Gregory hopes to return Sunday vs. Bills

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Gregory hopes to return Sunday vs. Bills

FOXBORO -- In his own words, Steve Gregory on if he fully expects to play Sunday against the Bills:

"Yeah. I mean I'm out there practicing right now, trying to definitely get back in the swing of things. We'll see how it goes."

It's as definitive an answer as we've heard. Gregory suffered a hip injury in New England's Week 4 win over the Bills. He's been inactive for the four games played since -- a reality that continues to rankle him.

"I'm real anxious," Gregory said of returning. "It's not fun to sit on the couch and watch the guys out there playing, so I'm real anxious to get out there and play."

But the extended rest has been necessary. He's said before that the biggest mistake he could make is to rush back before he's 100-percent and experience some sort of setback.

In Gregory's mind, New England's week off couldn't have come at a better time.

"Anytime you have any injury, time heals," he said. "The more time you have to heal . . . bye week coming in there and giving an extra week, really two weeks. The healing process helped out."

He's certainly not the only Patriot who's battered and bruised. Players up and down the roster -- cornerback Kyle Arrington, tight end Aaron Hernandez, linebacker Jerod Mayo -- likely embraced the bye's respite in a similar way.  

Especially since they're back to work already, and have four division games ahead.

"It's important," Gregory said. "The season can be a grind. You go through camp, then you go through the preseason, and you're kind of eight weeks into it now. It's good for the guys to get away, get their minds off things a little bit, see it from an outside perspective.

"But now, definitely, put that behind you. You had your time off. Get back to work and get this thing going."
 
From the sound of it, Gregory is more than eager to join them.

"Vacation's over," he said.

First impressions from Red Sox' 8-3 win over Rockies

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First impressions from Red Sox' 8-3 win over Rockies

First impressions from the Red Sox' 8-3 win over the Colorado Rockies:

 

The Red Sox continue to use Fenway as their own little offensive playground.

Since April 20, the Red Sox are averaging exactly eight runs per game at home. That's just over a month of the covering 18 games.

They've also collected 10 or more hits in 16 of those 18 games, utilizing every bit of the field.

For the last two seasons, Fenway stopped being a tough place to play for opponents. But at home this year, the Sox have outscored opponents by 67 runs.

 

All of a sudden, the Red Sox are a triples team and Fenway is a triples haven.

A triple by Christian Vazquez - of all people -- gave the Red Sox a league-high 13 triples this season.

Fenway has a reputation for being a doubles park, but the ballpark has been home to 12 triples in 26 games - five by visiting teams and seven by the Red Sox. That translates into almost one every two games.

 

David Price was solid, but not spectacular.

The positives: Price got through the seventh inning for the fifth time this season. He walked just one and fanned six in seven innings.

He was hit hard a few times, with a homer into the visitor's bullpen allowed to Charlie Blackmon and a triple to the triangle for Carlos Gonzalez.

Consider it another step forward for Price, but it fell far short of dominant.

 

Koji Uehara's deception is heightened against teams that don't see him much.

Uehara allowed a leadoff single to D.J. LeMahieu, but then fanned three in a row, finishing each hitter off with his trademark split-finger fastball.

That pitch can be tough to recognize for hitters who see it a few times per season. For those in the National League who are largely unfamiliar with Uehara's splitter, it's apparently some sort of Kryptonite.