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Mike Napoli’s bent finger turns out to be just dislocated, not broken

04.16.14 at 12:44 am ET
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The Red Sox seemingly escaped another potential huge setback when it was determined Mike Napoli‘€™s left ring finger was dislocated and not broken.

Napoli hurt the finger sliding head first into second base while advancing on a wild pitch in the ninth inning of what would be a 2-1 Red Sox loss to the White Sox in Chicago.

“It’€™s not broke,” he told reporters. “I can play with some soreness. We’€™ll see how it feels tomorrow.

He added, “I saw my finger sideways. The first thing I thought was, I don’€™t really know what to think. But I’ve seen people with dislocated fingers before. They pop it back in, be sore.”

At the time, it appeared as though Napoli had made an important baserunning decision, getting into scoring position with the game tied at 1-1. He would immediately be pinch run for by Dustin Pedroia, who was stranded after a Mike Carp ground out.

“Good dirt ball read like that, I mean, God dang,” Napoli said. “I was digging myself. I look at my finger, frigging sideways. But it’€™s good news it’€™s not broken.”

Napoli also told reporters, “I know I hit the bag pretty hard and I looked down and it was right there in front of my face. [Umpire] Jim Joyce was going, ‘€˜Oh my God!’€™ and calling for the trainer. It’€™ll be all right.”

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Closing Time: Xander Bogaerts’ throwing error hands White Sox win over Red Sox

04.15.14 at 11:54 pm ET
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A cold night got much colder by the end of the evening for the Red Sox.

With two outs in the ninth inning, Xander Bogaerts one-hopped what appeared to be a routine throw to first on a Marcus Semien grounder. First baseman Mike Carp failed to dig the ball out, allowing Alexei Ramirez to score the winning run all the way from second, handing the White Sox a 2-1 win over the Red Sox on a frigid Tuesday night in Chicago.

“Yeah, I mean, cold weather, but that’€™s no excuse for that play,” Bogaerts told reporters. “That’€™s  a ball I should’ve thrown right in the chest to him, or more in the zone.”

The final pitch was thrown by reliever Chris Capuano, who appeared to have struck out Semien the pitch before on a checked swing on a 2-2 fastball. The Red Sox lefty had come on with one out and Ramirez on first, with Burke Badenhop having allowed a single to the White Sox shortstop.

Making matters worst for the Red Sox was that Mike Napoli dislocated his left ring finger sliding head first into second base in the ninth inning. The first baseman was advancing to second on a wild pitch. He was immediately replaced by Dustin Pedroia, walking off the field with Red Sox trainer Rick Jameyson.

“It’€™s not broke,” Napoli told reporters. “I can play with some soreness. We’€™ll see how it feels tomorrow.

He added, “I saw my finger sideways. The first thing I thought was, I don’€™t really know what to think. But I’ve seen people with dislocated fingers before. They pop it back in, be sore.”

Here is what went wrong (and right) for the Red Sox.

WHAT WENT WRONG

– Red Sox starter Jake Peavy‘s only miscue came to former teammate Adam Dunn, who pulled a 92 mph fastball from the pitcher over the right-field fence to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead in the second inning.

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Koji Uehara available as soon as Thursday

04.15.14 at 9:50 pm ET
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Koji Uehara expects to be available to pitch out of the bullpen by Thursday. (AP)

Koji Uehara expects to be available to pitch out of the bullpen by Thursday. (AP)

For Koji Uehara, the stiffness he felt in his right shoulder evoked concern based not so much on the symptoms themselves as the Red Sox closer’s history with comparable discomfort. While with the Rangers, Uehara had once experienced shoulder stiffness, tried to pitch through it and ultimately suffered a setback that led to a couple months on the disabled list.

This time, however, the symptoms subsided quickly, to the point where Uehara was able to have an aggressive long-toss session at Yankee Stadium on Sunday. With that behind him, it came as little surprise — but welcome news — when he was given a clean bill of health after getting checked out at Mass. General on Monday.

“It was a good feeling to know that I was able to throw from that long distance [on Sunday] and also the fact there was no structural damage [revealed by Monday's exam]. That gave me a lot of peace of mind,” Uehara told reporters through interpreter C.J. Matsumoto. “I think [the concern] was more mental, the fact I had the same kind of feeling two years ago, that was sort of a sticking point.’€

Uehara threw long toss from 200 feet and then had a pitching session on flat ground. The Sox plan for him to throw a bullpen session off a mound on Wednesday, and if that goes well, he’d be ready to return by Thursday.

