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Add Daisuke Matsuzaka to the list of players the Red Sox have added to waivers as they try to burn salary with their disastrous season wrapping up. Buster Olney has reported that the pitcher is now on the trading block.
With the non-waiver trade deadline in the rear-view mirror, Boston has put a huge chunk of players on waivers, including Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and all the other players included in the blockbuster Boston-Los Angeles trade. Matsuzaka, who still has $2 million left in the last few months on his enormous $52 million contract signed six years ago, is another player who could be more useful somewhere else than on the stumbling Sox.
It seems like just yesterday that the Red Sox put up a $51 million posting fee just to talk to Matsuzaka, but it seems like long ago that the Japanese pitcher was the ace that had a 2.90 ERA and 18-3 record in 2008. While Matsuzaka was great in his return from the disabled list Monday, tossing a 7-run, 0-ER performance in a win, he had been shaky at best in the five starts before getting injured and still has a 5.10 ERA on the year. The Red Sox are hoping that someone out there was convinced by his most recent outing and might potentially give up something in order to take on Matsuzaka's last few months in return for a few key late-season starts.
The Boston Red Sox took their first series win in the month of August Monday afternoon, putting up five runs on Luke Hochevar while Daisuke Matsuzaka held the Royals to one run over seven innings in his return to the rotation.
For an outing that would end up being one of his best in years, Matsuzaka started the game off looking like the same old disappointing Daisuke. Jarrod Dyson drew an entirely predictable leadoff walk, stole second, and advanced to third on the errant throw down from Jarrod Saltalamacchia, eventually scoring on a sacrifice fly stung to right field by Alex Gordon.
The Sox would immediately respond in the bottom of the first thanks to Jacoby Ellsbury. After showing signs of returning to his 2009 self with a long string of multi-hit games, Ellsbury showed the first glimpse of 2011 Ellsbury we've seen in a long time, launching a solo shot into the right field stands off of a high fastball from Hochevar.
While Daisuke would settle down tremendously after the first, Hochevar continued to hit bumps in the road. A scoreless second interrupted only by a two-out walk from Mauro Gomez was followed by a two-run second, as Cody Ross singled home a pair before making the third out trying to stretch it into a double. Then again in the sixth, it was Cody Ross driving in Jacoby Ellsbury before scoring on a James Loney single to make it 5-1.
The closest the Dodgers would ever get to scoring was a pair of two-on, one-out situations in the sixth and eighth. Daisuke would work out of danger in the sixth with a fly ball from Salvador Perez and stike out of Mike Moustakas, however, while Vicente Padilla came in to finish the eighth with a double play. Andrew Bailey came in to handle a quick ninth, and the Red Sox left series winners.
|Final - 8.27.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R|
|Kansas City Royals||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1|
|Boston Red Sox||0||1||0||2||0||0||0||0||X||5|
The Red Sox are out for a series win against the Kansas City Royals as they send Daisuke Matsuzaka to the mound to take on Luke Hochevar. We'll keep you up to date on the action as it goes down in Fenway Park.
Red Sox 5, Royals 1, Mid 8th -- Clayton Mortensen gets into a bit of trouble by allowing a pair of one-out singles on back-to-back pitches to Alex Gordon and Billy Butler. Vicente Padilla comes in, however, and saves him from trouble by quickly inducing an inning-ending double play to bring the Royals to their last three outs.
Red Sox 5, Royals 1, End 7th -- Scott Podsednik's single is the only even of note in an otherwise quiet seventh inning. This game doesn't seem to be headed for a dramatic finish, but we'll see.
Red Sox 5, Royals 1, Mid 7th -- Daisuke Matsuzaka comes back out for the seventh, and handles it with aplomb, once again surrendering just the one baserunner in a scoreless frame of work.
Red Sox 5, Royals 1, End 6th -- Once again it's Jacoby Ellsbury and Cody Ross getting the job done for the Red Sox. Ellsbury shows power to the opposite field this time, planting a double off the wall to start the attack with one out. Cody Ross follows suit with a wall ball double of his own to drive Ellsbury in, and James Loney finds the outfield grass with a single to bring Ross in and make it 5-1, Red Sox.
Red Sox 3, Royals 1, Mid 6th -- Gotta hand it to Daisuke, he's having a very good day. After putting two men on, Matsuzaka battles back to get Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas out, the latter with an inning-ending strikeout.
Red Sox 3, Royals 1, End 5th -- Luke Hochevar breaks his on-off pattern with a very strong fifth, striking out two batters in a 1-2-3 inning.
Red Sox 3, Royals 1, Mid 5th -- Daisuke gives up a double in the fifth, but it only comes after he strikes out the first two batters he faces, and a Jarrod Dyson ground ball gets him out of the inning unharmed.
