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Ryan Lavarnway has reached a milestone he called one of his ‘highest priorities’

09.18.12 at 10:13 pm ET
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. ‘€“ Ryan Lavarnway wasn’€™t catching Tuesday night, but no matter. He had managed to hit his milestone.

By catching in the Red Sox‘€™ win over the Rays Monday night, Lavarnway attained one of his chief goals heading into the 2012 season ‘€“ he caught his 100th game.

‘€œIt says something about staying healthy,’€ the 25-year-old said. ‘€œThis was one of my highest priorities and foremost goals coming into this season, catching 100 games.’€

Making the feat even more impressive was that Lavarnway hadn’€™t caught more than 70 games in any previous season, totaling that career-high between the big leagues and the minors in ‘€™11.

This season, Lavarway was given the opportunity to serve as the Pawtucket Red Sox’€™ primary backstop, catching 80 games while serving as the PawSox’€™ DH just three times.

With the Red Sox, Lavarnway ‘€“ who weighs in at 236 pounds compared to the 254 he was at last September ‘€“ has caught 20 games while manning the designated hitter role 12 games.

As a point of reference, the Red Sox’ everyday catchers for the past three seasons have totaled the following number of games behind the plate: Jason Varitek, 2009, 108; Victor Martinez, ’10, 110; Jarrod Saltamacchia, ’11, 101.

‘€œI was very intimidated by it because at this point last year I felt terrible,’€ he said. ‘€œI caught 62 games but I had gotten a lot more at-bats because I was DHing every day.  But I can definitely say I feel better at this point than I did last year. I haven’€™t put on weight, I’€™ve stayed fit, I have better pre and post game routine, getting my body ready. I haven’€™t had a drink since January, because that isn’€™t going to help. I’€™m eating better.’€

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