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August 21, 2007
PawSox 9, Chiefs 7
PAWTUCKET -- There’s been a lot of focus surrounding catchers in the Boston Red Sox organization this week.
After Red Sox backup catcher Doug Mirabelli was placed on the disabled list last Friday with a strained right calf muscle, Boston summoned the services of Kevin Cash from Pawtucket to replace him. Cash started two games behind the plate for the Red Sox, including a solid job working as Tim Wakefield’s batterymate Monday in Tampa.
PawSox catcher George Kottaras, who is considered a prospect by the Red Sox, rebounded from a recent knee injury suffered in a home-plate collision during the team’s last home stand earlier this month, and put on an offensive display with two homers in Monday’s loss.
Now Dusty Brown put is in the mix.
Called up from Double-A Portland on Saturday, the 25-year-old catcher made his Triple-A debut on Sunday and was behind the plate again last night and helped the PawSox to a 9-7 victory over Syracuse Chiefs at McCoy Stadium with a 1-for-4 performance, including two RBI.
The Red Sox will need a solid backup catcher for Jason Varitek, and eventually someone who will replace the Boston legend. The Red Sox had the future catcher with Kelly Shoppach, but traded him to Cleveland as part of the Coco Crisp deal two seasons ago and now the Red Sox are looking elsewhere.
Cash, Kottaras and now Brown all want to make an impact.
“Even when I was in Portland I felt [like I was in the mix] because I was playing real well, especially behind the plate,” said Brown. “I kept hearing good things from rovers, but now that I’m up here I get to play against the other guys I’m in the mix with and see how I compare, and let other people see how I compare. It’s good to be here.”
With the PawSox trailing by a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Brown provided a much-needed spark with a two-run single to tie the game at 7-7.
“It’s great,” he said. “It’s awesome. I couldn’t have picked a better spot to get a hit.”
Pawtucket’s Ed Rogers and Jacoby Ellsbury added a RBI each in the bottom of the eighth for a 9-6 lead before closer Travis Hughes allowed one run in the ninth, but still earned his 21st save of the season to become the club’s all-time leader in that category.
“It wasn’t pretty but I got the job done,” said Hughes, who broke Cory Bailey’s mark of 20 set in 1993. “It’s been a good year. I just need to stay consistent because it doesn’t matter how you start the year, it’s how you finish. I’m glad I got [the record], but it just means I’ve been here all year.”
It was an eclectic game for the PawSox as they close out the home stand and head out on the road. Ellsbury went 1-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to 17 games. Brandon Moss belted a pair of solo home runs, and Bobby Scales 2-for-4 with a home run.
“There were a lot of good things that happened on the field tonight,” said PawSox manager Ron Johnson.
Still, it seems like the catching position in the organization is answering some questions this week, and Brown has quickly made an impact.
“This guy is a good receiver,” said Johnson. “He got rave reviews from Double-A.”
Now that he’s that much closer to the big leagues, Brown can taste it.
"You’re one step closer and only a phone call away,” he said. “Now it’s even a shorter phone call.”
Posted by Chris Venditto at 10:53 PM to PawSox
Final: Red Sox 8, Devil Rays 6
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Sometimes they come easy. Sometimes they don't. And sometimes -- like tonight -- they come a lot harder than they should.
Still, when all was said and done, the Red Sox did what they usually do against the Devil Rays: They won.
Boston outhit Tampa Bay 11-4 but had to fight to the end to come up with an 8-6 victory, which improved their record against the Rays this year to 9-2. Jonathan Papelbon nailed it down with a four-out save, striking out three of the four batters he faced. The save, his 30th of the year, made a winner of Jon Lester.
Papelbon is the first pitcher in Red Sox history to have back-to-back 30-save seasons.
Lester struggled through 5 2/3 innings, allowing four hits (including two homers), four walks and five runs. He was bit by the home-run ball, as Carlos Pena touched him for a two-run homer in the first inning, tying the game at 2-2, and Akinori Iwamura hit a three-run shot in the fifth, cutting Boston's lead to 7-5.
Still, thanks to 3 1/3 innings of one-run relief from Manny Delcarmen, Hideki Okajima and Papelbon, he was able to record the victory, upping his record to 2-0.
