Red Sox pregame notes: Dice-K, Bard, Atchison updates

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Red Sox pregame notes: Dice-K, Bard, Atchison updates

BOSTON - Right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka went three innings Sunday for Triple-A Pawtucket in his second rehab start from a strained right upper trapezius. He gave up four runs, one earned, on five hits and a walk with three strikeouts.

The first two innings he threw the ball a lot better than he has, Valentine said. When there was an error made behind him and a couple of guys got on base, he lost a little of his command. But Pawtucket manager Arnie Beyeler thought it was the best hes seen him so far.

Daniel Bard has appeared in 23 games, spanning 24 23 innings, for Pawtucket, giving up 19 runs (18 earned) on 21 hits and 19 walks with 26 strikeouts. In his last outing, Sunday against Lehigh Valley, he allowed two runs on a hit and two walks with two strikeouts.

Arnie and pitching coach Rich Sauveur both give reports every time they pitch and the latest is that they like all the progress, Valentine said. They sent him out for the second inning the other night and he wasnt quite what they were hoping for. But the first inning was terrific. Hes getting close to helping us.

Right-hander Scott Atchison, on the DL since July 14,met with Dr. James Andrews today in Florida to get a second opinion on the tear in his ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. Valentine said Atchison will take a couple of days to evaluate the opinions before making a decision.

Andrew Bailey, on the DL all season after thumb surgery, threw an inning for Double-A Portland Sunday, giving up one run on three this with two strikeouts. He is scheduled to pitch in back-to-back games for the first time on Wednesday and Thursday with Pawtucket. He is expected to make a few more appearances after that before being activated.

Valentine does not expect to have Vicente Padilla available in the bullpen tonight. Padilla is dealing with some soreness in his biceps, triceps, and groin

Left-hander Rich Hill, on the DL since June 9 with an elbow strain, could begin a rehab assignment later this week. Valentine said Hill is expected to go to Fort Myers at the conclusion of the homestand. Hill will probably throw some batting practices before getting into a game with the CGL Red Sox.

Josh Beckett is still on schedule to start the homestand finale, Wednesday against the Rangers. He threw on flat ground today, but is not expected to have a bullpen session before his start.

I think because hes pitching Wednesday he didnt need a bullpen, Valentine said

Red Sox secure playoff with 6-4 win over Rays

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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

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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.