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Red Sox Today: September 26 at Yankees

Posted by Joshua Kummins on September 26, 2010

RED SOX (86-68)
16 Marco Scutaro 2B
7 J.D. Drew RF
41 Victor Martinez C
34 David Ortiz DH
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
12 Jed Lowrie SS
54 Ryan Kalish CF
22 Bill Hall LF
44 Lars Anderson 1B

18 Daisuke Matsuzka RHP

YANKEES (92-63)
2 Derek Jeter SS
33 Nick Swisher RF
25 Mark Teixeira 1B
13 Alex Rodriguez 3B
24 Robinson Cano 2B
20 Jorge Posada C
17 Lance Berkman DH
14 Curtis Granderson CF
11 Brett Gardner LF

65 Phil Hughes RHP

* The Red Sox meet their rival Yankees in the final game of a three-game weekend series in the Bronx tonight. The teams meet again to conclude the season next weekend at Fenway Park. New York has taken seven of the first 14 games in the series, while the Sox are 5-3 at  Yankee Stadium. Dating back to May 18, the Sox have won five of the last seven against the Bombers.

Pitching change…again: The Yankees re-replaced their starter this afternoon penning Phil Hughes back into the starting role, the New York Times’ Joel Sherman reported.

On the road, one more time: The Red Sox continue their seven-game roadtrip tonight with the finale of three against the Yankees in the Bronx. Following tonight’s game, the Sox begin a four-game series at Chicago to round out the road schedule tomorrow. The Sox have won six road games in a row and eight of the last ten, while the team is 34-24 away from Fenway Park since May 22, the best in the Majors.

For the Record: The Sox are 86-68, good for third in the American League East, tied for fourth in the A.L. and eighth-best in the Majors. Boston has won four of the last eight, but their playoff fates are fading fast. They sit in third place in the division (7.0 games behind the Yankees, elimination number is 2) and second place in the Wild Card (5.5 games behind Tampa Bay, elimination number is 3).

Thanks, Mike: The Sox have designated next Saturday’s game as “Thanks, Mike Night” at Fenway Park to honor Mike Lowell as he retires from baseball after a remarkable 13-year career. The four-time All-Star will be honored during on-field ceremonies before the game.

Spreading the Wealth: The Sox have had 52 players appear in a game this year, most in the A.L. and tied for second in the Majors with the Pirates, behind the Marlins (55). Last season, 52 players also appeared in a game. Boston has used 25 pitchers in 2010, tied for most in the A.L. with the Royals.

Posted in New York Yankees, Red Sox, Red Sox Today | Leave a Comment »

Sox Notes: Hughes placed back into start tonight

Posted by Joshua Kummins on September 26, 2010

Joel Sherman of the New York Post is reporting that Phil Hughes will in fact start against the Red Sox tonight at Yankee Stadium. The report was later confirmed by general manager Brian Cashman.

The Yankees replaced Hughes for Dustin Moseley on Friday afternoon, but they have to go with their ace on the brink of a three-game sweep.

Posted in New York Yankees, Red Sox, Sox Notes | 1 Comment »

Sox Notes: Lopez officially signed, joins Sox in the Bronx

Posted by Joshua Kummins on September 26, 2010

Yesterday, the Sox officially announced the signing of infielder Felipe Lopez and that he had joined the team in New York. Here is the full press release:

The Boston Red Sox today signed infielder Felipe Lopez, who will be active for today’s game in New York, wearing No. 32. To make room on the 40-man roster, the club transferred outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury to the 60-day disabled list. The Red Sox active Major League roster is now at 36 players.

The announcement was made by Executive Vice President/General Manager Theo Epstein.

Lopez, 30, hit .231 (87-for-376) with 18 doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 36 RBI, 50 runs scored and 43 walks in 109 games with St. Louis this season, including 58 games at third base (51 starts), 24 at second base (17 starts), 24 at shortstop (19 starts), two at first base (one start) and one in right field. He also made his pitching debut with a scoreless 18th inning against the Mets on April 17. An All-Star and National League Silver Slugger award recipient at shortstop with Cincinnati in 2005, Lopez has hit .266 (1,112-for-4,181) with 87 homers, 427 RBI, 586 runs scored, 436 walks and 123 stolen bases in 1,133 career games over parts of 10 Major League seasons with the Blue Jays (2001-02), Reds (2003-06), Nationals (2006-08), Cardinals (2008, 2010), Diamondbacks (2009), and Brewers (2009). He was originally selected by Toronto in the first round of the 1998 First-Year Player Draft.

