Notes: No Pedroia, no Ellsbury in lineup

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Notes: No Pedroia, no Ellsbury in lineup

NEW YORK -- In Game No. 159 of the season, with playoff seeds -- not their own, of course -- on the line, the Red Sox will field one of their weaker lineups of the season.

Both Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury are out of the lineup for the first game of the final series of the season.

Manager Bobby Valentine was strangely coy about Pedroia being out, saying only that the second baseman "is not available to play.''

Pressed for details, Valentine said: "God, Id hate to give away secrets like that. The enemy will then be apprised of the situation. Hes ailing today; hopefully hell be better tomorrow. But he hurt himself in the game yesterday.''

Pedroia wasn't so secretive. The second baseman said he jammed his left ring finger while trying to steal second base Sunday in Baltimore and was set to undergo x-rays on the finger early Monday evening.

It's unclear whether Pedroia will be able to rejoin the lineup for the final two games.

Valentine was also circumspect when it came to Ellsbury being out. The outfielder missed six games last week with what is believed to be a lat strain, though Ellsbury specficially instructed the team to not reveal the nature of the injury to the media.

Valentine noted that Ellsbury had been "hasnt played in a long time. Weve got the lefthander (C.C. Sabathia) out there, a big outfield. Hell play the next two days, hopefully, if hes feeling good.

Ryan Lavarnway was 2-for-4 with a double Sunday, but that was a rare good day at the plate for the young catcher who has struggled mightily -- at least offensively -- since being promoted last month from Pawtucket.

Heading into the final series of the year, Lavarnway was hiting just .170 with two homers and 12 RBI with a .272 OBP and a .260 slugging percentage.

"He's working every day,'' said Valentine. "I saw him in spring training and he hit OK, but others said that wasn't quite his swing so I've been waiting. I'm a little surprised he hasn't hit better.

"I want him to feel good somehow, as the season ends, about his approach at the plate. I haven't drawn the picture of what kind of hitter I think he can be. I think he's going to be a major league hitter and major league player.''

Defensively, Valentine said Lavarnway "needs work, but from what I gather, he's improved an awful lot.''

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels

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Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels:

QUOTES

* “He just had very good command the entire night. Stayed ahead in the count [and] pitched to all quadrants of the strike zone. He used his four-seamer in on some powerful right-handed hitters in their lineup.” John Farrell on Rick Porcello’s performance.

* “We needed a win bad and swung the bats well and played good defense. That’s a big win for us.” Rick Porcello said after his win in an interview with NESN.

* “24 hours ago we were probably in a much different place mentally after a ball game like tonight.” Farrell on the win.

“That was probably the first time I sat on off-speed pitches this whole year. I took a chance, took a gamble.” Jackie Bradley Jr. said on his home run.

NOTES

* Rick Porcello completed his first game in a Red Sox uniform in the 6-2 win. The CG was the fifth of his career and his first since he threw three in 2014. The righty has 14 wins, one win shy of tying his career high.

* Xander Bogaerts had his first multi extra-base hit performance of the season since June 11. He’s only done that twice this season. He extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

* David Ortiz logged his 85th RBI of the season in the win and Mookie Betts his 67th. Heading into Friday night’s game, the two were one of five pairs of teammates ranking in the top 20 in RBI. The list includes Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Donaldson, Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story, Adam Duvall and Jay Bruce and Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant.

* Dustin Pedroia has now reached base safely in 32 straight games.

STARS

1) Rick Porcello

Porcello had his first complete game in a Red Sox uniform, stopping Boston’s losing skid at four games.

2) Xander Bogaerts

Bogaerts finished with a double and a home run -- the only Boston hitter with multiple hits. He also led the Red Sox with three RBI and scoring twice in the win.

3) Dustin Pedroia

In addition to walking in his first two at-bats, Pedroia had a base hit -- and another walk -- scoring twice on the night.

First impressions of the Red Sox' 6-2 win over the Angels

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First impressions of the Red Sox' 6-2 win over the Angels

First impressions of the Red Sox 6-2 win over Los Angeles:

Rick Porcello is not fazed by his fellow staff members’ struggles.

Although his teammates continue to deal with frustrations on almost a nightly basis, Porcello got the job done and put Boston in a position to win once again.

The second-inning double by Daniel Nava should have been a single, had Jackie Bradley Jr. not misplayed a funny hop. If that hit is a single, the next ground ball is a double -- and the following grounder ends the inning.

One of the most impressive components of his outing was dealing with Cole Kalhoun, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols to finish his outing after already facing them three times on the night.

Xander Bogaerts had his first multi-hit game in a week.

Which in the grand scheme of things isn’t a long time -- but that can feel like a long time given the shortstop’s output this year.

It was also his first multi extra-base hit performance since June 11.

Oddly enough, those are his only two games of that kind this season.

In addition to the win, Porcello did the bullpen a favor.

Not necessarily because the relievers needed rest, but with Ziegler’s last two rough nights, they could use a break.

Although Joe Kelly and Clay Buchholz got warm late, it was more so to keep them fresh for the coming games since they haven’t thrown much.

Additionally, he gave an example for the Red Sox starting rotation that they are in fact capable of going the distance.

Tim Lincecum is barely a shell of what he used to be.

That first inning was hard to watch. The former Cy Young Award-winner threw eight straight balls, and somehow managed to work past. Even his final throw to first base in he opening frame looked like it was going off the mark.

Just hard to watch in general, which made it all the more shocking that the Red Sox couldn’t score against him.

Good for them that he never adjusted, and they took advantage of it in the ensuing innings.

Merloni: ‘Missed opportunities left and right’ for Red Sox

Merloni: ‘Missed opportunities left and right’ for Red Sox

Lou Merloni talks about the Red Sox losing 6 out of the last 7 games and if David Price should have stayed in the game for the 9th inning.