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Red Sox remember last year’s Boston Marathon tragedy in moving pregame ceremony

04.20.14 at 7:39 pm ET
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The scene at Fenway Park during the National Anthem following their pregame ceremony paying tribute to last year's Boston Marathon. (WEEI.com)

This was the scene at Fenway Park during the national anthem following the Red Sox‘ pregame ceremony paying tribute to last year’s Boston Marathon. (WEEI.com)

On the eve of the 118th Boston Marathon, prior to their game against the Orioles, the Red Sox recognized last year’s Boston Marathon bombing victims and heroes in a moving and emotional pregame ceremony.

Following a video montage showing how far many of the survivors have come and how much support the city has received, the UMass marching band played “Highland Cathedral” to remember Krystle Campbell, Martin Richard, Lingzi Lu and MIT officer Sean Collier as well as to honor the first responders and medical personnel with police, doctors and nurses joining the band on the field.

Following them onto the field were some of the survivors, led by Jeff Bauman and Carlos Arredondo appearing from left field all wearing “Boston” jerseys. Finally, led by Dick and Rick Hoyt, runners ran toward the infield from center field, joining the half circle formed along the infield.

Lining the outfield warning track during the ceremony were canvases bearing inscriptions of good will from all 50 United States, along with all Major League Baseball teams and members of Congress.

The first pitch was thrown by One Fund President Jim Gallagher to David Ortiz, as prominent government officials including Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and former Boston Mayor Tom Menino stood behind.

The ceremony concluded with the Red Sox and Orioles lining the first and third base lines, joining the marching band and the Boston Pipers Society as well as the fans at Fenway Park in the singing of the national anthem.

It was just the latest in what the Red Sox have done in wake of last year’s tragic event.

Read More: Boston Marathon, Red Sox,

Red Sox pregame notes: Red Sox prepared for quick turnaround between Sunday night and Monday morning

04.20.14 at 5:51 pm ET
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Win or lose Sunday night, it is unlikely that the Red Sox get a good night’€™s sleep.

With Sunday’€™s game starting at 7 p.m. and Marathon Monday’€™s beginning at 11:05 a.m., there will not be much of a turnaround between games. Farrell insisted that the team will not be looking ahead to Monday heading into Sunday night’€™s game, but he did not hide that the schedule is an inconvenience to the team.

“[Pre-game warmups] will be abbreviated tomorrow,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “Any work that we would do hitting-wise will be done in the cage.

“Marathon Monday is the traditional start time, but this is the first time coming off a night game. We are thankful for ESPN on most occasions, but we have to deal with the schedule given to us.”

The game before the 11 a.m. start is typically a day game in which the Red Sox have done well in recent years, as they have won eight out of their last nine pre-Marathon Monday contests. Boston has not lost the game before Marathon Monday since 2010, when it fell 7-1 to the Rays.

This year’€™s short break between games represents a new challenge though, and it is one that comes at a bad time early in the season. After all, the Red Sox have struggled out of the gate and are currently last in the AL East. The minimal rest comes right before nine games in 10 days against more division opponents, including the Yankees starting Tuesday.


- Shane Victorino (hamstring) will be making at two more rehab appearances with Pawtucket before the team reassesses his status on Tuesday. During those two games, Farrell said the team is looking for him to get four at-bats Monday and play nine innings on Tuesday. Victorino went 0-for-3 Saturday in his first rehab game.

As for the corresponding roster move when he returns, that remains a discussion in the works.

“€œ[Conversations about a roster move] have been ongoing,” Farrell said. “They are not going to initiate once he is getting ready to come back. We have looked at every available combination of outfielders.”€

- Will Middlebrooks (calf) will be joining Victorino in Pawtucket Monday as he works toward his return from the DL. His tentative schedule is to be playing Monday, Wednesday and Thursday before the team re-evaluates his status.

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Read More: mike napoli, Red Sox, Shane Victorino, Will Middlebrooks

Red Sox lineup: Grady Sizemore starts three consecutive days for first time this season

04.20.14 at 3:15 pm ET
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Grady Sizemore will make his third straight start for first time this season. (AP)

Grady Sizemore will make his third straight start in three straight days for first time this season. (AP)

Grady Sizemore will do something Sunday night he hasn’t done all season long — start three straight games in three straight days.

The Red Sox outfielder had played in three straight games until this point, but never started in all three on three consecutive days as the outfielder comes back from missing two full seasons. He will hit lead off against the Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez. When hitting first this season, Sizemore has a line of: .115/.148/.115.

