Podsednik: 'I still feel like I have someting left in the tank'

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Podsednik: 'I still feel like I have someting left in the tank'

BALTIMORE -- At 36 years old and now with his seventh major league organization, Scott Podsednik knows you can never predict the future.

"I've been around enough to know that you just never know," said Podsednik, who joined the Red Sox Tuesday, his contract purchased from Pawtucket as the Sox ran short of outfielders. "One day, you wake up in Lehigh Valley, a few days later, you wake up in Pawtucket, a few days later you wake up in Baltimore.

"That's the way games works sometime."

As it was, Podsednik's first day with the Red Sox was filled with intrigue. He arrived from Pawtucket Tuesday morning, but wasn't officially activated until an hour before gametime as the Red Sox waited to hear about Cody Ross.

When Ross was placed on the DL, retroactive to last Saturday, the roster spot for Podsednik was opened up.

"I'm ready for whatever that may be," he said of his role. "I want to try to fit in and gel with the chemistry of the club here. We're all trying to accomplish the same goal and win every night."

Podsednik played with Los Angeles and Kansas City in 2010, then spent all of last year in the minors. He was struggling with Lehigh Valley earlier this season, then hit .323 in nine games with Pawtucket.

"I still feel like I have something left in the tank," he said. "I just turned 36. That's old for a leadoff hitter or a runner, but I'm healthy. I feel great. I'm as strong as I've ever been. I still feel like I can make an impact at this level. The competitive fires are still burning, so I wanted to try to give it another shot.

"I felt, given the right opportunity, I might be able to make it happen. You have to be at the right place at the right time, obviously. Fortunately, I've got that here. I'll try to take advantage of that opportunity and try to help this club win some games."

Podsednik feels comfortable in left and center, and less so in right.

"I haven't seen him firsthand in a long time," confessed Bobby Valentne. "Arnie (Beyeler) gave me a nice report on him as a teammate, his running ability, defensive ability, where he should and shouldn't play, how's he swinging the bat. So I think I have a pretty good image of him and I think he can help us."

First impressions: Longoria makes Buchholz pay in Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Rays

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First impressions: Longoria makes Buchholz pay in Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Rays

BOSTON - First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay:

* There's a steep learning curve for a set-up man, as Clay Buchholz discovered.

Although he's pitched out of the bullpen for the last couple of months, most of those appearances weren't of the high leverage variety. More often than not, the Sox had a sizeable lead, or Buchholz was brought in earlier in the game. Or they were behind and he was mopping up.

But Tuesday was different. The Rays had battled back to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh, and after Matt Barnes got the final out in that inning, Buchholz came in to start the eighth.

After getting Kevin Kiermaier on a groundout to lead off the inning, Buchholz threw a four-seamer to Evan Longoria that the Tampa Bay third baseman launched toward the Charles River, clearing everything and putting the Rays up by a run.

It was a reminder that in late innings of close games, one pitch, with missed location, can really hurt.

 

* Hanley Ramirez knocked in two runs. He was sort of lucky.

In the fifth inning, Ramirez hit a twisting opposite-field fly ball down the right field line. It landed just past the Pesky Pole in right, measured at 307 feet, the shortest homer in baseball this season, according to ESPN Stats and Information.

Then, an inning later, Ramirez hit a pop fly that drifted into shallow right. Three Rays defenders converged -- first baseman, second baseman and right fielder -- and somehow the ball dropped in between all three for a run-scoring single.

Two cheap hits, two RBI.

At times, you'll see hitters mash the ball, only to have it hit right at someone for an out. Rotten luck, and all.

Tuesday night, Ramirez got to experience the flip side of that.

 

* Drew Pomeranz had an excellent outing -- until his final pitch of the night.

Through 6 2/3 innings, Pomeranz had allowed a single run on four hits while walking two and striking out eight.

He had retired 10 of the previous 11 hitters he had faced, and while he was approaching his 100th pitch, showed no evidence of tiring.

Then, Pomernaz hung a curveball to No. 9 hitter Luke Maile -- with two strikes, no less -- and Maile hit into the Monster Seats for a game-tying, two-run homer.

It was the first homer on a curveball allowed by Pomeranz in 153 innings this season, and all of a sudden, the outing wasn't so special.

 

Expect Red Sox call-ups to come in two waves when rosters expand

Expect Red Sox call-ups to come in two waves when rosters expand

BOSTON - On Thursday, rosters will expand for major league teams, enabling them to add as many as 15 more players -- if they so choose.

The Sox, of course, won't be adding nearly that many. In fact, they'll probably only promote three or so players by Sept. 1, with additional players added after minor league seasons end on Labor Day.

The Sox call-ups will come in two waves. A look at who might be called up and when.

FOR FRIDAY: (the Red Sox are off Thursday)

* catcher Ryan Hanigan

* reliever Joe Kelly

* outfielder Bryce Brentz.

Hanigan is finishing up a rehab assignment and will provide the Sox with a third catcher, enabling John Farrell to either pinch-hit or pinch-run for one of his two catchers (Bryan Holaday and Sandy Leon) without worrying that he's putting himself in a potential bind.

Kelly would give the Red Sox another swing-and-miss bullpen option, though he's yet to establish himself as big league reliever.

Meanwhile Brentz would give the Sox another outfield option with the injury to Andrew Benintendi and further free up Brock Holt for infield duties.

FOR TUESDAY: (Day after International League season ends):

* reliever Heath Hembree

* infielder Deven Marrero

* reliever Noe Ramirez

Hembree has been effective in spurts and could offer some match-up options against righthanded hitters.

Marrero was a September call-up last year and could be a late-inning defensive replacement for Travis Shaw at third, or spell Xander Bogaerts at short if the Sox want to rest Bogaerts in one-sided games.

In the bullpen, Ramirez would serve as a long man in games in which a starter is knocked out early.

 

Davis Mega Maze unveils corn maze tribute to David Ortiz

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Davis Mega Maze unveils corn maze tribute to David Ortiz

STERLING, Mass. -- Nothing quite measures up to the latest tribute to retiring Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz.

A corn maze dedicated to the player known as Big Papi was unveiled at a ceremony Tuesday in Sterling, Massachusetts.

Ortiz had a message for his legions of fans at the unveiling: "I love corn."

The 8-acre maze was created by Davis Mega Maze and features a cornstalk rendering of Ortiz's trademark home run pose of pointing two fingers to the sky. It's accompanied by the phrase "Thanks Big Papi."

The maze opens to the public on Saturday.

Davis Mega Maze has been carving a different design into the field every year for about 20 years. This year marks the first time a living celebrity has been featured.