Red Sox 3, Royals 1, End 4th -- One inning off, one on for Luke Hochevar, who enjoys a 1-2-3 fourth after surrendering two in the third.
Red Sox 3, Royals 1, Mid 4th -- Daisuke is leading some kind of charmed life right now. Despite having his hit surrounded by a line drive and a ground ball that seemed perfectly placed to third, the sharply hit ball goes straight to Dustin Pedroia for the out, and Pedro Ciriaco makes the tough play to get Mike Moustakas at first for the third out of the inning.
Red Sox 3, Royals 1, End 3rd -- The Red Sox strike again against Luke Hochevar in the third. A pair of one-out singles sets up Jacoby Ellsbury at the plate, but the center fielder can't come through like he did in the first. Instead, the task falls to Cody Ross, who just barely misses an opportunity for a bat flip. His rocket shot catches the very top of the Green Monster, which in this case does not give, but takes. It even takes Ross off the basepaths as he's caught at second for the final out of the inning, but with both runners making it home, the Red Sox won't mind that tradeoff too much.
Red Sox 1, Royals 1, Mid 3rd -- A bloop single to right is all the Royals get in the third, as Daisuke Matsuzaka works on his best "not Daisuke Matsuzaka" impression.
Red Sox 1, Royals 1, End 2nd -- Mauro Gomez draws a walk, but that's all the Sox get in the second inning against Hochevar.
Red Sox 1, Royals 1, Mid 2nd -- Daisuke Matsuzaka gets a 1-2-3 second with some help from Jacoby Ellsbury, who makes a nice grab up against the Monster to rob Lorenzo Cain of extra bases.
Red Sox 1, Royals 1, End 1st -- Hard contact for the Red Sox gives Boston a run in about the most encouraging fashion possible. After a long fly ball from Dustin Pedroia is turned into a spectacular leaping grab at the wall by none other than Jarrod Dyson, Jacoby Ellsbury gets a high fastball over the plate and turns on it, launching a solo shot into the right field stands. He's been on a roll the last few days--if the power starts coming back, the Sox will be very happy going into 2013.
Royals 1, Red Sox 0, Mid 1st -- The most predictable of starts to the day for Daisuke Matsuzaka leads to an early run for the Royals. A leadoff walk puts Jarrod Dyson at first, and lets him start running freely against Matsuzaka. Taking off on the first pitch, Dyson reached second, and then moved to third when Dustin Pedroia couldn't grab the too-high throw from Jarrod Saltalamacchia (Pedroia was for some reason given the error). A ground ball to third kept Dyson on the bag, but hard contact to right from Alex Gordon gives Dyson enough room to tag up and head home on a sacrifice fly.
The 36-year-old slugger will receive an injection in addition to undergoing a week of treatment on his Achilles in the hopes of potentially returning prior to the conclusion of the 2012 season. Ryan Kalish, a 24-year-old, left-handed hitting outfielder, has been recalled to fill the open roster spot.
Ortiz returned to action on Friday night after missing 35 games because of the injury. He went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI in his return. However, he continued to feel discomfort and was removed from the lineup for the remainder of the series.
"It bothered him. It wasn't as pain-free as he was hoping,'' [Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said.]
The Red Sox will have Daisuke Matsuzaka back on the mound Monday afternoon as they try to take a series victory over the Kansas City Royals. First pitch is at 1:35 p.m. EST with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.
The return of Daisuke is an event few were looking forward to. Ever since his charmed season in 2008, Matsuzaka has been more-or-less useless to the Red Sox, providing them with just 270 innings of 5.17 ERA ball over four seasons worth of games. Most fans would just as soon be done with him, but at this point the Red Sox have little to lose, so he'll make at least a few more appearances before finally departing from the team.
Otherwise, it's pretty standard fare from the Red Sox today, complete with the constantly switching Scott Podsednik and Pedro Ciriaco at one and nine, respectively this time.
Boston Red Sox (61-67)
Kansas City Royals (56-70)
Daisuke Matsuzaka will return to the mound Monday afternoon as the Red Sox look to cement their first series win since the beginning of August against the Royals.
Matsuzaka has only started five games on the season, and only one of them was halfway decent, a 5.2 inning, one-run no decision on June 26. His next start saw him give up five runs and two homers in only an inning of work, he's been on the DL ever since. Facing Matsuzaka will be Luke Hochevar.
WP: Jon Lester (8 - 10)
SV: Andrew Bailey
LP: Kelvin Herrera (1 - 2)
|4 - 3 win|
WP: Francisley Bueno (1 - 0)
SV: Greg Holland
LP: Junichi Tazawa (0 - 1)
|9 - 10 loss|
WP: Pedro Beato (1 - 0)
SV: Mark Melancon
LP: Will Smith (4 - 6)
|8 - 6 win|
Boston has already guaranteed they won't lose their fourth consecutive series - at the worst, this four-game set will be a tie - but they haven't won a series since taking two out of three from Detroit in a series that ended August 1.