Ellsbury, 27, was placed on the 15-day disabled list on August 14 with fractured ribs, his third stint on the disabled list in 2010. He appeared in 18 games with the Red Sox this season, going 15-for-78 (.192) with four doubles, five RBI, 10 runs and four walks.

Posted in Red Sox, Sox Notes, St. Louis Cardinals | Leave a Comment »

Sox Summary: Yankees hit six, but Sox hang ten for series-opening win

Posted by Joshua Kummins on September 25, 2010

The Sox rocked Andy Pettitte and the Yankees, booting them out of first place in the A.L. East. (Suzy Allman/New York Times)

THE BRONX, New York (Friday, September 24, 2010) – Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira each went deep twice among six home runs by the Yankees total, but the Sox scored early to hang on to a 10-8 win at Yankee Stadium on Friday night. With the win, the Sox have won two in a row overall and against the Yankees, while the Yankees have dropped out of first place with three losses.

In the second, the Sox took a 3-0 lead as Jed Lowrie hit a three-run home run five rows deep in the right field seats (7) with one out. The Yankees got one back one inning later as Curtis Granderson hit a one-out solo shot to right field (22), making it 3-1.

With one out in the fourth, the Sox Darnell McDonald hit a two-run double, while Marco Scutaro hit a two-run single to make it 7-1. In the fifth, Bill Hall broke the game open with a three-run shot to left field (18) with two outs.

The Yankees came storming back, outscoring the Sox 7-0 over the final four innings. In the sixth, Mark Teixeira (31, right) and Alex Rodriguez (26, left) went back-to-back with one out. In the seventh, New York added two more dingers as Nick Swisher hit a two-run homer to right field (28), while Rodriguez hit his second of the game to game to left-center field (27). Teixeira added a two-out solo shot to right-center field (32) with two out in the ninth.

Josh Beckett earned the win as he allowed seven hits and five runs over 6.2 innings to improve to 6-5. Jonathan Papelbon allowed a run in the ninth, but locked up his 37th save. Andy Pettitte was roughed up over just 3.1 innings, allowing ten hits and seven runs to fall to just 11-3.

The Red Sox look to make it two-in-a-row against the Yankees as Jon Lester faces Ivan Nova in the middle game of the series at 4:10 on Saturday.

NOTES

* Numerous reports are saying that the Red Sox have signed infielder Felipe Lopez from the St. Louis Cardinals. The first sign of this move was from CSNNE.com’s Sean McAdam.

* First baseman Mike Lowell was still in the clubhouse and told reporters he felt OK after getting hit in the head by a bad-hop grounder. 

Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia has been shut down because of a torn ligament in his left thumb. Dr. Thomas Graham, a hand specialist, is scheduled to examine Saltalamacchia in Cleveland on Monday.

Posted in New York Yankees, Red Sox, Sox Summary | Leave a Comment »

Red Sox Today: September 24 at Yankees

Posted by Joshua Kummins on September 24, 2010

RED SOX (84-68)
16 Marco Scutaro 2B
7 J.D. Drew RF
41 Victor Martinez C
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
34 David Ortiz DH
25 Mike Lowell 1B
12 Jed Lowrie SS
22 Bill Hall LF
54 Darnell McDonald CF

19 Josh Beckett RHP

YANKEES (92-61)
2 Derek Jeter SS
33 Nick Swisher RF
25 Mark Teixeira 1B
13 Alex Rodriguez 3B
24 Robinson Cano 2B
17 Lance Berkman DH
20 Jorge Posada C
14 Curtis Granderson CF
11 Brett Gardner LF

46 Andy Pettitte LHP

* The Red Sox meet their rival Yankees in the opening game of a three-game weekend series in the Bronx tonight, their first meeting since the first weekend of August. New York has taken seven of the first 12 games in the series, but are 3-3 at Yankee Stadium. Dating back to May 18, the Sox have won three of the last five against the Bombers.

Series Pitching Change: Dustin Moseley (4-3, 4.94) will take the place of Phil Hughes in Sunday night’s game for New York. Manager Joe Girardi wants to cut back on his innings before the postseason.

