|Red Sox at Rangers Live Blog, August 22||08.22.11 at 7:41 pm ET|
The Rangers dropped a season-opening beatdown on the Red Sox at the start of April, with the defending American League champs sweeping three games in Texas as the Sox stumbled out of the gate. Now, Boston is back in Arlington for the first time since that series, once again facing Opening Day starter C.J. Wilson.
The Sox are now 6-16 against the Rangers since the start of the 2009 season, a notably one-sided ledger for two teams that could well meet in the postseason. During that stretch, the Sox are 2-10 at the Ballpark in Arlington, a mark that suggests that home field advantage could be significant should the two teams meet in a short series.
For all the latest news, analysis and updates from the game, join the Live Blog below.
|Closing Time: Jon Lester, Darnell McDonald lead the way in Red Sox win over Royals||08.21.11 at 5:23 pm ET|
The Sox lefty held the Royals to one run over six innings, lowering his ERA to 3.16. In his last two starts, Lester has allowed two runs over 13 innings.
Leading the offense were solo homers by Darnell McDonald (3-for-5) and Carl Crawford, with the first Sox run coming via Jason Varitek’s first triple in more than four years. The Sox were able to seal the deal via a three-run eighth, highlighted by Ryan Lavarnway’s RBI double that hit off the very top of the left field wall.
Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ 77th win of the season:
WHAT WENT RIGHT
– Daniel Bard came on with nobody out, and two on in the seventh and preserved Lester’s win. The righty first fanned Alcides Escobar, and then got an Alex Gordon fly out, followed by Melky Cabrera’s ground out to shortstop keeping the Red Sox lead at 3-1.
– For the first time since June 24, 2007, Varitek hit a triple. This time around the fifth-inning line-drive into the right-center field gap proved important, giving the Red Sox a 1-0 lead by driving in Jed Lowrie with two outs.
– McDonald, who had manned the No. 2 spot in the Red Sox’ lineup just two other games this season, made the most of being moved up in the batting order. In his second at-bat he ripped a single, and then went deep over the left-center field wall for his fifth homer of the season in the sixth, with all of the home runs coming against left-handed pitching. The outfielder punctuated his day with an eighth-inning single for his first three-hit game since Sept. 5 of last season. He now has four three-hit games for his career.
– Carl Crawford took an 1-1 pitch from Aaron Crow in the seventh inning well over the right field fence (416 feet) for his eighth homer of the season, giving the Sox a 3-0 lead. It was just Crawford’s second home run since June 9, a stretch that included 40 games and 150 at-bats. His previous home run came Aug. 1 against Cleveland at Fenway Park.
– The Red Sox closed things out with the three-run eighth in which Adrian Gonzalez (single), Jed Lowrie (sacrifice fly) and Lavarnway (double) all came away with RBI.
WHAT WENT WRONG
– A two-out error by Lowrie on a Salvador Perez grounder extended Lester’s inning by 11 pitches, although the lefty did manage to get out of a bases loaded jam thanks to Alcides Escobar’s grounder bak to the pitcher.
– The Red Sox experienced two bouts of poor baserunning. The first came in the first inning when Marco Scutaro got hung up between first and second after Gonzalez swung and missed at a third strike for the inning’s second out.
– Lester ran into trouble he couldn’t get out of in the seventh inning, having to leave the game after failing to get an out while allowing an RBI single from Mike Moustakas. The Sox starter began the seventh having thrown 10o pitches. He exited the game with runners on first and second and nobody out, giving way to Bard.
|Live Blog: Jon Lester, Red Sox look to close out series in Kansas City in style||08.21.11 at 1:44 pm ET|
|Terry Francona on The Big Show: The next two weeks may not be easy for us||08.18.11 at 3:57 pm ET|
With all the injuries affecting the Red Sox, manager Terry Francona appeared on WEEI’s The Big Show on Thursday before the team took on the Royals and didn’t shy away from the tough stretch his team has in front of it.
“The good news is we played ourselves into a position where we’re right smack in the middle of this and that’s great,” Francona said. “We may have to fight here. The next two weeks may not be easy for us. OK, that doesn’t mean we can’t win but sometimes winning is harder than the other times.”