The Red Sox continue to fall out of the race while Oakland and San Francisco have the Bay Area excited.
The Red Sox secured a series split against the Royals with an 8-6 victory Sunday afternoon.
Felix Doubront started off sharp, looking rejuvinated by the two weeks off. He recorded three scoreless innings out of the gate, striking out four. The only real negative was that the Royals were making him work, building up his pitch count early. With the Red Sox on a short bullpen and Doubront having just come off the DL for fatigue-related issues, it was a concerning development.
Still, the offense had given him a lead to work with. One run came across in the first on a Cody Ross single, and another in the second on a Mike Aviles wall ball double. Only a double play in the first and line out in the second kept the Sox from scoring more than the two.
In the third, however, Will Smith kept the Red Sox off the basepaths, sending the game to the top of the fourth where Felix just seemed to wear down. After recording two quick outs, Doubront lost the bite on his offerings, and was punished for it with three straight singles to cut Boston's lead in half. What was left of it would evaporate immediately thereafter, when Lorenzo Cain put a 92 MPH fastball into the Monster seats on a line for a 4-2 Royals lead.
The Sox waited only one inning to battle back. With one out in the fifth inning, Pedro Ciriaco did what Cain did but a good few yards higher, if with nobody on base. The solo shot bounced halfway up the AAA sign over the Monster seats to bring the Sox within one before a single and walk set up the newly-arrived James Loney for a game-tying base hit. The inning could have been worth more were it not for a terrible call at first that cost Dustin Pedroia an infield single and led to Bobby Valentine's ejection.
Boston would keep their foot on the pedal from there. The sixth inning saw the Sox take the lead on an error and two singles, and another error along with three base hits and a walk made it 7-4 by the end of the seventh.
The Mets would produce a rally in the eighth, as Pedro Beato faltered in the third inning of his debut, loading the bases with zero outs. Craig Breslow was able to limit the damage to just the two runs, however, striking out two batters around a sacrifice fly and ground ball single to keep the Sox in the lead. Dustin Pedroia doubled that lead with a leadoff homer in the eighth, and Mark Melancon picked up the save, securing at least a series split for the Red Sox.
The Red Sox will take on the Royals once more as they send Felix Doubront to the mound against Will Smith. We'll keep you up-to-date on all the action as it goes down in Fenway Park.
Red Sox 8, Royals 6, End 8th -- Dustin Pedroia gives the Sox some once-more vital insurance with a leadoff homer. They'll need a decent outing from Mark Melancon to save the game, however.
Red Sox 7, Royals 6, Mid 8th -- The short-handed bullpen forces the Red Sox to stick with Pedro Beato for a third inning, and his debut comes crumbling down as he loads the bases without recording an out. Finally, the Sox turn to Craig Breslow, and he provides about as much as anyone can hope for, striking out the first batter, giving up a sacrifice fly and ground ball single that lets the Royals climb within one before picking up the third out with another K.
Red Sox 7, Royals 4, End 7th -- The Sox grab some very helpful insurance runs in the seventh. Two singles and a walk load the bases with just one out for Mike Aviles, but the shortstop strikes out swinging. Scott Podsednik seems ready to end the inning when he grounds to Alcides Escobar, but the defense fails the Royals once again, with the shortstop having the ball bounce off his glove and far enough away to let Podsednik reach base and a run to score. Another infield single from who else but Pedro Ciriaco, and it was a three-run Red Sox lead.
Red Sox 5, Royals 4, Mid 7th -- A two-out single is all Beato surrenders in his second inning of work, and that is erased as Alex Gordon is caught trying to take second.
Red Sox 5, Royals 4, End 6th -- The Red Sox seem prepared to waste a chance, as a pop-up and strikeout fail to move leadoff runners from first and second, but Jacoby Ellsbury is able to come through. The center fielder hits a line drive off the top of a leaping Eric Hosmer's glove, allowing the go-ahead run to score.
Red Sox 4, Royals 4, Mid 6th -- Pedro Beato, acquired from the Mets for Kelly Shoppach, makes a successful Red Sox debut, retiring the Kansas City side in order, 1-2-3.
Red Sox 4, Royals 4, End 5th -- Despite an absolutely terrible call and a Bobby Valentine ejection, the Red Sox fight there way back into a tie in the fifth. For a guy who's not supposed to have much power, Pedro Ciriaco started the rally with an absolutely massive home run to left field, with the ball hitting halfway up the AAA sign over the Monster on a line.