On the road, one more time: The Red Sox open their final roadtrip of the season tonight with the first of three against the Yankees in the Bronx. Following this series, the Sox play four games at Chicago to round out the road schedule. The Sox have won four road games in a row and six of the last eight, while the team is 32-24 away from Fenway Park since May 22, the best in the Majors.

For the Record: The Sox are 84-68, good for third in the American League East, fourth in the A.L. and ninth-best in the Majors. Boston has lost four of six, but their playoff fates are fading fast. They sit in third place in the division (7.5 games behind the Yankees, elimination number is 3) and second place in the Wild Card (7.0 games behind Tampa Bay, elimination number is 4).

Spreading the Wealth: The Sox have had 52 players appear in a game this year, most in the A.L. and tied for second in the Majors with the Pirates, behind the Marlins (55). Last season, 52 players also appeared in a game. Boston has used 25 pitchers in 2010, tied for most in the A.L. with the Royals.

Posted in New York Yankees, Red Sox, Red Sox Today | Leave a Comment »

Sox Notes: Sox set to honor Lowell Oct. 2

Posted by Joshua Kummins on September 23, 2010

by Ian Browne, MLB.com

The day before Mike Lowell plays his final game in the Major Leagues, the Red Sox will honor the highly respected veteran with an on-field ceremony.

There will be a tribute for Lowell at Fenway Park on Oct. 2, just prior to that day’s game against the New York Yankees.

The Red Sox announced Thursday that they have designated that night as “Thanks, Mike Night” so they can honor the corner infielder for an impressive 13-year career.

Lowell broke in with the Yankees as a September callup in 1998 and was traded to the Marlins the following spring. He came to Boston along with Josh Beckett in a trade on Thanksgiving of 2005 and has been a fan favorite his entire time with the Red Sox.

“I think I made a good first impression. I went 4-for-4 the first home game,” said Lowell, who is 36. “I kind of consider myself more of that working-class mentality. My personality is not this ultra-flamboyant person. I love David Ortiz. He’s a huge personality that walks into the room and I think fans love him for that. That’s not me, you know what I mean? At times, I wish I could capture a room the way he does. That’s just not me.”

But Red Sox fans formed an instant connection with Lowell like they’ve had with other grinders in the past. Trot Nixon and current Sox star Kevin Youkilis are two players who have been beloved for having similar grit as Lowell.

“I think that maybe that steady ‘come to work, shut your mouth, play hard every day’ — I think a lot of people appreciate that,” said Lowell. “This fan base is very knowledgeable when it comes to those things. To feel appreciated from a fan base like that, is, I think, very gratifying. It’s kind of an explanation point with the way you go about your business.”

Pregame ceremonies will start 30 minutes prior to game time, which is to be determined. It will be a special night for Lowell, who, even before the tribute was announced, had arranged for his entire family to be in Boston for his final weekend.

Fans of Red Sox Nation can participate by attending the game or by posting their well wishes for Lowell at the website http://www.redsox.com/thanksmike.

In a 13-year career that has included four All-Star appearances, Lowell is a .278 hitter with 222 homers and 948 RBIs.

He was the Most Valuable Player of the 2007 World Series, when the Red Sox swept the Colorado Rockies.

Posted in "Thanks, Mike!", Red Sox, Sox Notes | 1 Comment »

Sox Summary: Offense comes alive in finale with Orioles

Posted by Joshua Kummins on September 23, 2010

David Ortiz

David Ortiz hit a home run and drove in four as the Sox salvaged the final game with Baltimore. (Boston Globe)

BOSTON, Massachusetts (Wednesday, September 22, 2010) – David Ortiz led the offense with four RBI as the Red Sox salvaged the final game of the series with the Orioles, 6-1, on Wednesday at Fenway Park. The Sox were able to finish the season series tied nine games a piece, despite dropping four of the first six and two of three in this final series. With the win, Boston also gained ground on the Yankees with their loss to Tampa Bay.

The Orioles scored first on a one-out double by Ty Wigginton, while David Ortiz got it right back and then some in the bottom of the frame on a three-run blast into the Red Sox bullpen (31) with one out.