The game was decided when the Red Sox put up five runs in the fourth inning.
With the score tied 2-2, David Ortiz led off with a soft grounder to the left of the mound and beat pitcher Andy Sonnanstine's throw to first for an infield single. After Manny Ramirez struck out, Mike Lowell was hit on the left hand by a pitch, putting runners on first and second. J.D. Drew followed with a hard single to left, loading the bases.
Jason Varitek put the Red Sox ahead to stay with a soft single into left, driving in Ortiz and making it 3-2. Coco Crisp then ripped a hard grounder down the first-base line and into the right-field corner for a two-run double, giving the Sox a 5-2 lead. Julio Lugo made it 7-2 with his own two-run double, to center.
Boston had taken a quick 2-0 lead in the first when Kevin Youkilis doubled, Ortiz tripled and Ramirez hit a sacrifice fly. A two-out, two-run homer by Pena tied the score in the bottom of the first.
The teams traded unearned runs in the seventh, with the Sox scoring on an error by shortstop Josh Wilson and the Devil Rays scoring when Pedroia dropped a potential inning-ending liner by Carl Crawford.
Posted by Art Martone at 10:07 PM | Permalink
Pregame Notes, Aug. 21
-- The Sox have acquired first baseman/outfielder Chris Carter from Washington via the Diamondbacks, completing last week's trade of Wily Mo Pena to the Nationals.
The Nationals obtained Carter from Arizona for minor-league right-hander Emiliano Fruto and then shipped him to the Sox, who have assigned him to Pawtucket.
Carter, a left-handed hitter, was batting .324 with 18 homers and 84 RBI in 126 games for Tucson, the Diamondbacks' Triple A club. He was leading the Pacific Coast League in hits (163), tied for second in doubles (39) and was fifth in batting average.
-- Manny Ramirez is back in left field after serving as the designated hitter on Monday night. David Ortiz returns as the DH tonight after having had Monday night off. Ramirez will likely be given a day of rest tomorrow.
-- Kevin Cash, who did a solid job catching Tim Wakefield's knuckleballs Monday night in his first game replacing catcher Doug Mirabelli, had a passed ball taken away from his log today.
Cash initially was charged with a passed ball when Carl Crawford struck out in the first inning. The pitch bounced off Cash's mitt. He chased it down and threw out Crawford at first base as Akinori Iwamura, running from first base, made it to second. But upon further review, a catcher cannot be charged with a passed ball on such a play.
-- The Sox will have their fantasy football draft tonight, a source of good-natured fun and anticipation.
-- Steven Krasner
Posted by Steven Krasner at 5:28 PM | Permalink
Starting Lineups, Aug. 21
-- Steven Krasner
Posted by Steven Krasner at 5:24 PM | Permalink
Ortiz selling a car on eBay
Taking a cue from his grill-shilling partner in the middle of the batting order, Red Sox slugger David Ortiz is offering up his red 2005 Mercedes Benz SL65 AMG for auction on eBay.
According to the posting, Ortiz spent more than $205,000 to buy the car and another $35,000 in after-market accessories.
The posting also says that Ortiz will personally deliver the car to the auction winner.
Current bid: $169,000.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 2:57 PM | Permalink
Sox Streakers for August 21
Red Sox vs. Andy Sonnanstine
-Jason Varitek, 2 for 3 (.667), HR
-Mike Lowell, 2 for 3 (.667), 2B
-Coco Crisp, 0 for 2, BB
-Julio Lugo, 0 for 2
-Dustin Pedroia, 0 for 2
-J.D. Drew, 0 for 3
-David Ortiz, 0 for 3
-Manny Ramirez, 0 for 3
-Kevin Youkilis, 0 for 3
-Sonnanstine faced the Red Sox for the first time on Wednesday; he pitched 6.2 innings, giving up three earned runs, four hits and two walks while striking out three and picking up a win.