After worst fears erased, Dustin Pedroia expects to return on Wednesday

04.15.14 at 9:23 pm ET
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Dustin Pedroia is expected to return to the Red Sox lineup on Wednesday. (AP)

Dustin Pedroia is expected to return to the Red Sox lineup on Wednesday. (AP)

At first, Dustin Pedroia thought that he was just dealing with some soreness related to the ongoing rehab from his offseason surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. But when the issue persisted and worsened, he realized that he’d incurred a separate injury in his wrist when he got wiped out on a double play turn against the Brewers. With the soreness increasing as he continued to play and swing a bat, Pedroia started to imagine worst-case scenarios — foremost, a wrist fracture.

Much to Pedroia’s relief, those scenarios were dismissed on Monday when an exam and MRI at Mass. General revealed that he was dealing only with inflammation rather than a fracture. And so, rather than measuring his absence in weeks or months, Pedroia expects that — after receiving a cortisone injection on Monday — he’ll be able to return to the lineup on Wednesday, after missing just two starts.

“I was a little bit worried. It was getting worse every day,” Pedroia told reporters prior to the Red Sox’ game against the White Sox on Tuesday night. ”If it was broke, I would have been out a long time. It’€™s good news. Hopefully I’€™ll be in there [Wednesday]. They gave me a shot to calm everything down. Hopefully, it takes, they say 24 to 48 hours to kick in and then get out there and go.”

Pedroia said that he wanted to “strangle [manager John Farrell] and get in there” on Tuesday, but he and the team ultimately agreed that the long-term benefit of taking an extra day to rest outweighed forcing a return to the lineup for the opener of the series against the White Sox.

Ultimately, the notion that Pedroia will be available in “some limited capacity” (in Farrell’s characterization to reporters) on Tuesday and ready to return to the lineup on Wednesday comes as a relief to a team that, already without Will Middlebrooks and Shane Victorino, could ill afford to lose its best all-around player.

Red Sox lineup: Grady Sizemore leads off, Dustin Pedroia remains out against White Sox

04.15.14 at 4:42 pm ET
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Dustin Pedroia remains out of the Red Sox lineup for the second straight game. (AP)

Dustin Pedroia remains out of the Red Sox lineup for the second straight game. (AP)

While Dustin Pedroia avoided the disabled list when he was diagnosed with inflammation rather than a fracture of his left wrist on Monday, his day-to-day status did not mean an immediate return to the lineup. Pedroia, who was scratched on Sunday due to soreness in his wrist, is likewise out on Tuesday for the opener of a three-game series against the White Sox in Chicago. In his absence, Jonathan Herrera will play second, Ryan Roberts gets the start at third base and Grady Sizemore will lead off for the second straight contest. Sizemore is once again in left field, with Jackie Bradley Jr. remaining in center and Daniel Nava in right.

Jake Peavy and A.J. Pierzynski, longtime batterymates with the White Sox, will be paired against their former team, which will feature right-hander Erik Johnson on the mound. For complete batter vs. pitcher histories, click here. For comprehensive Red Sox coverage, visit weei.com/redsox.

RED SOX LINEUP

Grady Sizemore, LF

Xander Bogaerts, SS

David Ortiz, DH

Mike Napoli, 1B

Daniel Nava, RF

A.J. Pierzynski, C

Ryan Roberts, 3B

Jackie Bradley Jr., CF

Jonathan Herrera, 2B

Jake Peavy, SP

 

Red Sox-White Sox series preview

04.15.14 at 2:04 pm ET
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Alexei Ramirez

Alexei Ramirez

The Red Sox will head to the south side of Chicago as they open up a three-game set against the White Sox on Tuesday.

It was a rough weekend in the Bronx for the Red Sox, who dropped three of four to the Yankees and fell to last place in the AL East with a 5-8 record. While the pitching has been solid for the most part, the Red Sox offense has been sputtering as of late. The team is batting a collective .255 with a .695 OPS through the first 13 games of the season, and Red Sox hitters went 27-for-134 (a .201 average) with 11 runs over the course of four games against the Yankees over the weekend.

But the club got some much-needed good news on Dustin Pedroia, who missed the final game of the series against the Yankees with a sore left wrist. The second baseman is hitting just .139 since injuring his wrist on April 4, but tests reveal that there’€™s no fracture and Pedroia is listed as day-to-day. Close Koji Uehara also is day-to-day, and is making progress after missing the past couple of games due to some shoulder stiffness. At least for the time being, it seems like two of the club’€™s most important pieces will avoid DL stints.

They’€™ll look to rebound from the disappointing weekend as they take on the White Sox, a team that lost almost 100 games in 2013. But the White Sox are off to a relatively hot start in 2014, going 7-6 and boasting one of the most productive offenses of the young season. The White Sox own the highest team OBP in the majors (.356), highest average (.284) and the most home runs (18) in the American League.

