Darnell McDonald was called from Pawtucket yesterday to lend a hand to the Red Sox in case they needed an extra bat. The 31-year old outfielder was asked to pinch-hit in the eighth inning, where he stepped up to crush a two-run homer before contributing the game winning single in the ninth for Boston to defeat the Texas Rangers 7-6. McDonald certainly arrived at the right time to help lift the Sox to claim their first win in seven games. “I couldn’t write a script any better than this,” he said. “A lot happened. A dream come true. That’s why I signed over here to be able to play in this type of atmosphere.”
Tim Wakefield was able to earn some franchise history for himself as McDonald became the first Red Sox player to homer in his first plate appearance since Orlando Cabrera in 2004. The veteran knuckleballer just recently surpassed Cy Young to move into second place on the Red Sox all-time list with more than 2,729 innings pitched. In total he let up six runs through six innings of with five walks and three strikeouts, all while allowing the Rangers to steal nine bases. “I was just concentrating on throwing strikes and wasn’t keeping an eye on the running game, which showed, they stole nine bases off me,” said Wakefield. “I know it’ll get better.” The Sox will matchup with the Rangers again this Wednesday and Thursday before welcoming the Baltimore Orioles to Fenway for a three-game weekend series. Boston Red Sox tickets are now available!
The Boston Red Sox are soon expected to trade third baseman Mike Lowell to the Texas Rangers for catcher Max Ramirez. The young Ramirez had 46 at bats last season in the show, hitting for an average of .217 with two home runs and nine RBI’s. The Sox will have to pick up most of Lowell’s $12 million salary as part of the deal.
Lowell underwent hip surgery after the 2008 season which really affected his mobility. He offered to contribute at first base in order to stay in Boston, but Red Sox management wasn’t too favorable towards the idea. “I’m not for it,” said Terry Francona. “The guy has played third base his whole life. He could do it, but I don’t know if it’s as easy as people think, and I don’t know if it’s in his best interests.”
While signing shortstop Marco Scutaro earlier this off-season, GM Theo Epstein said he’d like to see a better fit defense in 2010. “I think we could do more, certainly,” he said. “Whether we’re able to or not remains to be seen. I think it will be hard to improve both on offense and with our defense, but I’m not sure which direction it will go yet.” 2010 Boston Red Sox tickets are now available!
Dustin Pedroia led the derby for the Boston Red Sox with two home runs and three RBI’s as they went on to demolish the Orioles 10-0 last night at Fenway Park. After a dismal Labor day showing in regards to Boston’s offense, Kevin Youkilis, Alex Gonzalez, JD Drew, and David Ortiz all decided to take their drivers out against entire Baltimore pitching staff yesterday as well.
Big Papi’s center field shot ranked him tied with Frank Thomas for the most home runs all-time produced by a designated hitter. It didn’t seem to be on his mind during the game, since he just found out by reporters during post-game interviews. “I did? Ortiz Asked. “Wow. That’s a good accomplishment. Frank Thomas is a 500-home-run hitter, so to be tied with him, that’s special.” Ortiz has belted 312 career total homers and 269 as a DH.
Clay Buchholz never gave the Orioles a chance to come back (let alone score a run), allowing just three hits and one walk in his seven innings of work. Michael Bowden came in from the bullpen and shut the door in the eighth and ninth. “They had to respect every pitch that he could throw for strikes,” said manager Terry Francona on Buchholz. “When he pitches like that, and I’m not trying to get ahead of myself, it’s amazing how good the organization feels about the future. You look at him out there putting up zeroes, and the way he can do it, it’s very exciting.”
The Red Sox are now two games up on the Wild Card over the Texas Rangers heading into tonight’s game against Baltimore. With just over twenty games left in the regular season, Boston will look to keep that Wild Card lead and attempt to make up some ground in the AL East Standings.
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David Ortiz knocked in three runs with a double and a home run, giving the Boston Red Sox the early advantage against the Blue Jays last night in Toronto. The Sox jumped out early, scoring four runs in the second inning and three more in the fourth and fifth. Beckett did not show his best, giving up seven runs in 5 1/3 innings pitched. After Boston’s three run rally in the eighth, Jonathon Papelbon came in to shut the door. Papelbon certainly didn’t make it look easy, letting up three walks and two hits. Regardless, he was able to close out the game and hold a 10-9 lead for Boston. “There’s something to be said for persistence, because that was a very losable game,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “It would’ve been heartbreaking because of that — because of the way the guys played.”
Jason Bay, who contributed with a solo homer in the fifth reflected on the outcome and said “Whether we win 10-0 and Josh throws a shutout or we win 10-9, a win’s a win.” This victory for Boston, however, was a bit more meaningful then others, knowing it got the Sox a share of the Wild Card lead with the Texas Rangers. Boston remains seven games behind the New York Yankees in the AL East standings. The Sox will match up against the Toronto Blue Jays for two more games before hosting the Yanks for a three-game weekend series.
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Mets David Wright, Dodgers Hiroki Kuroda, and Rangers Ian Kinsler each suffered a ball to the head last Saturday during various MLB contests, and each of the players are currently in different states of recovery. David Wright’s return to the lineup this season is doubtful, as Kuroda and Kinsler have both been released from their hospital locations. The most unusual situation involving pitcher Kuroda (who had a ball fire back at him on the mound) says he is “lucky to be alive” but feeling good.