The Sox placed Kevin Youkilis on the disabled list with a sore back and called up Ryan Lavarnway from Triple-A Pawtucket. Francona said that Lavarnway would primarily be used a designated hitter. He’s in that role for Thursday’s game and hitting seventh with Dustin Pedroia hitting fourth and Carl Crawford staying in the sixth spot. Jed Lowrie will play third and hit second and Mike Aviles will play shortstop.
“His lower back’s been bothering him for a while,” Francona said of Youkilis. “We left him back when we went to the airport to Kansas City we sent him to MGH, got some testing done. He got a shot in that back. Hopefully that will alleviate some of the symptoms. He’s just been so beat up and when he got to the back part it kind of overwhelmed him. So hopefully two weeks down will really allow his body come back and we can have the Youk that we need for the stretch drive.”
David Ortiz is also out for about a week with bursitis in his right heel and the manager said he was hopeful it wouldn’t linger past that point.
“I think that’s a fair hope,” Francona said. “He’s in that boot for a couple of days. The doctors want to get the pressure off that heel, keep him out of his spikes for sure for a couple of days. He felt really good, which I think [the training staff] kind of warned him this might hurt for a couple of days and it didn’t really hurt him so I think that’s a good sign. The one thing we don’t want to do obviously is get him back too quick. Hopefully we’ll only lose him for a week. If that’s the case, we don’t have to DL him. If it gets longer than that then you got to think about doing that.”
As for Adrian Gonzalez, Francona said the first baseman been bothered by a stiff neck “on and off, probably for a month.”
“It just doesn’t let him get extended all the time,” Francona said. “He’s played a lot. Everybody this time of the year is a little beat up. It doesn’t mean you can’t play, but sometimes it cuts into your production. That’s just the way it is. Every team deals with it. When you go through a [week] where you get nine hits in the whole [series] that’s when people start talking about it and we probably deserve it. Tampa kind of had their way with us. Fortunately Jacoby [Ellsbury] hits that home run or we might not have won a game, so that’s the good news.”
More highlights on Francona’s appearance after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »
|Live Blog: Jon Lester, Red Sox take on Rays at Fenway Park||08.16.11 at 1:09 pm ET|
|Trade Deadline: Rangers trade for Mike Adams from Padres, not Heath Bell||07.31.11 at 2:31 pm ET|
Multiple reports are indicating that the Rangers have acquired reliever Mike Adams from San Diego for two minor leaguers, Robert Erlin and Joseph Wieland. Initially, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported the Padres traded closer Heath Bell to the Rangers. Check back for more information as it becomes available.
|Trade Deadline: Red Sox were interested in Scott Hairston, Mets not willing||07.31.11 at 2:07 pm ET|
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Red Sox showed some interest in outfielder Scott Hairston, but the Mets were not willing to deal the 31-year-old for money or a fringe prospect. Hairston is hitting .250 with an .810 OPS, playing all three outfield positions.
|Trade Deadline: Red Sox wanted clause to protect against Rich Harden’s health||07.31.11 at 12:23 pm ET|
According to multiple reports, the Red Sox asked the Athletics for a clause built into the deal for Rich Harden contingent on the pitcher’s health. Oakland refused to accept such a deal, which could have potentially eliminated the player to be named later and left it with just first baseman Lars Anderson in the trade.
|Trade Deadline: Braves get Michael Bourn from Astros||07.31.11 at 10:07 am ET|
According to multiple reports, the Astros have traded outfielder Michael Bourn to the Braves in exchange for Jordan Schafer, Brett Oberholtzer, Paul Clemens and Juan Abreu. The Braves are scheduled to receive money in the deal, as well.
The 28-year-old Bourn leads the major leagues with 39 steals and is hitting .303 with a .363 on-base percentage. He will be entering his final year of entering arbitration-eligibility, making him eligible for free agency following the 2012 season.
|Trade Deadline: Ubaldo Jimenez trade to Indians made official||07.30.11 at 11:14 pm ET|
According to the Rockies’ official Twitter account, the deal sending pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez to the Cleveland Indians for four minor leaguers is official. Heading to Colorado for the 27-year-old right-hander will be right-handed pitchers Alex White and Joe Gardner, along with infielder Mat McBride and a player to be named later.
The PTBNL is believed to be highly-thought of minor league pitcher Drew Pomeranz, who can’t be officially traded until a year after he signed his first professional contract (which came Aug. 15, 2010). The deal is contingent on Jimenez passing a physical.
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