Jacoby Ellsbury followed up by finding the hole between first and second, but then came some controversy. Despite a Tony Abreu bobble on a ground ball from Dustin Pedroia, the Royals got the out at first as Eric Hosmer pulled off the bag to try and catch Jacoby Ellsbury rounding second. Except that it didn't look at all right, and replays confirmed: not only had Dustin Pedroia beat the throw to a bag by a good bit, but Hosmer had clearly come off the bag early. The double whammy brought an incensed Bobby Valentine out to argue, resulting in a quick ejection from the game.
Still, the Sox are able to make up for the umpire's mistake as James Loney picks up his first hit in a Red Sox uniform: a ground ball up the middle that scores Ellsbury to tie the game at 4-4.
Royals 4, Red Sox 2, Mid 5th -- You wouldn't know Doubront had just imploded in the inning before. Striking out Billy Butler to start it, Doubront works a 1-2-3 fifth to keep the deficit at two.
Royals 4, Red Sox 2, End 4th -- Smith goes into lockdown mode, getting three very quick ground balls to force Doubront back onto the mound in a hurry.
Royals 4, Red Sox 2, Mid 4th -- The two weeks off may have purchased Doubront eleven sharp outs, but not twelve. With two away, Doubront started giving up solid contact. Three straight hits scored a run and put two on, and on just the second pitch he saw Lorenzo Cain put a 92 MPH fastball into the Monster seats on the line. It might be time to shut Felix down for the season.
Red Sox 2, Royals 0, End 3rd -- Will Smith finally has himself a quiet inning, retiring the middle of the order 1-2-3 to send the game to the fourth.
Red Sox 2, Royals 0, Mid 3rd -- Doubront's pitch count isn't helped any when a double play ball is thrown into the outfield by Pedro Ciriaco, costing his pitcher at the very least one out. With two on and one down, however, Doubront picks up a pop-up, and then strikes out Billy Butler with a good curveball that Butler can't help but offer at.
Red Sox 2, Royals 0, End 2nd -- The Sox push another run accross of of Will Smith as Mauro Gomez drew a walk and scored on a wall ball double from Mike Aviles. A Scott Podsednik single puts runners on the corners for the Sox with two outs, but they can't pick up a third run before the inning ends.
Red Sox 1, Royals 0, Mid 2nd -- Another lone baserunner for the Royals against Felix Doubront, another clean inning for the southpaw. This time, though, it comes with two strikeouts, and just the 14 pitches.
Red Sox 1, Royals 0, End 1st -- The Sox find their bats early against Will Smith, though there's plenty of luck to it. A pair of soft fly balls are enough to get them a single and a double, with the latter a pop-up from Dustin Pedroia which neither Eric Hosmer nor Jeff Francoeur can reach in right. Cody Ross laces a single into left field to score one of the runners behind him, but the inning fails to follow through on its full promise as James Loney debuts with a double play.
Red Sox 0, Royals 0, Mid 1st -- Felix Doubront's first inning back is a successful one, if fairly long. Despite giving up just the one hit, a single to Alcides Escobar, it's Doubront's 22nd pitch that gets him out of the inning with a strikeout of Billy Butler. That's not ideal, given how haggard the bullpen is after last night's marathon.
The Red Sox will try to jump back ahead in their series against the Royals Sunday afternoon as Felix Doubront makes his return from the disabled list against Will Smith. First pitch is at 1:35 p.m. EST with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.
It will be the beginning of the James Loney era in Boston--hopefully short-lived though it should be--as the first base import from Los Angeles gets the start for the day. Mauro Gomez, having picked up four hits last night, will not be left out in the cold, however, as he takes over at DH. Ryan Lavarnway will get the start behind the plate, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia the odd man out.
It's a lineup suited to the times. Not a good one, at least as far as the quality of the players is concerned, but one that puts the guys who need to be playing where they need to be.
The only thing that's really unfortunate is the continued absence of David Ortiz, who seems to still be struggling with his Achilles injury.
Boston Red Sox (60-67)
Kansas City Royals (56-69)
The Red Sox fell to the Royals 10-9 in twelve innings Saturday night despite picking up 20 hits in the process.
Aaron Cook found himself in very early trouble against the Royals lineup. Surrendering hits to the first four batters he faced, the Red Sox quickly found themselves in a 3-0 hole in the first before he finally got three outs on two ground balls to end it.
The Sox were not to be held down for long at all. Mauro Gomez got the Sox on the board in the second inning with a one-out homer, and after Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ryan Lavarnway followed him up with singles, Mike Aviles was there to drop a ball into the Monster seats for a three-run shot that earned the Sox the lead.
The lead would just grow for Boston in the next two innings. As Aaron Cook settled down to earn a quality start, the Sox grabbed three in the third with Mauro Gomez accounting for two more of them, and then another pair in the fourth on singles from Cody Ross and none other than Gomez again.
