Yankees crack five homers off Buchholz in 6-2 win over Red Sox


Yankees crack five homers off Buchholz in 6-2 win over Red Sox

BOSTON -- Friday was the 100th anniversary of the first game at Fenway Park, and the Red Sox went overboard in marking the occasion. They dressed the team in 1912 throwback uniforms, with no numbers on the backs. They brought back 209 former players, managers and coaches, culled from seven decades, to help celebrate.

Too bad they forget about the deadened balls from 1912. Clay Buchholz could have used them.

Stuck instead with the lively baseballs of the modern era, Buchholz became the second Red Sox pitcher in less than two weeks to surrender five home runs in a game. (Josh Beckett had achieved what was thought to be a once-in-a-season feat in the second game of the year in Detroit.) The homers took the air out of the party, as the Yankees cruised to a 6-2 victory that dropped the modern Sox' record to a depressing 4-9.

The first New York run came not via the long ball, but via a gift. Dustin Pedroia dropped leadoff hitter Derek Jeter's windblown pop up into short right field, allowing the Yankee shortstop to reach first. He went to second on a wild pitch and rode home on a single by Alex Rodriguez.

Then came the barrage.

Homers from Nick Swisher and Eric Chavez in the second, to up the lead to 3-0.

A homer from Chavez in the fourth that made it 4-1.

A homer from Rodriguez in the fifth that made it 5-1.

A homer from Russell Martin in the sixth that made it 6-2.

Luckily for Buchholz and the Sox, they were all solo blasts. But it didn't matter much, as the Yankee pitching tandem of Ivan Nova, Cory Wade, David Robertson, Cody Eppley and Mariano Rivera -- despite scattering 10 hits -- allowed only two Boston runs.

The Sox got their first run from a home run of their own, by David Ortiz leading off the second. The other came on doubles by Cody Ross and Mike Aviles in the fifth.

Star of the Game: Eric Chavez
Back-to-back home runs to center field, in the second and fourth innings, highlighted the Yanks' power barrage.

Honorable Mention: David Ortiz
The one bright spot in this so-far dismal Red Sox season, and a pleasant change from his slow starts of the last several years. His 2-for-4 performance lifted his average to .392, and he now has 2 homers and 10 RBI . . . putting him on pace for 27 HRs and 135 RBI in 2012.

Today's Goat: Clay Buchholz
Do you really need to ask why?

Turning Point(s)
The Red Sox had their chances to get back in the game, and their best shots came in back-to-back innings. In the second, after Ortiz' homer cut the Yankee lead to 3-1, Kevin Youkilis doubled to right. He got to third on an infield grounder by Jarrod Saltalamacchia, but died there as Ross struck out and Jason Repko grounded out. Then, in the third with the score still 3-1, they got a one-out double from Ryan Sweeney. He didn't score, either; Pedroia flied out and Adrian Gonzalez struck out. It was, as the late, great Ned Martin would say, mostly silent movies after that.

Stat of the Day: 11-29
From the great Ken Tremendous: The Sox have lost 29 of their last 40 games dating back to last September. That's a 45-117 pace over 162 games.

Quote of the Day
"We want Tito! We want Tito!" -- the Fenway center-field denizens in the ninth inning.

Patriots list nine as questionable, including Bennett, Edelman and Collins


Patriots list nine as questionable, including Bennett, Edelman and Collins

FOXBORO -- The Patriots listed nine players on their injury report after Friday's practice, deeming them all "questionable" for Sunday's game against the Steelers. 

The most notable names on the list are those of tight end Martellus Bennett, linebacker Jamie Collins and receiver Julian Edelman.

Bennett and Collins have been listed on the injury report since before last weekend's win over the Bengals. Bennett was able to play through his ankle issue, whereas Collins dealt with a hip injury that kept him out. Edelman, meanwhile, has been on the injury report since prior to New England's Week 5 win over Cleveland, but he has played in 81 percent of his team's offensive snaps over the last two weeks.

Patriots rookie linebacker Elandon Roberts, who has opened some eyes with his play over the course of the last two weeks, is also listed as questionable due to an ankle issue. Bill Belichick's club could be left thin at the linebacker level should both Roberts and Collins be at all limited, potentially leaving Barkevious Mingo, Rob Ninkovich and Shea McClellin to see more time next to Dont'a Hightower as off-the-line 'backers. 


TE Martellus Bennett (ankle)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Jamie Collins (hip)
WR Julian Edelman (foot)
DL Woodrow Hamilton (shoulder)
LB Shea McClellin (concussion)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (hamstring)
LB Elandon Roberts (ankle)
DL Vincent Valentine (back)


T Marcus Gilbert (ankle)
DE Cameron Heyward (hamstring)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (left knee)
S Shamarko Thomas (groin)
C Cody Wallace (knee)
WR Markus Wheaton (shoulder)
RB DeAngelo Williams (knee)

Smart yet to be ruled out of Celtics’ opener


Smart yet to be ruled out of Celtics’ opener

WALTHAM, Mass. – Marcus Smart remains out with a left ankle sprain injury sustained earlier this week, but has yet to be ruled out for the season opener against Brooklyn next week.

An MRI came back negative on Smart’s ankle, which was good news.

But there’s still a high level of uncertainty as to whether Smart will heal in time for the team’s opener at home against Brooklyn on Wednesday night.

He sprained the left ankle in the second quarter of a 121-96 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday when he stepped on the foot of Knicks guard Justin Holiday.

Smart fell to the floor and was helped to his feet by teammates Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas in addition to the team’s head trainer Ed Lacerte.

The Celtics are indeed hopeful he will heal in time to play next week, but league sources indicate it’s doubtful due to the nature of the injury and Smart’s history with left ankle sprains.

He sustained one in his rookie season and it kept him out for several weeks and he has had a few minor ankle sprains since then.

Even if he shows signs of being healthy enough to play prior to the opener, the Celtics are likely to be overly cautious to best insure that when he does return he does not re-aggravate the ankle.

Smart appeared in all seven preseason games for the Celtics this season, averaging 8.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Smart shot 42 percent from the field, but struggled mightily from 3-point range while connecting on just 13.6 percent of his 3-point shot attempts.

If Smart is unable to play in the opener or potentially longer, look for the Celtics to lean heavily on Terry Rozier who has been the breakout performer for Boston in the summer and in camp.

“I’m just trying to do whatever they need me to do, to help us win games,” Rozier told CSNNE.com. “I’m feeling good, real good about where my game’s at now. Obviously we’re a better team in every way, with Marcus out there. But if he’s not ready to go, the next man up has to get the job done. If that’s me, it’s me. I’ll be ready.”