In the fifth, Josh Reddick smacked one out of the yard as he hit a one-out solo shot (1) to right field to make it 4-1. The Sox added two more with no outs in the sixth inning on a David Ortiz single and an Adrian Beltre double.

John Lackey pitched well to earn his 13th win of the season, allowing just five hits and a run in seven innings. Kevin Millwood allowed seven hits and all six runs (earned) over five innings, falling to a whopping 3-16.

The Sox have Thursday off and open a crucial series with the Yankees in the Bronx. It will mark the first of two weekends in a row between the Sox and Yanks. Josh Beckett will face Andy Pettitte in the Friday series opener at 7:05 p.m.

Posted in Baltimore Orioles, Red Sox, Sox Summary | 1 Comment »

Red Sox Today: September 22 vs. Orioles

Posted by Joshua Kummins on September 22, 2010

RED SOX (83-68)
54 Ryan Kalish CF
7 J.D. Drew RF
41 Victor Martinez C
34 David Ortiz DH
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
25 Mike Lowell 1B
22 Bill Hall 2B
46 Josh Reddick LF
56 Yamaico Navarro SS

40 John Lackey RHP

ORIOLES (61-90)
1 Brian Roberts 2B
21 Nick Markakis RF
23 Ty Wiggington 1B
30 Luke Scott DH
32 Matt Wieters C
10 Adam Jones CF
18 Felix Pie LF
12 Robert Andino 3B
3 Cesar Izturis SS

34 Kevin Millwood RHP

* The Red Sox and Orioles conclude their final series of the season at Fenway Park tonight. Despite sitting deep in the division cellar, the Orioles have a 9-8 advantage in the season series. The Sox are 4-4 against them at Fenway and 4-5 in Camden Yards.

Hitting a home stretch: The Red Sox conclude a six-in-six homestand with the finale of three against Baltimore. Following this series, the Sox have Thursday off and open up the final roadtrip of the season with stops in New York (this weekend) and Chicago (next Monday-Thursday). The Sox have won 23 of the last 42 home games and the club is 42-28 at home since April 20, the sixth-best record in the A.L. in that span.

For the Record: The Sox are 83-68, good for third in the American League East, fifth in the A.L. and tenth-best in the Majors. The Sox have won five of nine and are 28-242 since July 26. The Sox sit third in the division, nine games behind first place New York. They also stand in second place in the Wild Card race, 6.5 games behind first-place Tampa Bay.

Spreading the Wealth: The Sox have had 52 players appear in a game this year, most in the A.L. and tied for second in the Majors with the Pirates, behind the Marlins (55). Last season, 52 players also appeared in a game. Boston has used 25 pitchers in 2010, tied for most in the A.L. with the Royals.

Posted in Baltimore Orioles, Red Sox, Red Sox Today | Leave a Comment »

Sox Summary: Bullpen blows Buchholz gem as Orioles explode late

Posted by Joshua Kummins on September 22, 2010

The Orioles have taken the first two games from the Red Sox in the series. (AP)

BOSTON, Massachusetts (Tuesday, September 21, 2010) – After Clay Buchholz exited the game in the seventh, the Red Sox bullpen allowed eight runs over the final three innings as the Orioles routed the Sox, 9-1, at Fenway Park on Monday, in game two of the series. With the win, the Orioles take a 9-8 lead in the season series and look for the three-game sweep and season win over the Sox in the finale Wednesday.

In the sixth, Felix Pie popped out to Marco Scutaro with two outs, but what looked like a routine play turned into an error to allow the tying run to score. Things unraveled in the seventh as Ty Wigginton hit a three-run home run around Pesky Pole off Scott Atchison.

Robert Andino hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning, while the O’s scored four more in the ninth on Wigginton and Luke Scott singles, a wild pitch by Jonathan Papelbon and a Matt Wieters popout.

The Sox scored their lone run on a second-inning Daniel Nava single.

Brad Bergesen earned the win, his eighth of the season as he allowed five hits and a run over six innings. After Clay Buchholz allowed four hits and an unearned run in six innings, Scott Atchison gave up three runs to take his third loss.

The Orioles go for a three-game sweep as John Lackey faces Kevin Milwood on Wednesday.

Posted in Baltimore Orioles, Red Sox, Sox Summary | Leave a Comment »

Twins clinch A.L. Central crown

Posted by Joshua Kummins on September 22, 2010

Twins clinch AL Central title

by Kelly Theiser, MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — After two straight years of playing in Game 163, the Twins spent much of the 2010 season talking about how the American League Central race would likely go down to the final week once again.