Unfortunately, even a 9-3 lead was not safe from the bullpen tonight. With Cook on short rest, exiting after a short 72 pitches, the Sox turned to Andrew Miller, who completely imploded with two outs. The Royals loaded the bases against the lefty, then pushed two across before Mark Melancon surrendered two more on another pair of hits. Craig Breslow gave up a triple on a bit of bad defense from Cody Ross, and just like that, the game was tied.
The tie game would last long enough to take the Sox into extra innings, and into the bottom of the tenth with a chance to win it. There, Pedro Ciriaco would lead off with a single, move to second on a passed ball, and then to third on a successful sacrifice bunt from Scott Podsednik. The Dodgers elected to pitch to Jacoby Ellsbury instead of Dustin Pedroia with one out and the winning run at third. It proved the right move, as Ellsbury grounded to first, where Eric Hosmer made the throw home to catch Ciriaco. That left Che-Hsuan Lin Boston's last chance in the inning.
It would also end up being Boston's last significant chance in the game. While Junichi Tazawa was able to last through the eleventh and two outs in the twelfth despite having 60 pitches and a trip to and from Pawtucket under his belt since Wednesday night, he could not quite get that third out. A walk, a double, and a single-all with two outs-was enough to get Kansas City that tenth run, and with the Sox not scoring in the bottom of the twelfth-the win.
|Final - 8.25.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||11||12||R|
|Kansas City Royals||0||3||0||0||0||0||6||0||0||0||0||1||10|
|Boston Red Sox||0||0||7||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||9|
It hasn't been discovered exactly what happened, but apparently Aceves was not pleased with manager Bobby Valentine after Friday's game against the Kansas City Royals. The suspension began on Saturday night.
Aceves has been just another disappointment in a topsy-turby 2012 season for Boston, posting a 4.60 ERA in 58 games out of the bullpen. On the bright side, he does lead the team with 25 saves.
In his last appearance, Aceves was touched up in a big way against the Los Angeles Angels, allowing five runs in just 1+ inning during the Red Sox 14-13 extra-inning loss on Thursday night.
For now, it's assumed by most that former closer Andrew Bailey will take over the ninth inning duties now that's he's healthy.
The Red Sox are at it again, even with a drastically depleted lineup featuring neither the departed Adrian Gonzalez, nor the still-sore David Ortiz.
We'll keep you up-to-date on all the action as it goes down in Fenway Park.
Red Sox 9, Royals 9, End 11th -- No such luck. The Sox come up empty in the eleventh, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia's one-out single quickly erased by a Jose Iglesias double play ball.
Red Sox 9, Royals 9, Mid 11th -- Junichi Tazawa gives the Sox three strong outs in the eleventh, sending the game to the bottom half where Mauro Gomez will try to go for his fifth his of the night.
Red Sox 9, Royals 9, End 10th -- The Red Sox get their opportunity, putting Pedro Ciriaco on third with one out, but Jacoby Ellsbury can only ground into the fielder's choice out at home, and with Che-Hsuan Lin striking out behind him, the inning comes to an end with the tie intact.
Red Sox 9, Royals 9, Mid 10th -- Vicente Padilla labors through the tenth, hitting Mike Moustakas to lead off the inning, but a pair of strikeouts see the Sox through to the bottom half of the inning.
Red Sox 9, Royals 9, End 9th -- No walkoff forthcoming. We're headed to extra innings.
Red Sox 9, Royals 9, Mid 9th -- A clean ninth for Andrew Bailey is a very nice sign for the Red Sox. They'll have a chance to win it in the bottom half.
Red Sox 9, Royals 9, End 8th -- Terrible luck costs the Red Sox a lead, as zero outs becomes two when Dustin Pedroia smashes a line drive right to Eric Hosmer, who steps on first base to double off Scott Podsednik. Given that Ellsbury followed up with a double, it was a very costly bit of misfortune, leaving the Red Sox stuck in a tie that shouldn't be.
Red Sox 9, Royals 9, Mid 8th -- Craig Breslow gets three outs in quick order. The Sox could've used that last inning...
Red Sox 9, Royals 9, End 7th -- Aaron Crow gets the lockdown inning after the big comeback, with two strikeouts surrounding a Mike Aviles single and caught stealing.
Red Sox 9, Royals 9, Mid 7th -- And in one awful inning the whole lead dribbles away. Two outs came with the first three batters, with Andrew Miller getting a strikeout and ground out around a single. He would lose control of the zone from there, however, surrendering a pair of walks to load the bases. An Alex Gordon single brought two home and led to Mark Melancon's entry to the game, but he only lasted for two batters, giving up a flair into right to Billy Butler and a single to Salvador Perez. Craig Breslow finally managed to end the inning, but not before surrendering a game-tying triple to Mike Moustakas.
