McQuaid cleared for B's home opener

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McQuaid cleared for B's home opener

There hadnt been much question after he was a full participant in the week-long training camp and Tuesday nights scrimmage against the Providence Bruins, but Claude Julien confirmed that defenseman Adam McQuaid has been cleared to play.

Hes cleared to go, said Claude Julien. I think its easy to say that he looked a little rusty in the scrimmage. But I dont think he was that rusty. I think frustration crept in and that made it worse.

Ive been watching him in practice, and hes been getting better and improving with each day. Hes on the right track. For him its a matter of keeping the game simple. Hes a big body, hes a mean individual and hes a guy that other guys dont want to play against when hes on his game. Hes really an unsung hero in that sense.

The 26-year-old defenseman had his season cut short by a concussion last year that kept him out of the playoffs, and underwent months of rehab during the NHL lockout after October surgery for a blood clot condition. But McQuaid has worked his way back while missing zero time from the lineup, and will be suiting up for the Bruins for a season-opener for the first time in his NHL career.

Last year McQuaid was felled by a virus for the first few games of the regular season, and two years ago he was a healthy scratch while Mark Stuart was still a member of the Bruins. But this time around he shouldnt have anything holding him back after playing a full role in Tuesday nights scrimmage, and even getting into a fight with Providence enforcer Bobby Robins.

For a player that was thought to have long odds of starting the season on time after undergoing major surgery, McQuaid will be back playing his customary role as the strong, stay-at-home defensemen type.

Pedroia, Porcello lead Red Sox past Rays, clinch playoff spot

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Pedroia, Porcello lead Red Sox past Rays, clinch playoff spot

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Dustin Pedroia hit his fourth career grand slam to help Rick Porcello get his major league-leading 22nd win, and the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-4 Saturday night for their 10th consecutive win.

The win secures them a spot in the postseason

Pedroia stopped an 0-for-17 skid with a single in the sixth and gave Boston a 6-3 lead with a seventh-inning drive off Danny Farquhar.

Porcello (22-4) gave up three runs, eight hits and struck out nine over 6 1/3 innings. He just missed getting his 12th consecutive start of seven or more innings and three runs or fewer, which would have moved him past Cy Young (1904) and Pedro Martinez (2000) for the longest stretch during the same season in franchise history.

Craig Kimbrel, the fifth Boston reliever, reached 30 saves for the sixth straight season despite allowing Logan Forsythe's solo homer in the ninth.

Brad Miller hit a two-run double in a three-run second that put Tampa Bay up 3-1 and gave him 80 RBIs.

Tampa Bay threatened in the second but failed to score due to two nice defensive plays. Pedroia made a throw from just in front of the outfield grass at second base on Mikie Mahtook's grounder to get Corey Dickerson at the plate. Third baseman Brock Holt made a solid play along the line on Alexei Ramirez's grounder and threw him out at first to end the inning.