Devil Rays vs. Jon Lester
-B.J. Upton, 2 for 6 (.333)
-Carl Crawford, 1 for 3 (.333), 2B
-Akinori Iwamura, 1 for 4 (.250), 2 BB
-Carlos Pena, 1 for 4 (.250)
-Jonny Gomes, 1 for 5 (.200), HR
-Josh Paul, 1 for 5 (.200), HR
-Brendan Harris, 1 for 5 (.200)
-Greg Norton, 0 for 3
-Josh Wilson, 0 for 5
-Delmon Young, 0 for 5
-Lester has faced Tampa Bay twice, both times this year. He has two no decisions in games the Red Sox won. His numbers: 13.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 K, 2 BB.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 1:06 PM to Projo Sox Streakers
Projo SoxTalk with McAdam (updated with excerpts): Cash delivers; Lowell's red-hot
Sean McAdam is back for another edition of projo SoxTalk. Click here to listen to the full audio file. Today's topics: Kevin Cash comes through; Tim Wakefield dominates, then leaves early; Mike Lowell stays red-hot, and how that affects the Sox' offseason plans at first; Wily Mo Pena's classy gesture; and Chris Carter, shipping up to Boston.
Here are some excerpts from Sean's comments.
On Cash: "After that first inning, I think a lot of Red Sox fans watching were having Josh Bard flashbacks ... after a little bit of an adjustment period, Cash took to it pretty well. There were a couple of balls glancing off his glove, but for the most part he kept the pitch in control, and Wakefield was masterful for seven innings."
On the chances of Lowell returning next year: "It will come down to, I think, the length of the commitment that Lowell is seeking, and of course how much money he wants. I think if he were to go to the Red Sox right now and say that ... let's use Jermaine Dye's contract as sort of a bookmark -- if he went to them and said he wanted a two-year, $22-million deal, I'm pretty certain they'd be happy to do that. If on the other hand as he hits 33 he is loking for his first real free-agent payoff, then I think it is going to be difficult for them to justify all that money. And of course the wild card in all that is the status of Alex Rodriguez, whom many people expect the Red sox will at least pursue somewhat if he opts out of his contract."
On Carter: "He was an All-American at Stanford, a pretty high pick, and someone who was having a very good year at Triple-A Tucson ... and as we talk about this Mike Lowell situation, it does give the Red Sox one more option, which would be to move Youkilis over to third base next year -- and this is operating under the assumption that Lowell doesn't return and A-Rod doesn't sign here ... and have Carter be the first baseman. I think somebody who's having the kind of success that he's had in Triple-A sounds like he's ready to take a shot at the big leagues."
Posted by Mike McDermott at 1:01 PM to McAdam
| Comments 2
Baseball Today: Tuesday, August 21
CLEAR PATH: Mindful of what happened with the Mariner Moose in Seattle, Coco Crisp (above, AP Photo) wanted to make sure Raymond -- the Devil Rays' rambunctious mascot -- steered clear with his ATV. (He did; the only problem last night was a mouse that was the talk of both the radio and television broadcast teams. [Boston Globe]) Things on the field went a whole lot smoother for the Red Sox, as Tim Wakefield continued his hard-to-fathom dominance of the Devil Rays with seven innings of four-hit, shutout ball and Boston rolled to a 6-0 win over traditional nemesis Scott Kazmir. Steven Krasner reports that Kevin Cash's first try at catching Wakefield's knuckler went well, despite some hairy moments at the beginning. (projo.com) Cash had experience catching knuckleballs at Pawtucket -- both John Barnes and Charlie Zink throw them -- but, as he said afterwards, ''No offense to [Barnes and Zink], but [Wakefield's knuckler is] no comparison.'' One other note: Wakefield is now tied with teammate Josh Beckett, the Angels' John Lackey and the Braves' Tim Hudson for the major-league lead in wins, with 15. (projo.com)
YOU GOT ME: The Devil Rays themselves have no idea why they have so much trouble with Wakefield, who is now 9-0 lifetime at Tropicana Field and 19-2 in his career against Tampa Bay. (St. Petersburg Times)
STAYING THE COURSE: The reason Kazmir was lifted in the sixth inning? The Devil Rays are determined not to blow out any of their young pitchers now, when the games are meaningless (to them), so they'll be healthy when the team is ready to contend. (St. Petersburg Times)
BECKETT'S MY PICK: SI.com's Jon Heyman has Josh Beckett at the top of his Cy Young ballot.