After getting ten straight starts in center field Jackie Bradley Jr. will get the night off as the Sox will go with Sizemore in center, Jonny Gomes in left and Daniel Nava in right. Xander Bogaerts also returns to the lineup after sitting out his first game of the season on Saturday.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:

Grady Sizemore, CF

Dustin Pedroia, 2B

David Ortiz, DH

Mike Napoli, 1B

Jonny Gomes, LF

Daniel Nava, RF

Xander Bogaerts, SS

A.J. Pierzynski, C

Brock Holt, 3B

Jake Peavy, P

For a complete look at the matchups, click here.

Read More: grady sizemore, Red Sox,

Sunday’s Red Sox-Orioles matchups: Jake Peavy vs. Ubaldo Jimenez

04.20.14 at 9:37 am ET
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The Red Sox will host the Orioles on Sunday night looking to take a win from their divisional rivals by sending Jake Peavy to the mound against Ubaldo Jimenez.

Peavy is the only Red Sox starting pitcher without a win or loss, despite pitching well. In his three starts this season, Peavy has posted a 1.93 ERA and a 1.179 WHIP while striking out 20 and walking 10.

The 32-year-old’€™s last start came on April 15 against his former team, the White Sox. Peavy went six innings that day, giving up one run on a home run. The Red Sox lost the game in the bottom of the ninth inning, 2-1. The game was noted for being particularly cold, averaging around 40 degrees throughout.

“We battled through six, gave us a chance to win,”€ Peavy said after the game. “€œThat’s what I’m trying to do on my fifth day”

Peavy has made three starts against the Orioles, going 2-0 in those games. His first start against them came in 2007, when he pitched six innings and gave up three runs on six hits, striking out seven and walking two. It wouldn’t be until 2012 when Peavy faced the Orioles again, this time pitching seven innings and allowing one run on four hits. Both games were wins. His last start against the Orioles came in 2013 when he went seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits, striking out eight and walking one.

Jimenez has struggled in 2014, going 0-3 with a 7.31 ERA and a 2.063 WHIP. His last start came against the Blue Jays on April 13, when he went 5 1/3 innings and surrendered five runs on 10 hits and two home runs while walking two and striking out three.

The 30-year-old has struggled against the Red Sox in five career starts, going 1-3 with a 10.27 ERA. His worst game came last year when he only last 1 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs and five walks. Jimenez faced the Red Sox this year, his season debut on April 2, pitching six innings and allowing four runs on five hits and two home runs.

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Read More: Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, jake peavy, ubaldo jimenez

Red Sox minor league roundup: Is Mookie Betts top Red Sox prospect?; return of Anthony Ranaudo; Shane Victorino’s rehab begins

04.20.14 at 8:42 am ET
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Mookie Betts leads all of the minors in batting average with a .453 mark. (John Corneau/Lowell Spinners)

Mookie Betts leads all of the minors in batting average with a .453 mark. (John Corneau/Lowell Spinners)

Feats of Mookie: Defying superlatives.

Mookie Betts recovered from his two-game slump — a doubleheader on Friday in which he went 1-for-4 in both contests — by reasserting himself as an unstoppable force for Double-A Portland. The 21-year-old went 4-for-5, launching his second homer of the season in his final at-bat of the night, for his second four-hit game of the year and his sixth in his professional career (all of which have come in the last 12 months). In the process, he reclaimed the minor league lead in batting average (.453). He also leads the Eastern League in OBP (.492) and ranks third in slugging (.717).

Entering this season, there was some question as to whether Betts’ extraordinary breakout season of 2013 was real or a mirage. The contrast between his first two pro seasons — a 2012 campaign where he spent all year in Short-Season Lowell, hitting .267/.352/.307 with no homers and nine extra-base hits in 71 games, compared to a 2013 season where he tore through Single-A Greenville and earned a promotion to High-A Salem, getting better along the way en route to a combined .314/.417/.506 line with 15 homers, 55 extra-base hits and 38 steals in 127 games — created some pause about how highly he should be regarded in the Red Sox prospect rankings. Plenty of tools — bat speed, excellent plate discipline and hand-eye coordination, some power, quick-twitch athleticism that lent itself to both strong defensive range and great jumps as a baserunner — were on display, but it was hard to ignore the idea that his year might, just might, be a one-hit wonder that he might never match.

His start to the 2014 season, against a higher level of competition in Double-A, suggests that his performance of a year ago was no mere illusion. Obviously, his willingness to conjure a couple weeks of Nintendo numbers is unsustainable, particularly given his obscenely high batting average on balls in play (though it is worth noting that Betts may well be in possession of The Force, permitting him to bend the wills of weaker-minded opponents in a fashion that permits him to steer opposing defenders away from anything with which he makes contact and thus to sustain unusually high BABIPs). Nonetheless, the tools that proved so fascinating last year remain on full display this year, as Betts continues to show the ability to transform games in numerous ways.

