Aviles gives Sox a scare

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Aviles gives Sox a scare

TORONTO Shortstop Mike Aviles gave his manager a scare in the third inning of Saturdays game against the Blue Jays.

With the Red Sox already short on middle infielders with Dustin Pedroia nursing an ailing thumb, Aviles was caught on his right hand in a nearly identical spot to Pedroias injury when Edwin Encarnacion's sharply hit bouncer took a funny skip off the Rogers Centre turf.

Valentine, along with trainer Rick Jameyson, trotted from the dugout. Valentines thoughts as he was covered the distance?

Oh, shoot! His fingers not broken, is it? It didnt hit him in the wrist, did it?

Thats why I didnt run out there, Valentine said. I tried to go through the whole gamut of things in my head.

But Aviles was not hurt seriously. Just momentarily stung.

I just needed a second because it was throbbing and it hurt, Aviles said. But it went away.

Aviles who initially was charged with an error before the official scorer reversed the decision -- reassured Valentine and Jameyson, then shooed them back to the dugout.

By the time they came out I was good, Aviles said. I actually didnt want them to come out but they came out.

I got nervous for a split second too because I didnt know what was going on, like Oh, man, dont tell me and then it went away. But its fine. Ill be good. Ill be playing tomorrow. Stayed in there, grabbed the ball, throw, fine, all the same.

But, the next ball he got wasnt any easier a sharply hit ball by Brett Lawrie leading off the fourth which Aviles turned for a groundout. Although, not without leaving his glove hand with a stinger.

And, what would Valentine have done if Aviles had needed to come out of the game?

I would have put Dustin in the game, Valentine said. For a while anyway.

Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss

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?