An awful inning, to be sure, but one that's made all the easier to take by the circumstances of the season.
Red Sox 9, Royals 3, End 6th -- Mauro Gomez picks up his fourth hit of the night, but once again runs into the out at second base. He's having a weird, great night, but doesn't help all that much in a second scoreless inning from the Royals bullpen.
Red Sox 9, Royals 3, Mid 6th -- Quite the workmanlike night from Aaron Cook since his three-run first. Five innings, three hits, zero runs, one walk. The Sox will take that from the number five guy in their rotation most nights, even after the first.
Red Sox 9, Royals 3, End 5th -- The Royals finally manage to hold the Sox scoreless for an inning, with Louis Coleman getting the last out of the frame after Teaford gave up two-out singles to Pedro Ciriaco and Scott Podsednik.
Red Sox 9, Royals 3, Mid 5th -- Aaron Cook continues to power through this night after a really bad start. Four balls come on the ground, with two getting through for singles, but it's a fly ball that ends the inning for Cook without damage.
Red Sox 9, Royals 3, End 4th -- Teaford doesn't fare too much better than Aaron Cook. A rare Pedro Ciriaco walk gives the Red Sox a leadoff baserunner, and while the next two outs come quickly, the third takes rather longer. Jacoby Ellsbury slapped a single to the opposite field to put two on for Mauro Gomez, who found a hole between short and third for his third hit of the night and third RBI. Cody Ross picked up a base hit behind him to score Ellsbury, and the Sox made it a six-run lead after four.
Red Sox 7, Royals 3, Mid 4th -- The smoothest of sailing for Aaron Cook in the fourth, as the sinkerballer gets three straight groundouts to keep the Royals down for a third straight inning.
Red Sox 7, Royals 3, End 3rd -- Jeremy Guthrie's night is already over after just 2.2 innings of work. The Sox continue to pile on in the third, sending the first four batters of the innings onto the basepaths. With the bases loaded, a weak ground ball down the third base line ended up good for two runs when Guthrie made an ill-advised throw home that got away from catcher Salvador Pena. A Jarrod Saltalamacchia sacrifice fly was good for a third run before Guthrie left the game and Everett Teaford finished the inning off.
Red Sox 4, Royals 3, Mid 3rd -- Dustin Pedroia robs Alcides Escobar of a hit with a leaping grab. Given the two-out walk to Alex Gordon that followed, he can also be said to have diffused a bad situation before it even started, helping Cook grab a second scoreless inning.
Red Sox 4, Royals 3, End 2nd -- And there's some life for you! The call-ups come through to start the inning, with Mauro Gomez getting the Red Sox on the board with his first major league home run, a very deep fly ball into the Monster seats with one out. Ryan Lavarnway and Jarrod Saltalamacchia quickly add singles behind him to keep the attack rolling, and Mike Aviles caps it off by finding the Monster seats with a three-run shot that lets the Sox leapfrog the Royals in the second.
Royals 3, Red Sox 0, Mid 2nd -- Cook enjoys a much easier second inning, getting a pair of ground ball outs in a 1-2-3 frame.
Royals 3, Red Sox 0, End 1st -- No signs of life from the Sox in the first against Jeremy Guthrie. The Royals starter needs just 11 pitches to get through the inning 1-2-3, striking out Dustin Pedroia in the process.
Royals 3, Red Sox 0, Mid 1st -- If a well-rested Aaron Cook isn't that great, a short-rest Aaron Cook proves a disaster. Four straight hits start the game for the Royals, with Cook giving up plenty of hard hit balls, including a two-run Alex Gordon double to the wall. Cook manages to get couple ground balls after that, ending the inning with a double play, but it's a big hole early on for a depleted lineup to overcome.
The Red Sox will look to secure at least a split of their four-game series against the Royals Saturday when they send Aaron Cook to the mound on short rest against Jeremy Guthrie. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. EST with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.
It's a brave new world for the Red Sox now that the deal sending Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Josh Beckett to Los Angeles for salary relief and prospects. The Sox and their fans will have to wait another couple months before they really start seeing the benefits from the trade, though. For now, they're a depleted baseball team just trying to play out the last 35-odd games.
That does offer some possibilities, though, if only to look at some of the kids. Jose Iglesias and Che-Hsuan Lin are up, and Pedro Ciriaco is still around. Let's see if the kids can get some hits.
Boston Red Sox (60-66)
Kansas City Royals (55-69)
Aaron Cook will start Saturday night's game between the Red Sox and Royals, on just three days' rest. Cook started Tuesday's game against the Angels, pitching five innings while giving up five runs (four earned) on 11 hits. Cook did strike out four in the contest, giving him 11 for the season in 62 innings.