CARTER COUNTRY: The Washington Post has confirmed that the Red Sox will be receiving Diamondbacks minor-league first baseman Chris Carter as payment from the Nationals for Wily Mo Pena. The nugget was first reported in the Boston Globe over the weekend. No report on how Carter will get from Arizona to Washington, but however it's done it probably won't happen until after the season. There's no room for Carter with the Diamondbacks, but he's hitting .328 for Triple-A Tucson with a .385 on-base percentage and a .531 slugging percentage.
'TIL WE MEET AGAIN: Wily Mo Pena released a gracious statement wishing the Red Sox and their fans well after his trade to Washington. (Boston Herald) He hit his second home run for the Nationals last night and his new teammates are excited by what they see. (Washington Post)
HOLDING STEADY: The Red Sox, Angels and Yankees remain 1-2-3 in FoxSports.com's Power Rankings.
WHICH PEN IS MIGHTIER? Baseball Musing's David Pinto notes that the Yankee bullpen has outperformed the Red Sox bullpen since August 1.
BACK TO FIVE: The Sox' lead in the A.L. East went up by a game somewhere around 2 a.m. Eastern time, when the Angels pushed across a run in the bottom of the 10th and beat the Yankees, 7-6. (New York Daily News) The only New York-area newspaper with postgame quotes is the Journal-American -- whose beat writer, Peter Abraham, hails from nearby New Bedford -- and you can get the L.A. of Anaheim view from the Los Angeles Daily News and our sister publication, the Riverside Press-Enterprise.
THEY'RE BAAAACK: The Press-Enterprise's Gregg Patton says people who buried the Yankees in June or July were foolish because ''the Yankees don't go away in June or July. The Yankees don't go away at all.''
QUITE THE EXPENSE: The Yankees are paying Jason Giambi $17.14 million and Johnny Damon $13 million to share the DH job. (New York Daily News) That gives the Yankees' designated-hitter position a higher payroll than the entire Devil Rays team, and nearly as high a payroll as the Marlins. (USA Today)
SNEAK PREVIEW? The New York Post's George King says Alex Rodriguez could be paying a visit to the place he'll soon be calling home.
FAMOUS? FOR WHAT? CBSSportsline.com columnist Gregg Doyel says George Steinbrenner doesn't belong in the Hall of Fame because all he's done as Yankee owner is spend money and thus has given nothing back to baseball.
COMEBACK KID: Pedro Martinez had his best rehab performance so far -- five innings, two unearned runs -- and says feels ''healthy enough to say . . . 'Hey, take me to New York.' '' (New York Daily News) Apparently there's been some talk in the Mets front office of bringing him up, though the Post's Mike Vaccaro says that would be a mistake.
TO THE RESCUE: Joel Zumaya is back with the Tigers, who are hoping his return from a ruptured tendon in his right middle finger will stop their slide. (Detroit Free Press)
HERE THEY COME: The hard-charging Cardinals are only three games out in the N.L. Central. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
PASSAGES: Wild Bill Hagy, who was well-known in the 1970s and '80s for leading the cheers at old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, has died at age 68. (Baltimore Sun)
ALMOST, BUT NOT QUITE: Bobby Jenks' streak of consecutive batters retired ended at 41, which enabled him to tie (with San Francisco's Jim Barr) but not break the major-league record, but he still got the save as the White Sox beat the Royals. (Chicago Tribune)
QUICKLY: The Twins want Boof Bonser to lose some weight (Minneapolis Star Tribune) . . . From the same newspaper, Johan Santana was back at work the day after his 17-strikeout performance . . . The Marlins benched Miguel Cabrera for showing up late (South Florida Sun-Sentinel) . . . Mark Grudzielanek will be back with the Royals next season. (Kansas City Star)
OLD FRIENDS: Mike Myers' deal with the White Sox includes a contract for 2008 (Chicago Sun Times) . . . Freddy Sanchez got the game-winning single for the Pirates last night (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) and is hitting .375 in August . . . Phil Dumatrait was hammered again in Cincinnati, and Reds interim manager Pete Mackanin says he's not sure the ex-Sox farmhand is ''ready for this level'' (Cincinnati Post) . . . No one's willing to pick up all the incentives in his contract, so David Wells may not pitch again this year (rotoworld.com) . . . The Cubs will probably activated Cliff Floyd today. (Chicago Sun Times)
-- ART MARTONE
Posted by Art Martone at 6:50 AM | Permalink