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May 4, 2008
Last-minute change: Ortiz out
BOSTON -- About 20 minutes before gametime, the Red Sox announced that David Ortiz was scratched from the lineup because of tightness in his right knee.
Ortiz, you may recall, missed two games last weekend in Tampa against the Rays after he experienced soreness and swelling following a head-first dive into first base in the first game of the series at Tropicana Field.
Ortiz returned to the lineup Tuesday when the Sox began their homestand and had been 8-for-20 with a homer and four RBI in the last five games.
With Ortiz out, the Sox have a new lineup.
Jacoby Ellsbury LF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Kevin Youkilis 1B
Manny Ramriez LF
Mike Lowell 3B
Jason Varitek C
J.D. Drew RF
Coco Crisp CF
Posted by Sean McAdam at 1:25 PM | Permalink
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Moss on the move again
Not even a Red Sox player is exempt from the desire to get patients in and out of hospitals as quickly as possible these days.
Brandon Moss is the case in point. The Red Sox outfielder was taken to the hospital last night for an appendectomy. He complained of feeling ill about an hour before the game began, was examined and taken to the hospital. Sox officials reported about 11:15 p.m. that he was out of surgery and doing well.
Now, he is about to be released from the hospital.
``He’ll be out of the hospital in about an hour, which is unbelievable to me,’’ Sox manager Terry Francona reported at about 10:30 a.m. ``He’s doing OK.’’
The plan was to have Moss brought to his apartment to let him rest there.
``From there we’re still trying to sort out what’s in his best interests,’’ Francona said. ``We’ll probably let him to go home for 10 days or so.’’
Moss, who is from Georgia, likely will be sent to Florida when he regains his health. He will do some rehab work there before being activated.
The current plan, Francona said, is to delay a decision on replacing Moss on the roster, at least for today. The Sox pitching situation is excellent after Josh Beckett’s eight-inning performance Saturday night. The only concern is being shorthanded in the outfield.
``We’d like to get through today and see where we stand,’’ Francona said. ``We just don’t want to get in a situation where we call somebody up, something happens and we have to option somebody. I think we’re better off waiting until the end of the day.’’
For the time being, Julio Lugo is the emergency outfielder.
Posted by Paul Kenyon at 11:09 AM to Projo Sox Crawl
Francona makes a promise
Good morning from Fenway.
Two items before we get to the lineups.
We already have a promise for the day. Terry Francona just had his pre-game meeting with the media and he promised there would be a game today. It is raining now and looks and feels miserable. But the manager obviously has been told the weather will clear.
He did not guarantee it would clear soon enough to begin on time. He just said there would be a game.
Secondly, a note on pre-game activities. As mentioned, it is raining. It is very wet. As we speak, workers are going through the park hosing down the seats. It just seems weird to see a crew out spraying water in the rain. Obviously, they are doing some cleaning. It just looks out of place…
Here are the lineups:
Posted by Paul Kenyon at 10:49 AM to Projo Sox Crawl
INSIDE THE GAME: Sox 12, Rays 4
BY STEVEN KRASNER
Journal Sports Writer
BOSTON – Familiarity, apparently, breeds a bunch of base hits and runs for the Red Sox’ offense. Or maybe it was just a case of being comfortable at home.
Last weekend on the road, Boston was effectively shut down by a pair of Tampa Bay right-handers, Edwin Jackson and James Shields. That trend was loudly reversed this weekend at Fenway Park.
Jackson permitted only one run on five hits over seven innings in a 2-1 Rays win last Saturday. Shields was even better the following day, blanking the Red Sox on two hits in a complete-game 3-0 victory. Shields fanned seven.
So Boston’s hitters took their lumps on the road against the duo. In Fenway, it was the opposite. The Tampa Bay pitchers who were pummeled as the Red Sox hitters, having seen Jackson and Shields a week earlier, made adjustments that were highly effective.
Friday night, Boston’s offense battered Jackson for six runs on nine hits in only four-plus innings in a 7-3 triumph. Last night, Shields gave up more hits to the first three batters of the game than he had in his nine-inning, 99-pitch performance at Tropicana Field.
Indeed, the first four Red Sox batters hit safely – Jacoby Ellsbury (single), Dustin Pedroia (single), David Ortiz (RBI double) and Manny Ramirez (two-run single) – accounting for a quick 3-0 lead. Over his 3 2/3-inning stint, Shields coughed up 10 hits and 7 Runs, allowing at least one run in each inning. He threw 98 pitches, one fewer than in his complete-game win.
Of course, the same familiarity-breeds-hits theory might have been applied to the Rays against Josh Beckett, at least early.
Last Sunday, Beckett whiffed 13 Rays and gave up only four hits and one earned run in seven innings. Last night, over the first four innings, Beckett was touched up for three runs on five hits and had punched out only two.
After limiting the damage in a fourth-inning jam to one run, though, Beckett retired 12 of the final 14 batters, surrendering only one more run, on a homer by Akinori Iwamura in the eighth.
The Red Sox have been the beneficiaries of a pair of do-overs this week.
And they have made great use of them.
Last night, with runners at second and third and none out in the first, Ramirez hit a chopper up the third-base line. Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria charged the ball instead of hanging back and seeing if it would roll foul. Longoria gloved the ball and threw on the run to first, his throw beating Ramirez for what looked to be the first out of the inning as a run scored.
Plate umpire Bill Welke, though, ruled Longoria had snatched the ball in foul territory. So the out didn’t count, the runners went back to their respective bases and Ramirez got back in the batter’s box. He then grounded Shields’ next pitch up the middle for a two-run single.
On Thursday night, Coco Crisp was handed a second chance when his game-ending fly ball to right was negated by a balk by Toronto’s B.J. Ryan. Crisp drilled the next pitch he saw for a single to right.
Shields was charged with a wild pitch in the second, but Ellsbury deserved the assist on the play.
Ellsbury, who was 9-for-9 in stolen-base attempts, was on first with one out. Shields’ 1-and-1 pitch to Pedroia was a changeup in the dirt. As catcher Dioner Navarro moved a half-step to his right to block it, he took his eye off the ball to glance at Ellsbury, checking to see if he was on the move. Ellsbury had taken his secondary lead, but had stopped.
The ball clanged off Navarro’s foot and bounced away, allowing Ellsbury to ease into second base. He scored when Pedroia dunked Shields’ next pitch over first baseman Carlos Pena.
A half-step in the wrong direction likely cost Tampa Bay a run in the fourth.
The Rays had one run in, the bases loaded and one out and were trailing by only 5-3 when Nathan Haynes laced a liner to Ramirez in left field.
Pena, the runner at third, took a half-step toward home when Haynes made contact. Realizing the ball was going to be caught by Ramirez, Pena retraced his steps back to third so he could tag up. His momentum was going back to the bag as Ramirez made the grab.
Pena tagged quickly and tried to get his momentum shifted to the plate as Ramirez made his throw home. The throw was accurate and easily beat Pena, who was a dead duck at the plate for the rally-killing double play.
Had Pena headed back to third on contact, he would have had a better chance of scoring.
Tampa Bay’s Akinori Iwamura gave away his offensive plan in the third.
On the 1-and-0 pitch from Josh Beckett, Iwamura prepared to bunt for a base hit but pulled the bat back as the ball sailed up and away. Third baseman Mike Lowell, already in on the grass, moved in another step, on full alert.
So when Iwamura dropped down a bunt – and it was a good one -- on the 2-and-1 pitch, Lowell was in great position to make a play. He charged the ball, barehanded it and fired to first in one motion, his throw beating Iwamura by a half-step.
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Posted by Steven Krasner at 10:08 AM | Permalink