Peverley takes hits at B's practice

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Peverley takes hits at B's practice

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Rich Peverley was approaching the day when he'd be cleared for contact, and that day arrived on Wednesday as the shifty winger took part in 5-on-5 drills during an off-day practice at the HP Pavillion home of the San Jose Sharks.

It wasn't hand-to-hand combat on the ice, but it was pretty clear Peverley was getting bumped around a little bit during the practice session.

Peverley has missed close to six weeks of action with a sprained MCL in his right knee, but was out taking shifts as the extra forward with third line members Brian Rolston, Chris Kelly and Benoit Pouliot.

Some thought he might slide into the right wing spot on the top line currently manned by Jordan Caron, but it makes much more sense to ease a player in that hasn't skated a shift of hockey in nearly two months.

Peverley has participated on the ice during the last three team practices dating back to Monday's morning skate at TD Garden. These are all good signs that the gritty skill player's return is imminent and that's welcomed news considering the big role Peverley plays in all situations for the Bruins.

There remains an outside chance Peverley could play in one of the weekend games on the trip with the Kings and Ducks on tap for back-to-back games.

Peverley's participation in Wednesday's practice was the highlight of practice for the Bruins after touching down in California for their three-game road trip through the state. Here are the lines from practice:

Lucic-Krejci-Caron
Marchand-Bergeron-Seguin
Rolston-Kelly-PouliotPeverley
Paille-CampbellWhitfield-Thornton

Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss

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Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss

NEW YORK -- It had the potential to be the most awkward celebration ever.

In the top of the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium, before their game was complete, the Red Sox became American League East champions, by virtue of one other division rival -- Baltimore -- coming back to beat another -- Toronto -- in the ninth inning.

That eliminated the Blue Jays from the division race, and made the Sox division champs.

But that ninth inning reversal of fortune was about to visit the Red Sox, too.

Craig Kimbrel faced four hitters and allowed a single and three straight walks, leading to a run. When, after 28 pitches, he couldn't get an out, he was lifted for Joe Kelly, who recorded one out, then yielded a walk-off grand slam to Mark Teixeira.

The Yankees celebrated wildly on the field, while the Red Sox trudged into the dugout, beset with mixed emotions.

Yes, they had just lost a game that seemed theirs. But they also had accomplished something that had taken 158 games.

What to do?

The Sox decided to drown their temporary sorrows in champagne.

"As soon as we got in here,'' said Jackie Bradley Jr., "we quickly got over it.''

From the top of the eighth until the start of the bottom of the ninth, the Red Sox seemed headed in a conventional celebration.

A two-run, bases-loaded double by Mookie Betts and a wild pitch -- the latter enabling David Ortiz to slide into home and dislodge the ball from former teammate Tommy Layne's glove --- had given the Sox a 3-0 lead.

Koji Uehara worked around a walk to post a scoreless walk and after the top of the ninth, the Sox called on Craig Kimbrel, who had successfully closed out all but two save opportunities all season.

But Kimbrel quickly allowed a leadoff single to Brett Gardner and then began pitching as though he forgot how to throw strikes. Three straight walks resulted in a run in and the bases loaded.

Joe Kelly got an out, but then Teixeira, for the second time this week, produced a game-winning homer in the ninth. On Monday, he had homered in Toronto to turn a Blue Jays win into a loss, and now, here he was again.

It may have been a rather meaningless victory for the Yankees -- who remain barely alive for the wild card -- but it did prevent them the indignity of watching the Red Sox celebrate on their lawn.

Instead, the Sox wore the shame of the walk-off -- at least until they reached their clubhouse, where the partying began in earnest.

It had taken clubhouse attendants less than five minutes to cover the floor and lockers with plastic protective sheets. In a matter of a few more minutes, the air was filled with a mix of beer and bubbly.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski wore a goggles and only socks on his feet.

As the spray reached every inch of the clubhouse, David Ortiz exclaimed: "I'm going to drown in this man.''

Defeat? What defeat?