Josh Beckett was the scheduled starter, but Beckett will be a member of the Dodgers by the end of the day.
The Red Sox have also recalled outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin and shortstop Jose Iglesias from AAA Pawtucket. Lin appeared in six games earlier this year for the Red Sox, going 1-for-5 with two strikeouts. Through 107 games in AAA, Lin is batting a paltry .247/.325/.314, with two home runs and 14 stolen bases.
Iglesias, heralded for his glove, has spent the entire season in the minor leagues so far. The 22 year old Cuban shortstop is hitting .266/.318/.306 for Pawtucket through 88 games.
For the latest on the Red Sox, head over to Over the Monster and join the discussion.
Despite the fact that Boston's proposed blockbuster trade has taken over the headlines, manager Bobby Valentine and his Red Sox do have actual baseball to play.
A night after defeating the Kansas City Royals, 4-3, in the series opener, the Red Sox play host to the Royals in the second game of a three-game set.
Boston's starter, though, isn't known. Josh Beckett is listed as Saturday's probable, but as he is one of the four Red Sox being sent to the Dodgers, it seems unlikely that he'll actually make the start.
Jeremy Guthrie will start for the Royals, looking to build on the success he's had in Kansas City. As a member of the Royals, Guthrie is 2-3 with a 3.23 ERA and 1.00 WHIP through 39 innings. Guthrie has only walked eight while striking out 31.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET from Fenway Park. Televised coverage can be found on NESN.
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The Red Sox took a quiet 4-3 win over the Royals Friday night even as their team was exploding with trade talk turmoil off the field.
Boston got off to a quick start thanks to none other than the returning David Ortiz. With two men on base and in scoring position, Ortiz stepped to the plate to see his first pitch since July. It was a fastball, over the plate, and Ortiz didn't miss it, smacking a hard line drive up the middle and bringing both men home to score.
The lead would last only until the third, however, as Jon Lester gave off a first-pitch homer to Eric Hosmer, and had the Royals push another run across with a two-out walk and double. With Kansas City pushing another one across after a bases loaded infield single, the Sox fell behind 3-2.
From there, both pitchers would settle down. Bruce Chen made it through the sixth inning, dodging somewhat frequent baserunners, while Lester made it all the way through the end of the seventh, managing to make this a pretty strong night on the whole for the resurgent southpaw after a bad beginning.
The tides finally shifted back in Boston's favor in the seventh. After a leadoff walk to Mauro Gomez, Bruce Chen was pulled from the game for Kelvin Herrera. Mike Aviles singled behind him to give the Sox two on with no outs, and Scott Podsednik dropped down a successful bunt to bring the tying run within 90 feet of home. While Pedro Ciriaco would initially fall behind 0-2, he managed a piece of hitting so ugly it was beautiful, pulling his knees back and taking a golf swing at a pitch on his shoetops, dropping it into left field for a two-run double.
Jon Lester would come up with a hamstring knock in the eighth, and with his pitch count already high, Bobby Valentine turned to the bullpen for the last six outs. With Vicente Padilla, Andrew Miller, and Andrew Bailey combining
It's not a night that will be remembered for the game that took place, but for all that, it was a solid win none-the-less from what might be the team we'll see for the rest of the season.
For those of you not so consumed by the talk of massive blockbuster trades, we present to you a baseball game.
Red Sox 4, Royals 3, Mid 8th -- Jon Lester's night ends when he grabs at his hamstring in the middle of the first at bat of the inning. Vicente Padilla comes on and gives up an infield single before striking out Jeff Francoeur, bringing Andrew Miller in to face left-handed Mike Moustakas, who pops up for the second out. Bobby V once again turns to the pen, bringing in Andrew Bailey to finish the job with a fly ball out.
Red Sox 4, Royals 3, End 7th -- Pedro the Clutch comes through again! After Mauro Gomez and Mike Aviles gave the Red Sox a pair of leadoff baserunners and Scott Podsednik bunted them into scoring position, Pedro Ciriaco fell behind 0-2, swung at a pitch that was headed directly towards his shoetops...and hit it. Plate discipline isn't Ciriaco's thing, but when he's able to pull his knees back and golf that into left field, over the third baseman's head for a two-run double, why should he have to?
Royals 3, Red Sox 2, Mid 7th -- Jon Lester is through four straight strong innings since giving up the lead to the Royals in the second and third. Despite struggling with the zone a bit again, Lester is able to work around the one walk, retiring three of four batters faced in the inning to escape to the bottom of the seventh.
