Pedroia sparks Sox, powers them to victory

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Pedroia sparks Sox, powers them to victory

TORONTO -- It should come as absolutely no surprise that when the Red Sox most needed a spark, Dustin Pedroia was the one to provide it.

Pedroia is the team's de-facto leader. In past seasons, he's been the one to call out the team when its play doesn't match expectations, as he did in each of the last two Aprils.

But Monday night, Pedroia let his bat do the talking for him.

He smacked a solo homer in the sixth inning off Toronto starter Henderson Alvarez to give the Sox their first run of the night. Then, with the team down a run and three outs away from losing its fourth straight to open the season, Pedroia kick-started the rally, doubling to left to open the ninth off closer Sergio Santos.

Before long, Pedroia took third on a passed ball, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Adrian Gonzalez to tie the game. The Sox then added two more runs to seal their first win, 4-2.

"Hopefully, it sparked us," said Pedroia. "I was just trying to put good at-bats together. This early in the season, everyone's got nerves going and it's hard to settle down and find your rhythm. I was just trying to have good at-bats."

"I don't have enough words to talk about Pedroia," said manager Bobby Valentine. "I came here at 12 o'clock and figured that no one would be here. He was already here pacing. He said we had to get the monkey off our back and let's go."

Hours later, Pedroia led by example.

He hammered a high slider from Alvarez to left-center for his first homer of the season, then smacked a fastball up from Santos into the left field corner, legging out the rally-setting double in the ninth.

"He's just a great player," marveled Valentine.

"We're going to come out every day and play hard and try to win," said Pedroia. "We had a couple of tough ones in Detroit. But we're going to bounce back and play as hard as we can every single night.

"We've had some tough times here at the end of last year and the first couple of games, so you just have to stay with it and grind it out. There's a 162 games and if you stay with it and think positively, we're going to be alright."

Report: Simmons fractures his right foot

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Report: Simmons fractures his right foot

Ben Simmons has reportedly fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot.

A timetable has not been established for when the first overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft should return.

The Celtics may have dodged a major bullet in not trading up to pick Simmons — at least in the short term.

More details to come . . .

Carlo "ready for everything" as he looks to build on strong camp

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Carlo "ready for everything" as he looks to build on strong camp

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- Brandon Carlo enjoyed about as good a game as one could possibly hope for in his preseason debut earlier this week.

The 19-year-old was smooth and poised with the puck on his stick, and picked up an assist when Danton Heinen redirected his point blast to the back of the net. He was also a little dirty, mean and nasty in his own end throwing bodies around in front of the net, and at one point taking a penalty call when he was a little overzealous throwing an opponent down in the crease.

So the 6-foot-5 prospect gave a pretty good glimpse into what he can offer at his best, but the youngster also knows it will keep getting more and more difficult as the games get closer to the end of the preseason.

“In that first game I felt like I was doing a lot of really good things. I was moving the puck well, playing well and doing all of the things that I wanted to do. So I’m really excited to build on that opportunity. I feel like I started myself off well, but it’s about building throughout the camp to reach your main goal at the end,” said Carlo, who may be in line for top pair duties again on Friday night after skating in that role in his first game. “Throughout camp I got three games last year, and I noticed that with each game the action got harder and faster. So I’m ready for that. I feel like it’s going to be a lot of fun out there. I’m ready for the speed, and I’m ready for the physicality. I’m ready for everything.”

Carlo will again team with veteran puck-mover John-Michael Liles on Friday night in a road exhibition game against the Detroit Red Wings, and both he and the Bruins will be looking for him to build on that first outing’s promise. If the youngster can keep it up then the Bruins will have a really difficult choice on their hands with seven D-men already signed to NHL contracts ahead of the young prospect types, so Carlo would have to displace somebody.

But that’s another problem for another day, and will require young Carlo to keep impressing on people , and being extremely hard to play against, when the Bruins take the ice against the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Friday night.