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Cash on play at the plate: ‘I thought he was out’ 07.18.10 at 6:31 pm ET
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At the time, it was nothing more than the fourth run for the Rangers, giving the visitors a three-run lead in the eighth inning.

But at the end of the day, the decision by home plate umpire Gary Darling to call Elvis Andrus safe at home when the replay suggested he was out might have changed the complexion of the final few frames. What it definitely did was elicit a spirited round of boos toward the ump for the remainder of the game.

Darling ruled that Andrus had gotten his foot to the plate before catcher Kevin Cash could apply the tag, after receiving a throw from left fielder Darnell McDonald. Cash and — judging by the subsequent argument by both Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester and manager Terry Francona ‘€“the Red Sox disagreed.

‘€œI thought he was out,’€ Cash said after the Red Sox’€™ 4-2 loss to the Rangers. ‘€œIt was a close play, I know that. [Darling] was saying he got his foot in, at least that’€™s what he was telling Tito.’€

Asked if he believed the call was a no-brainer at the time of the tag, Cash said, ‘€œYeah, just given where I was. I was probably 12 inches in front of the plate. At least that’€™s what I thought I was. I think that’€™s the reaction I showed. It wasn’€™t like I looked around and waited for a call.’€

The Red Sox would eventually bring the tying run to the plate after a Mike Cameron solo home run, and Billy Hall reaching on a fielding error by Texas’ second baseman Ian Kinsler. But J.D. Drew struck out, and Marco Scutaro flew out, ending the Sox’ threat.

Martinez plays catch for first time since injury 07.18.10 at 6:05 pm ET
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Victor Martinez took another step in the right direction, Sunday, when he played catch for the first time since going on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured left thumb May 29.

While it was just a very light game of toss, just the fact the catcher was able to wear a glove offered a good deal of optimism.

“It was a good step,” Martinez said. “Obviously I was playing catch very carefully, but it’s still sore. But at least I was able to put my hand in the glove, so that was a big thing.”

Martinez, who will be making the 10-game West Coast trip with the team, still wouldn’t put any timetable on his return. He has swung a bat, although taking swings from the right side continues to be somewhat uncomfortable.

“We’ll see how it feels tomorrow. We’re taking it day by day now,” Martinez said. “It’s definitely a lot better. That’s a good thing, that it’s a lot better. So I’m pretty excited about it.”

For more Red Sox coverage see the team page at WEEI.com/redsox.

Beckett eyeing Friday for his return 07.18.10 at 5:48 pm ET
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Josh Beckett just has one more test to pass before returning to the Red Sox‘€™ rotation ‘€“ an extended side session Tuesday.

If Beckett comes through Tuesday’€™s session in good shape, the plan is to have the righty pitch Friday in Seattle against the Mariners.

‘€œAs far as the build-up and stuff, I think I’€™m where I need to be,’€ Beckett said after the Red Sox’€™ 4-2 loss to the Rangers Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park. ‘€œObviously, I can’€™t make that decision all by myself. We’€™ll just have to see where it goes from there. As far as I’€™m concerned, yeah, I’€™m ready to start on Friday, but it’€™s not the be-all, end-all.’€

Beckett is coming off a rehab outing for the Pawtucket Red Sox in which he allowed three runs on five hits over four innings against Syracuse. In all, the Sox’€™ hurler has made three rehab starts, two for the PawSox, and one a simulated game against Gulf Coast League hitters.

‘€œReally good,’€ said Beckett when asked about his analysis of Saturday’€™s start. ‘€œI actually thought the worst inning was the best I felt in terms of the way I was throwing and stuff like that.’€

Regarding what he wants to get out of his side session Tuesday, and how it might be different from a normal in-between-start bullpen session, Beckett explained, ‘€œIt’€™s just making the adjustments from pitch to pitch instead of taking two or three pitches to make the adjustments.’€

If Beckett does pitch Friday, it will be 72 days since he last took the mound, when he re-injured his back on May 18 in Yankee Stadium.

Red Sox reach 600th consecutive sellout 07.18.10 at 4:13 pm ET
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Here is the team’s press release:

With a sellout in this afternoon’€™s game against the Texas Rangers, the fans of Red Sox Nation have reached 600 consecutive regular season sellout games at Fenway Park extending their record of most consecutive sellouts in baseball history.  The previous Major League Baseball record of 455, set by the Cleveland Indians between 1995-2001, was surpassed by Red Sox fans on September 8, 2008.  The record streak began on May 15, 2003, in the second year of the new ownership.

‘€œOn behalf of John Henry, Tom Werner, and our entire organization, I would like to salute the fans of Red Sox Nation who have extended their own all-time Major League Baseball record to an astonishing 600 straight sellout games,’€ said Larry Lucchino, President/CEO.  ‘€œWe congratulate them for achieving this extraordinary milestone and for the passion and dedication they have for the game, for their team, and for their ballpark.  We will continue to work hard to ensure that we are worthy of their loyal and steadfast support.’€

The Red Sox players and coaches recognized the fans of Red Sox Nation for their significant accomplishment by tossing commemorative baseballs into the Fenway Park crowd at the start of Sunday’€™s game.  Ownership, ushers and other staff members also distributed the commemorative baseballs to fans throughout the game.