There were even a few mentions by Twins players of how their success against the White Sox would bode well, and that they could potentially get home-field advantage if a one-game tiebreaker was needed for a third consecutive year.

So perhaps it only seems fitting that on Tuesday night, the Twins became the first team in baseball to clinch their spot in the postseason — their sixth AL Central title in the last nine seasons.

After securing a 6-4 comeback victory over the Indians, the team waited around patiently before a 7-2 loss by the White Sox officially brought Minnesota’s magic number to zero — securing what had seemed over the past week to be an inevitable title for the club.

And this year, there will be no fretting until the end for the Twins.

“Considering we’ve been to Game 163 the last couple years, I think this might work out a little bit better for us,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of clinching with 11 games left in the season.

“At least I know we’ll be rested for the first game, and that’s a nice thought that we can get some people healthy and kind of set things up a little bit easier than we have the last couple years.”

Clinching so early certainly seemed to be the last thing that the Twins were thinking about back in March when All-Star closer Joe Nathan went down with a season-ending elbow injury.

It was the first of what would be many obstacles the Twins would have to overcome over the year.

Justin Morneau, who was considered an AL MVP candidate in the first half, suffered a concussion on July 7 that has kept him off the field for more than two months. Opening Day starter Scott Baker has been sidelined twice by elbow tendinitis, and fellow starter Kevin Slowey also battled elbow issues. Nick Blackburn required a stint in the Minor Leagues to get himself back on track.

A slow start offensively by Joe Mauer over the first half of the season was concerning, as were the nagging injuries that seemed to be bothering the All-Star catcher. Nick Punto, J.J. Hardy and Orlando Hudson combined to have seven stints on the disabled list. And the Twins turned to rookie third baseman Danny Valencia, who had expected to be a temporary callup, when injuries depleted the club’s infield.

But the Twins found a way to overcome any roadblock in their way and deliver one of the best second-half records in team history. The Twins are 45-18 since the All-Star break, good for a .714 winning percentage. Only two teams since 2001 have had a second-half winning percentage that high, and both were Oakland A’s squads (2001 and 2002).

“It seemed like no matter how many injuries we had, somebody always stepped up and kept us in it,” said pitching coach Rick Anderson.

“We don’t give up,” said Michael Cuddyer, who has started at five different positions this season and shifted to first base full time when Morneau went down. “We don’t really ever give up. We continue to plug away and continue to play good baseball. When you worry about only that, you’ll have success in the second half.”

The Twins entered the 2010 season with high expectations, arriving at Spring Training with a record payroll for the franchise nearing $100 million and having added pieces like designated hitter Jim Thome, Hudson and Hardy to what they felt was already a strong core.

The moves by general manager Bill Smith continued during the season, as right before the July 31 Trade Deadline he acquired closer Matt Capps and then got left-hander Brian Fuentes in a waiver trade with the Angels in August.

“I think the goal going into the offseason was to address the depth,” Cuddyer said. “They obviously didn’t know we were going to lose those guys, and unfortunately we did. Then we addressed more depth and we continued to get deeper. You’ve got to give all the credit in the world to [Smith] and all those guys in the front office. They did a heck of a job bringing in the depth that we needed.”

The strong second half has allowed the Twins to do something on Tuesday night that they hadn’t done in any of their recent pennant races — secure the title well before the end of the season and hopefully give themselves the rest that they’d been missing in recent years.

In 2006, the Twins didn’t clinch the division title until the final day of the season, having not led at any point before that. The Twins lost to the White Sox in Game 163 in ’08 to miss out on the postseason, and then they rallied from seven games down in September in ’09 by beating the Tigers in the one-game tiebreaker at the Metrodome to clinch the AL Central title. But even the two times they made the postseason, they didn’t have much energy left after some exhausting races to the titles.

Now, the Twins seem ready to use the little over a week and a half remaining in the regular season to prepare themselves for what they hope will be a long postseason run.

“You make the playoffs — that’s a great achievement in itself,” said Mauer. “This team has other goals, too. We’re on the right track.”

Posted in Minnesota Twins, MLB Postseason | Leave a Comment »