz, didn’t pitch too poorly, but wasn’t as sharp as he had been in building a five-game win streak coming into the game. Buchholz finished his outing allowing three runs on four hits, walking four and striking just one one over seven innings. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, their relievers (Boof Bonser, Joe Nelson) combined to surrender eight runs in the eighth inning to put the game well out of reach.

The Red Sox, whose only two hits came from J.D. Drew and Victor Martinez, never got a baserunner to second base. (Click here for a complete recap.)

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX

– Masterson pitched.

– Clay Buchholz showed he was human. After winning each of his last five starts, and coming into Wednesday night having tossed 18 straight scoreless innings, Buchholz didn’t have the command he has had of late. The Red Sox starter only surrendered three runs, but did walk the four while throwing two key wild pitches. (The second wild pitch scored Jhonny Peralta with the Indians’ third run.) His strike total was 61 out of 107 pitches, the lowest number of strikes he had thrown since May 8.

– The left-handed approach didn’t pay off for the Red Sox. The Sox stacked their lineup with lefties against Masterson, who came into the game allowing left-handed hitters a .370 batting average, compared to the .246 clip against righties. The starter had also struck out right-handed hitters at a much higher rate, fanning 37 and walking 11, compared to a 18-to-22 ratio vs. left-handers.This time around, Masterson managed both sides of the plate, getting five of his six punch-outs against lefties (David Ortiz twice).

Dustin Pedroia continued to struggle. The Sox second baseman came into the game going 13-for-74 (.176) in his last 18 games. Wednesday he went 0-for-4 to lower his batting average to .249, his lowest since April 9.

– David Ortiz also has seen his bat stay silent, going hitless in three at-bats with the two strikeouts.Ortiz his now hitting .103 in June (3-for-29) after winning the American League Player of the Month through May. In regard to letting Ortiz find his way out the slump — and Mike Lowell’s lack of playing time (two starts in the last 18 games) — Terry Francona suggested a change of approach from the beginning of the season, when he was platooning Ortiz and Lowell more times than not.

“I think earlier in the season there were times where I was trying to make things reach and I think they weren’€™t reaching and it probably got in the way sometimes of guys swinging the bat better,” Francona said. “You try and keep everybody productive and you end up hurting everybody’€™s production, with the day’€™s off ‘€¦ We tell the guys, sometimes it’€™s not fair. But you have to do what you think is right.’€

– The bullpen was brutal. After Buchholz’ seven innings, Bonser made his first appearance for the Red Sox a forgettable one. The big right-hander allowed a four-pitch walk to Trevor Crowe, who promptly stole second, a single to Shin-Soo Choo, another walk, this one to Austin Kearns, and finally an RBI single to Russell Branyan. That was all for Bonser. Then it actually got worse for his replacement, Nelson. Nelson failed to retire any of the first five batters he faced — including Travis Hafner, who launched a grand slam — before inducing a 6-4-3 double play. Nelson finished his outing giving up four runs on five hits and three walks over the one inning.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX

– There were no significant injuries.

– They were able to rest Daniel Bard. As an aside, regular closer Jonathan Papelbon won’t be rejoining the team until it returns to Boston Friday. Papelbon is on bereavement leave, which allows the team a replacement for a minimum of three days and a maximum of seven.

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