Royals 3, Red Sox 2, End 6th -- After a leadoff double for Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz picks a bad time to record his first out of the night, striking out on five pitches. With neither Cody Ross or Ryan Lavarnway able to pick up the needed hit, Pedroia is left stranded on the basepaths.
Royals 3, Red Sox 2, Mid 6th -- It's been a bit messy at times, but Jon Lester has himself a quality start in spite of it all after getting through the sixth inning 1-2-3. Eric Hosmer ends it with a strikeout, giving Lester six on the night.
Royals 3, Red Sox 2, End 5th -- The Red Sox respond in kind, going down in order for the second straight inning as Chen seems to have found his rhythm after early struggles.
Royals 3, Red Sox 2, Mid 5th -- Jon Lester induces a double play to erase a leadoff single, earning a bounce-back 1-2-3 frame after a tough fourth.
Royals 3, Red Sox 2, End 4th -- Bruce Chen picks up his first 1-2-3 inning of the night against the bottom of the lineup.
Royals 3, Red Sox 2, Mid 4th -- The Red Sox flirt with disaster, but end up just surrendering the one run to the Royals in what could be considered a relieving finish to the inning. While Lester loads up the bases, growing increasingly frustrated with a tight zone, the only reason the Royals are able to score is because Mauro Gomez can't connect with the covering Lester at first in time on a ground ball. The run comes in on the infield single, which is so often the sort of thing that kicks off a meltdown for this team, but Lester manages to induce the double play immediately thereafter to end the inning.
Red Sox 2, Royals 2, End 3rd -- The Sox likely should have struck back in the third, with Jacoby Ellsbury leading off the frame with a single and David Ortiz doubling shortly thereafter (once again on the first pitch he saw), but Ellsbury gets himself caught trying to steal second, and so Ortiz' double goes for naught.
Red Sox 2, Royals 2, Mid 3rd -- Another day, another bad top of the third for the Red Sox. This one is not nearly so dramatic as the beating the Angels put on them the night before, but with the lead smaller to begin with, it's enough to tie it up all the same. Eric Hosmer gets it started on the first pitch, a fastball over the plate that Hosmer quickly drops into the monster seats for a run. An error from Mike Aviles is erased as the Sox manage to turn a double play, but a walk and a double prove enough to earn the Royals the tie in the third.
Red Sox 2, Royals 0, End 2nd -- The Red Sox get another leadoff baserunner as Ryan Lavarnway finds a hole in the infield with a ground ball. Mike Aviles ends up replacing him on the basepaths with two outs when he grounds into a fielders' choice, reaching second as the Dodgers botched a double play attempt on his grounder and taking third on a Scott Podsednik single. Pedro Ciriaco followed up with a pop-up, however, keeping the Sox off the board.
Red Sox 2, Royals 0, Mid 2nd -- Jon Lester keeps right on rolling, striking out Brayan Pena to end a 1-2-3 second inning.
Red Sox 2, Royals 0, End 1st -- Pedro Ciriaco continues to swing a hot bat, lining a single up the middle after a reasonably lengthy at bat. Jacoby Ellsbury reaches behind him by matching the leadoff dribbler from Lorenzo Cain with one of his own. While Dustin Pedroia is unable to replicate Ellsbury and Cain's feat, leaving the ball close enough to the mound for Bruce Chen to make a play on, he does bring David Ortiz to the plate for the first time in a month with two men in scoring position. Chen delivers a sinker to Ortiz for the first pitch he's seen in a long while, and that's all the designated hitter needs, sending it back up the middle on a line to bring home both runners. Welcome back, Papi!
Red Sox 0, Royals 0, Mid 1st -- Lester gets off to a tough-luck start when Lorenzo Cain dribbles a ground ball to third base for an infield single, but doesn't let that get to him. Cody Ross is able to come in and make a good catch on a sinking line drive to save Lester from more leadoff trouble, and he builds on that by striking out both Alex Gordon and Billy Butler to end the inning.
The Red Sox will kick off their four-game series against the Royals with David Ortiz back in the lineup Friday night as they send Jon Lester to the mound against Bruce Chen. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. EST with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.
While one would have hoped that the return of Adrian Gonzalez to the lineup would have at least restored some semblance of regularity to the Boston lineup, it seems that's not the case. Despite having the obvious 3-4 combo spelled out for him, Bobby Valentine is electing to bat Ortiz fourth and Gonzalez fifth, all to facilitate Pedro Ciriaco remaining at the top of the order.
Maybe it's about getting Ciriaco as many at bats as possible, who knows? But it's just frustrating that the Sox won't seize the chance for some normalcy went it's presented to them.
Boston Red Sox (59-66)
Kansas City Royals (55-58)
The Red Sox will hope to end a four-game losing streak as they welcome the Kansas City Royals into Fenway Park for a four-game weekend set.
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