And so, it is worth asking: Where does Betts rank right now among Red Sox prospects, at a time when he is laying waste to a league in which he is one of the youngest position players, someone who would be amidst his junior year of college had he not signed with the Sox out of high school? Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: alex wilson, anthony ranaudo, blake swihart, jackie bradley jr.

Xander Bogaerts reflects on why he sat this one out

04.19.14 at 11:10 pm ET
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Xander Bogaerts. (AP)

Xander Bogaerts. (AP)

It was another first for Xander Bogaerts: a day off.

The Red Sox shortstop wasn’t in the lineup for the Red Sox’ 4-2 win over the Orioles Saturday afternoon. While it was an understandable respite, Bogaerts hinted at an ailment that might have finally pushed him to the bench.

“I felt fine. I was starting to swing the bat pretty good lately. The day off is just to get some rest and let my body recover,” he said. “I mean I got hit twice in Chicago.”

What Bogaerts was referring to were two separate occasions in Chicago, when he was plunked in both the left and right calves.

While he wouldn’t use the injuries as an excuse, the sore legs might have contributed to the shortstop’s defensive issues of late.

“I like to play every day. I really don’t like days off. But especially with those two hit by pitches, it’s been tough,” Bogaerts said. “Hopefully I’ll be in there tomorrow.

“I wouldn’t blame (defensive issues) on that, but a bit, a little bit. You get sore down there and your legs are your most important part. I should have reached some of the balls I would have reached if I had everything set.”

Bogaerts said of the two hit-by-pitches, the first, coming in the Red Sox’ series opener against the Whit Sox, was the worst, hitting just above his left ankle.

“Really during the game you don’t feel it that much,” he explained, “but after the game, that’s when it starts kick in.”

Offensively, Bogaerts has been one of the Red Sox’ most consistent performers, carrying a team-best .411 on-base percentage while claiming hits in all but five of his 17 games. Starting in his place Saturday was Jonathan Herrera, who came through in the seventh inning with a run-scoring bunt single.

“All the games are really important, especially with how we started so far,” he said. “We need to pick back up and get back on the right track. It’s good to watch the game and get a win.”

David Ross on bench-clearing dust-up: ‘I probably shouldn’t have yelled at the pitcher’

04.19.14 at 5:46 pm ET
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The moment spiced things up for a moment, but that was about it.

When both benches cleared in the Red Sox‘€™ 4-2 win over the Orioles Saturday afternoon, it sent a buzz through the Fenway Park crowd. The game was still tied at the moment, Mike Carp was at first base with nobody out and David Ross was the hitter.

After three pitches from Bud Norris flew up and in to the Red Sox catcher –€“ who was attempting a sacrifice bunt on each offering — Ross took exception, yelling out at the Orioles pitcher. Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters and Ross proceeded to get in one another’€™s face, leading to the brouhaha.

But after the game, it was thought (at least in the Red Sox clubhouse) to be much to do about nothing.

“I think the guy at the time he kind of lost control of the strike zone a little bit. A couple pitches got away from him,” said Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz. “It’€™s a lot of adrenaline going on at the same time and my boy Rossy. He’€™s always a little hyper. The good thing is nothing happened; we stayed right there. The situation could have gotten worse. It happens. It’€™s part of the game.”

Said manager John Farrell: “There were three pitches that I think got away from Norris that ended up close to the head. I think that’€™s where the location of pitches that close up and in is where it might draw some reaction, which obviously it did. I’€™m not surprised we’€™re going to support and have each other’€™s back on the fight. Nothing really escalated from it but just a competitive moment.”

Ross went on to explain why he had the continued reaction he did, getting in the face of Wieters.

“Yeah, I was telling him where I was at, and he was telling me where he was at,” Ross said. “I definitely don’€™t think it was on purpose, just a natural reaction, three balls at my head. I probably shouldn’t have yelled at the pitcher.”

Added Ross: “I think I’€™m sensitive to balls around my dome after having two concussions last year and missing two months. That may have been part of it. I think looking back, I’€™m usually not a guy who does that too often, but balls at my head — plus it was tough to see, late in the ballgame with the shadows. I think all that stuff, trying to get down the bunt probably played into it. We’€™ll turn the page and get after them tomorrow and try to win.”

Ross would ultimately strikeout, but Brock Holt ended up picking the catcher up by launching a run-scoring triple into the right-center gap on the very next at-bat.

Read More: David Ross,
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