Base-running gaffes hurt Sox

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Base-running gaffes hurt Sox

CLEVELAND On a night when it appeared offense was going to be scarce for the Red Sox, a little aggressiveness got the better of them on the base paths.

Dustin Pedroia was cut down at home plate in the fourth inning trying to make it a bases-clearing double for Adrian Gonzalez, but the throw from Shelley Duncan was perfectly placed between Carl Crawford scoring and Pedroia getting tagged out. That actually turned out to be the closest the Sox would come to scoring over the rest of the game in a 5-2 loss to the Tribe.

The Pedroia miscue was perhaps understandable given he was only a couple of strides behind Crawford on a Gonzalez double that kicked around by the left field wall, and thats a tough call for everybody involved including third base coach Jerry Royster.

Aggressive base-running cost us a little bit, yeah. Pedroia had to slow up a little bit around second or he might have passed Carl, said Valentine. If Ellsbury had to do it over again he wouldnt have done it with no outs.

But the Ellsbury base-running gaffe was a little more glaring in the sixth. Its tough to fault a guy that had two of Bostons three hits on a slow evening, but making the first or third out of an inning on the bases especially at third base is a cardinal baseball sin. Ellsbury did just that when he attempted to stretch a double into a triple and was caught by a perfect barehanded play from Cleveland centerfielder Michael Brantley.

It then took another perfect tag by Brent Lillibridge at third base to catch Ellsbury as he was trying to hook slide around the tag, and the speedy centerfielder was out. He slammed his helmet off the ground in incredulity, but that turned out to be Bostons last, best chance to score in a tight game.

I wouldnt call it a mistake. It was more being aggressive trying to make something happen, said Ellsbury. Thats what youve got to do when youre not scoring runs. It was barehanded off the wall with a perfect tag, so Id do it all over again.

So the manager says Ellsbury wouldnt have done it if he had the play over, and the player said hes do it all over again. Such is life with the 2012 Boston Red Sox.

Its tough to argue with Ellsburys assessment of a very impatient offense right now, but if Ellsbury did it again the Red Sox would most likely lose all over again as theyve done many, many times this season.

Farrell: Sandoval could possibly return to Red Sox for postseason

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Farrell: Sandoval could possibly return to Red Sox for postseason

Thought to be lost for the season after shoulder surgery this past spring, Pablo Sandoval could possibly return to the Red Sox for the postseason, Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters Saturday.

Sandoval joined the team in St. Petersburg, where the Red Sox are playing the Tampa Bay Rays. Farrell said Sandoval had played in instructional league games in Florida and was "well ahead of schedule."

He could be an option to be activated if another player is injured. 

“One of the things I put in my mind that I have to work,” Sandoval told Boston Herald. “I learned a lot of things about this surgery so I had to work hard to be on the field as soon as possible.

“There are a lot of things I’ve been doing, working out, doing things so I can get better and better everyday.”

Sandoval, 30, is in the second year of a five-year, $95 contract. He lost his starting third base job to Travis Shaw in spring training and in April an MRI revealed he needed surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder, which was to have ended his season.

He appeared in only three games this season and hit .245 with 10 homers and 47 RBI in 126 games in 2015. 

Saturday's Red Sox-Rays lineups: Porcello goes for 22nd, Holt at 3B

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Saturday's Red Sox-Rays lineups: Porcello goes for 22nd, Holt at 3B

Closing in on the A.L. East title, the Red Sox look to make it 10 wins in a row tonight when they play the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg.

Right hander Rick Porcello (21-4, 3.08 ERA) goes for his 22nd win for the Red Sox, opposed by Rays right-hander Matt Andriese (8-7, 4.41). Porcello is coming off a complete game victory in Baltimore.

The Red Sox began the day with a magic number of four to clinch the A.L. East with eight games to play. They could clinch a wild-card spot tonight with a victory and a Baltimore Orioles loss. 

Brock Holt starts at third base and Chris Young is in left field for Boston.

The lineups:

RED SOX
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Brock Holt 3B
Chris Young LF
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Sandy Leon C
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Rick Porcello RHP 

RAYS
Logan Forsythe 2B
Kevin Kiermaier CF
Evan Longoria 3B
Brad Miller 1B
Corey Dickerson LF
Nick Franklin DH
Mikey Mahtook RF
Alexi Ramirez SS
Curt Casali C
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Matt Andriese RHP