Wright is hungry to get back on the field despite his recent shock to the head. “David wanted to take a chance to go out and play, but we decided to take it away from him and DL him based on the recommendation of our doctors who consulted with a specialist,” said Mets general manager Omar Minaya. “It’s a medical decision.” The recent hit-by-pitch occurrences have created the notion that punishments should be more severe for pitchers aiming at a hitters body. Usually a warning is issued to begin with before immediate ejection from the game if the act is conducted again.
Frank Francisco shut down the heart of Boston’s order in 10 pitches to help the Texas Rangers hold on to win 4-3 last night, putting them ahead of the Red Sox in the AL Wildcard race. After blowing the lead in the same scenario last Friday, Francisco found redemption this time around when he fooled Victor Martinez with a split-fingered fastball in the dirt. “I got a little excited,” Francisco said. “That was a good game for us, a very important game. I got a little bit excited. Everybody did.”
Kevin Youkilis will be back in the lineup for the Sox on Tuesday against the Toronto Blue Jays after serving his five game suspension. So far this season Youk has posted a .311 batting average with 20 homeruns and 66 RBI’s. The Red Sox will look to find their rhythm on the offensive end heading into the three-game series at Toronto. Next weekend starting August 21st they are set to host the New York Yankees at Fenway for a three-game weekend series. The Sox could really use a winning streak starting Tuesday, knowing they have fallen to 7 1/2 games behind the Yankees in the AL East division standings.
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The Boston Red Sox have recently acquired shortstop Alex Gonzalez from the Cincinnati Reds. He is signed under a $6 million option for next season and dealt for one or two players later to be named. Gonzalez was a member of the Boston Red Sox in 2006 before heading to the Reds. He was not present for the entire 2008 season; sidelined with a fractured knee added on to complications in his right elbow. In his 68 games played with the Reds this season he hit for a .210 average. Despite his below average numbers from the plate, he surely makes up for it on the defensive end.
Gonzalez is expected to fill the void in the left side of the infield for Boston this Saturday against the Texas Rangers. The Sox are set to open the series against Texas tonight at 8:05 pm.
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John Lester will be taking the mound for Boston tonight at 8:05 pm, as they open up a three game series against the Texas Rangers with Kevin Millwood as their probable starter. In Lester’s five starts since the All-Star break, he holds a 3.00 ERA with a 1-1 record. Boston is just barely edging out The Rangers in the AL Wildcard race by a half game. After failing to close out the series against the Detroit Tigers, Boston is in search of a win to get them back where they need to be.
The last time the Sox matched up against Texas for a series, the Rangers handled them in all three games. “We’re bunched up with a couple teams, but obviously when we play them it’s heightened a little,” third baseman Mike Lowell said. “It’s going to be a good series. We’re playing much better baseball than we did last week. Hopefully, we can carry it over into Texas.” Don’t miss your chance to see the Red Sox as they battle for a playoff spot in these last few weeks of the regular season.
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The final day before the trading deadline was an eventful one. Though no top-level players changed hands, a good deal of players will be donning new uniforms the next time they take the field. The Los Angeles Dodgers traded Josh Bell and Steve Johnson for Baltimore closer George Sherrill. The Pirates traded John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny to the Cubs for Kevin Hart, Josh Harrison, and Jose Ascanio. The Royals only needed to send cash considerations to the Tigers to obtain Josh Anderson.
Deals to look out for tomorrow: Roy Halladay talks are “dead” according to J.P. Ricciardi, though the team is open to discussing deals tomorrow. The Rangers, Angels, and Red Sox are still in the hunt. Padres closer Heath Bell may be on the move as well. The Marlins are reportedly interested, but are unwilling to part with the players San Diego wants. Bell’s teammate Adrian Gonzalez is also said to be the subject of heated talks between the Padres and Sox, but no deal is iminent.
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In an eventful weekend series against the Texas Rangers, the Sox were dominated by Kevin Millwood, saw Jon Lester flirt with perfection, and ultimately fell short in the rubber game. On Friday night the Red Sox ran into one of Kevin Millwood’s occasional flashes of brilliance. The Rangers’ right-hander went seven strong innings, scattering 7 hits and four walks without an earned un (one unearned on a Chris Davis error). Eddie Guardado and Darren O’Day each pitched a scoreless inning to give the Rangers a rare win in Boston; breaking an 8 game losing streak at Fenway. “It’s a different year,” Rangers second baseman Kinsler said in a post-game interview. “It’s just another win. We’re just trying to keep winning.” David Ortiz provided Boston’s only offense of the night, driving in Jason Bay on a single in 8th.
The Sox would fare far better on Saturday. Jon Lester took a perfect game into the 7th inning, before finally surrendering a double to Michael Young. “I was real happy it was a well-struck ball,” Lester said. “It wasn’t an infield hit or anything like that.”Though Lester’s second bid for a historic game a Fenway was over, he went the distance for a dominant 2-hit complete game. Boston’s offense came alive with 8 runs, including David Ortiz’s second homer of the year. “That’s how you get back to hitting balls and start hitting well, put a good swing on a ball,” Ortiz told reporters after the game. “Even though you don’t get the good luck, it will come.”
Daisuke Matsuzaka struggled in Sunday afternoon’s game. He lasted just 5 2/3 innings, surrendering five runs on ten hits. The Ranger offensive attack was led by left-fielder Nelson Cruz. Cruz went 3-4 with a double, triple, and home run (just a single short of the cycle), driving in one run and scoring three times. Vincente Padilla gave up 2 earned runs in 7 innings of work, improving his record to 4-3 on the season. Jonathan Papelbon worked a perfect 9th in a non-save situation. Sox centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury left in the 4th inning with a shoulder sprain, and will be evaluated later today.
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