Red Sox notes: Ellsbury out, Lester close to 200 innings


Red Sox notes: Ellsbury out, Lester close to 200 innings

BOSTON Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury is out of the starting lineup for the Wednesdays final home game of the season against the Rays. It is the fifth straight game he has been out of the lineup (but he did get into Thursdays game in Tampa Bay).Hes doing OK, manager Bobby Valentine said. The training staff thought another day would be best and being he doesnt play today he gets two days rest with Thursdays off-day. Hopefully hell be OK when we get to Baltimore.Asked if there is a possibility Ellsbury could be shut down for the season, Valentine replied:If it comes to that, yeah. He says he wants to play.While Ellsburys ailment has not been disclosed it is believed to be a lat injury that affects his throwing.
-- Jon Lester enters Wednesdays game against the Rays having pitched 194 13 innings. He missed the 200-inning plateau last season, the first time since 2007, when he pitched 191 23 innings. Valentine said Lester is also expected to get one more start after tonight.I talked to Jon the other day and hes at the bottom of the tank, Valentine said. Hes not on fumes yet and I asked he and Aaron Cook about two more starts and they both seemed ready at that time willing and able.
-- Asked what he would like of Daniel Bard for the offseason, Valentine replied:I dont have that wish list yet but thatll be a project, Valentine said. And mainly just put this season in the rear view mirror.
-- Several players are planning to play winter ball, including Mauro Gomez and Pedro Ciriaco. Valentine said a decision had not yet been made about Jose Iglesias. Left-hander Franklin Morales is one of the players who will not be in winter ball.We want him to get on a complete physical arm strengthening conditioning program, Valentine said. We dont want to take any bullets out of the gun.
-- The Sox are planning to honor an all-Fenway team before tonights game. The team comprises the greatest Sox players in Fenway Park history as determined by fan voting, historians, staff, and the teams historical and archival consultants. Fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 6:30 p.m. for the program.

Red Sox secure playoff with 6-4 win over Rays


Red Sox secure playoff with 6-4 win over Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Dustin Pedroia hit his fourth career grand slam to help Rick Porcello get his major league-leading 22nd win, and the Boston Red Sox clinched a playoff berth by beating the Tampa Bay Rays 6-4 Saturday night for their 10th consecutive win.

Boston maintained a 5 1/2-game lead over Toronto for the division title and ensured no worse than the AL's second wild card. While the Red Sox technically have a magic number of one, the Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles play each other three times in the season's final week - meaning only one of them can win match Boston's 91 wins.

Among the other wild-card contenders, only Detroit can reach 91 victories.

Pedroia stopped an 0-for-17 skid with a single in the sixth and gave Boston a 6-3 lead with a seventh-inning drive off Danny Farquhar.

Porcello (22-4) gave up three runs, eight hits and struck out nine over 6 1/3 innings. He just missed getting his 12th consecutive start of seven or more innings and three runs or fewer, which would have moved him past Cy Young (1904) and Pedro Martinez (2000) for the longest stretch during the same season in franchise history.

Craig Kimbrel, the fifth Boston reliever, reached 30 saves for the sixth straight season despite allowing Logan Forsythe's solo homer in the ninth.

Brad Miller hit a two-run double in a three-run second that put Tampa Bay up 3-1 and gave him 80 RBIs.

Tampa Bay threatened in the second but failed to score due to two nice defensive plays. Pedroia made a throw from just in front of the outfield grass at second base on Mikie Mahtook's grounder to get Corey Dickerson at the plate. Third baseman Brock Holt made a solid play along the line on Alexei Ramirez's grounder and threw him out at first to end the inning.

Farrell: Sandoval could possibly return to Red Sox for postseason


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.