Amendola's return to practice 'sparked' Rams on Wednesday in London


Amendola's return to practice 'sparked' Rams on Wednesday in London

FOXBORO -- Danny Amendola returned to practice in a "limited" capacity on Wednesday in London.

The St. Louis Rams wide receiver has missed the last two games with a separated shoulder, suffered in the Rams' 17-3 win over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 5.

That was the last win that St. Louis has seen, since Amendola went down. The Rams have lost to the Dolphins in Miami and to Green Bay at home the last two weeks.

So, as expected, Amendola's presence -- while limited on Wednesday -- was well received by the team.

"It was really good to see him, obviously," said Rams quarterback Sam Bradford in a conference call after Wednesday's practice in London. "Me and him are pretty close. We talked about it last week. He told me that he was going to be out there with us today doing some stuff. I was a little surprised, just from the initial reports, I thought it was going to be quite a bit longer for him to get back on the field. But anytime you get him back out there, I think it just brought a whole spark to the whole group today and just lifted everyones spirits a little bit seeing him back out there. Even though he didnt do a whole lot, just having him on the field really energized our group."

While missing two full weeks, Amendola still leads the Rams in receiving, with 32 receptions for 395 yards and two touchdowns.

In his absence, the Rams have needed receivers Brandon Gibson and Chris Givens to step up their game.

"Chris doesnt have a lot of catches, but I believe Chris in four consecutive weeks has a reception over 50 yards, which last week, as his third, hadnt been done by a rookie since former Bears and Raiders receiver Willie Gault," said Rams coach Jeff Fisher in a conference call on Wednesday. "So, hes making a big play here and there. Wed like to try to get him more involved, like to try to get more balls to him, but hes coming on.

"Gibby is doing well too. Gibby is making plays, as are the rest of the guys around him. We have a young group. We have an ascending player in Brian Quick who I think is going to be a very, very solid player for us. Austin Pettis can make plays. When we lost Danny Amendola two weeks ago, other guys had to step up and were getting some production."

Bradford said, on Wednesday, that Amendola's return to the team this season will be crucial.

"Obviously, Ive said it before, a lot of our offense runs through Danny when hes healthy," said Bradford. "You look at the Washington game when he caught 15 balls and everything really started with him. Theres no doubt that we miss him, but I think in the past couple weeks, the guys that have had to step up and make plays because he's not there. I think theyve done a great job and I look for them to do the same this week. Everyone has really elevated their game since he went down."

David Price improves command, indicates he's pitching through ailment


David Price improves command, indicates he's pitching through ailment

BOSTON — David Price and Rick Porcello showed improvement on back-to-back nights Friday and Saturday, important signs for the Red Sox after a difficult month for both pitchers prior to this homestand.

Price on Saturday night went six innings and allowed three runs, two earned, in a 6-3 loss to the Angels. He fanned five and his velocity has been consistently better this year than last year.

But the most important number was his walk total: one. He walked three batters in his previous start, and four in both of his starts prior.

“Two outings ago, the first start here in Fenway,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “There was better timing in his delivery and overall better separation over the rubber. And he carried that through I thought, even though there's a higher pitch count in Houston, and has been able to maintain it here. I can't say there was one specific thing. It's been more the timing over the rubber. And you're seeing him pitch out of the stretch exclusively. Just less moving parts in a better position to repeat it.”

After Price’s final inning, the telecast captured Price calling pitching coach Carl Willis into the tunnel. Neither Farrell nor Price detailed the conversation. 

“Yeah, everything was fine,” Farrell said of the conversation. “Everything is OK there.”

Price made it sound like he’s dealing with some sort of physical ailment, but was vague.

“There's a lot of stuff going on right now,” the pitcher said when asked about the desire to stay out there. “You don't want it to linger into the next start, or two or three weeks from now, and that's why we did what we did.”

Asked to elaborate, Price reinforced that the decision was to save his body for another day.

“You never want to come out of a game. But you have to look forward at the time,” Price said. “You don’t want today to cost you your next start or you know, the start after that. So that’s what happened.

“It has nothing to do with my elbow or anything like that. This is — you get past one thing and there’s another So that’s what it is.”

Price in New York in early June felt a blister develop on his ring finger. He missed an in-between start bullpen because of it.

Asked about the blister Saturday, Price said, “That one’s gone.”

Farrell indicated the blister was diminished, if not entirely gone.

“He's been dealing with that,” Farrell said. “I think while it's still present and maybe not as severe as it was when it first happened, I'm sure he's going to check on it occasionally."

Red Sox threaten late, but can't come back in 6-3 loss to Angels


Red Sox threaten late, but can't come back in 6-3 loss to Angels

BOSTON - JC Ramirez rebounded from his shortest career start with six solid innings, Cameron Maybin doubled home a run and scored another and the Los Angeles Angels held off the Boston Red Sox 6-3 on Saturday night.

The Angels look for their fifth series win in their last six on Sunday.

Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer for the Red Sox, who lost for only the third time in their last 13 home games.

Ramirez (7-5) allowed one run and four hits with five strikeouts after lasting just three innings and giving up five runs in his previous start.

Blake Parker struck out pinch-hitter Chris Young with the bases loaded for the final out for his first save of the season after Boston scored twice in the ninth.

Red Sox manager John Farrell was ejected by third-base umpire and crew chief Bill Miller after Fernando Abad was called for a balk, scoring a run that made it 5-1 in the seventh.