Heading to Chicago will mark a return for three members of the Red Sox. Jake Peavy spent more than four years with the White Sox before he was traded to Boston last summer, while A.J. Pierzynski spent a large chunk of his career in Chicago, from 2005 to 2012. Pitching coach Juan Nieves also spent five years as the White Sox bullpen coach before joining the Red Sox staff.

Here are the pitching matchups for the series:

Jake Peavy (0-0, 2.13) vs. Erik Johnson (0-1, 9.58)

Clay Buchholz (0-1, 6.97) vs. John Danks (1-0, 4.15)

Jon Lester (1-2, 2.57) v. Chris Sale (3-0, 2.66)

WHO’€™S HOT: RED SOX

– Peavy, who will open the series against his former team, has been dominant in his first two starts of the season. The righty’€™s allowed just three runs on nine hits in 12 2/3 innings. Peavy had one of his best starts in a Red Sox uniform his last time out, fanning eight over 6 2/3 innings, giving up one run to the Rangers in what would be a no-decision for the starter.

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Red Sox minor league roundup: The education of Henry Owens; Sean Coyle, Mookie Betts deliver undersized feats of strength; Cody Kukuk cruises

04.15.14 at 12:58 pm ET
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Sean Coyle slammed his second homer of 2014 for Double-A Portland on Monday. (Salem Red Sox)

Sean Coyle slammed his second homer of 2014 for Double-A Portland on Monday. (Salem Red Sox)

A brief look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Monday:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 9-5 WIN AT ROCHESTER (TWINS)

(BOX)

– Outfielder Bryce Brentz went 3-for-5 with his second homer of the year, a no-doubter to left field in which he stayed back on a breaking ball from left-hander Edgar Ibarra. It’s been an inconsistent start to the 2014 campaign for Brentz, who sandwiched Monday’s 3-for-5 night and a 2-for-5 night with a homer last Thursday around an 0-for-10, three-game stretch. Yet it is worth noting that Brentz negotiated four walks during that three-game hitless streak, and he now has seven walks for the season. Since reaching the upper levels of the minors for the start of the 2012 season, Brentz only has two months in which he’s taken more walks than he has this April — last April, when he walked nine times in Pawtucket, and June 2012, when he walked 15 times with Portland. He’s hitting .195/.313/.366 this year.

– Third baseman Garin Cecchini, who turns 23 on Sunday, went 1-for-4 with a double and a walk. The double ended a stretch of eight straight games without an extra-base hit, while the walk was Cecchini’s first in seven games. On the year, he’s hitting .310/.370/.357 with four walks and eight strikeouts.

– Right-hander Anthony Ranaudo permitted five runs on eight hits (two triples, a double and five singles) while walking three and striking out five. Through three starts this year in Pawtucket, the 24-year-old has allowed 14 runs (though just 10 earned) in 14 2/3 innings, with 16 strikeouts, eight walks and an opponents’ batting average of .311.

Rich Hill had his second straight outstanding appearance, throwing 2 2/3 scoreless innings in which he allowed one hit and struck out three. That performance came three days after he likewise tossed two shutout innings while allowing one hit and striking out two. In five games, he has a 2.08 ERA in 8 2/3 innings with eight strikeouts and four walks. Opponents are hitting .167 against the 34-year-old, with lefties having gone 1-for-10 against the veteran.

– After a hot start, catcher Christian Vazquez has cooled considerably. After a 1-for-5 game on Monday, the 23-year-old is 4-for-28 with two walks and six strikeouts in his last seven games.

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 9-4 WIN VS. BINGHAMTON (METS)

(BOX)

–Though Sean Coyle has been displaced at second base by the ascendance of Mookie Betts, Feats of Coyle did their own displacing, at least for a day, on Monday. The (mostly) third baseman went 3-for-4 with his second homer of the season and two steals. Between the 5-foot-8 Coyle and the 5-foot-9 Betts, the Sox have two of the unlikelier-looking impact hitters in the Eastern League. In 10 games, Coyle is hitting .343 with a .410 OBP and .543 slugging mark along with four steals in as many attempts. Though he strikes out with considerable frequency (including this year, when he’s punched out in 28 percent of his plate appearances), he shows the ability to make a considerable impact on the ball when he makes contact. He also is an asset on the bases, as suggested by the fact that he’s now 31-for-31 in steals in High-A and Double-A. When he was at second, he looked like a player with the upside of being a more athletic version of Dan Uggla. Though he’s moved over primarily to third (with occasional games at second when Betts isn’t playing there), the 22-year-old is offering a glimpse of that considerable potential again in his first exposure to Portland.

Coyle cleared the Maine Monster in deep left-center. Here’s a look: Read the rest of this entry »

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