LONGEST RECORDED REGULAR SEASON SELLOUT STREAKS IN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

No.     Team                                                  Years
600*   Boston Red Sox                                  2003-2010
455      Cleveland Indians                               1995-2001
203      Colorado Rockies                               1995-1997

LONGEST RECORDED REGULAR SEASON SELLOUT STREAKS IN AMERICAN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS HISTORY

No.     Team                                               Years
744     Portland Trailblazers (NBA)              1977-1995
600*   Boston Red Sox (MLB)                     2003-2010
407     Colorado Avalanche (NHL)              1995-2006

The inning everything changed for the Red Sox 07.17.10 at 12:55 am ET
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So close, yet so far away.

The final score might have ended up with the Rangers running away with an 8-4 win over the Red Sox Friday night, but the teams’ fortunes might have changed dramatically if not for one errant throw.

By the time Josh Hamilton stepped to the plate with one out in the fifth inning Friday night, Felix Doubront was on his way. He had allowed just two first-inning runs while allowing the Red Sox to jump out to a 3-2 lead over the Rangers.

Then things appeared to get even better when Doubront adeptly snagged a line-drive up the middle off the bat of Hamilton. But that’€™s where it went all horribly wrong for the rookie and the Red Sox.

Instead of firing a strike to shortstop Marco Scutaro at second base, to double-up Texas baserunner Michael Young, Doubront hesitated and then tossed the ball into center field, allowing Young to go to third and Vladimir Guerrero to head to second. It was Doubront’s second throwing error of the game.

Doubront doubled over, leading Red Sox manager Terry Francona and head trainer Mike Reinold to immediately head to the mound.

‘€œI was frustrated,’€ the pitcher said. ‘€œI’€™m alright.’€

Even without an injury, Doubront had already come back out to pitch after waiting out an hour rain delay after the completion of the third inning. With the right-handed hitting Nelson Cruz up next, Francona determined it was enough for the lefty.

‘€œI lost energy in the rain delay,’€ noted Doubront, who said he had never come back to pitch after waiting out a rain delay throughout his career.

Fernando Cabrera ‘€“ who had just been promoted from Triple A Pawtucket earlier in the day — came on and proceeded to walk Cruz and David Murphy even the score at 3-3. The 6-foot-4 reliever came back and elevated a slider to Bengie Molina just enough to allow the Texas catcher to launch a grand slam into the center field seats for the game-changer.

If I had the situation again I would have thrown the same pitch. It wasn’€™t like it was a pitch I didn’€™t want to throw, but I know for sure I needed to throw a better pitch. Things happen in the game. But, like I said, if I had the same situation I would throw the same pitch to the same guy.’€

After the game Cabrera said he was told he was to be designated for assignment.

Fernando Cabrera to be designated for assignment 07.17.10 at 12:31 am ET
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For the second straight season reliever Fernando Cabrera will be designated for assignment by the Red Sox, this time the move comes after the right-handed pitcher allowed three runs on two hits in 1 1/3 innings. Cabrera, who was promoted from Triple A Pawtucket, allowed a fifth-inning grand slam to Texas’ Bengie Molina, breaking open a 3-3 tie and leading the Rangers to an 8-4 win over the Red Sox.

The 28-year-old Cabrera, who had pitched in six games with the Sox in 2009, cleared waivers after being designated last year, ultimately choosing to rejoin the Red Sox. Cabrera was 0-3 with 13 saves and a 3.50 ERA in 30 appearances for the Pawtucket Red Sox before being promoted.

The move will likely pave the way for the activation of reliever Manny Delcarmen, who was deemed ready to come off the 15-day disabled list earlier Friday by Red Sox manager Terry Francona. Francona said after the loss that could be multiple moves announced Saturday.

For more Red Sox coverage see the team page at weei.com/redsox.

Rangers still may be interested in Lowell 07.15.10 at 11:50 pm ET
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According to major league source familiar with the situation, the Texas Rangers continue to monitor the status of Mike Lowell, who is currently on the 15-day disabled list with soreness in his surgically repaired right hip. The source suggests the Rangers may have increased interest in making a deal for Lowell depending on how the market unfolds as the trade deadline draws closer.

The Red Sox and Rangers had agreed to a trade for Lowell — along with $9 million of the $12 million owned the infielder this season — in December before Texas backed out of the deal because of concerns regarding the infielder’s hip.

The Rangers have continued to talk with the Red Sox about Lowell throughout the season. With rookie first baseman Chris Davis hitting just .203 (after going 0-for-3 with a walk Thursday night), and Texas having to include first base prospect Justin Smoak in the Cliff Lee trade, there remains a potential need at first for Texas. The source reports the Rangers will continue to explore other trade options before accelerating negotiations for Lowell.

Lowell was out on the Fenway Park field and, according to Red Sox manager Terry Francona, “took some ground balls, [hit] some balls off the tee and in the cage. He actually felt pretty good. We’re going to start ramping him back up, too.”

For more Red Sox coverage see the team page at weei.com/redsox.

Read More: chris davis, Justin Smoak, mike lowell, texas rangers
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