Aviles happy to return to baseball home in Kansas City

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Aviles happy to return to baseball home in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY -- This isn't the first trip back to Kansas City for Mike Aviles since being traded by the Royals to the Red Sox at the trade deadline last July.

But still, returning home to his original baseball home is special for the Red Sox shortstop.

"It feels good," said Aviles. "Last year (returning three weeks after being dealt) was a little weird. This time isn't as weird. But it definitely feels good. It's always good to see the guys and come back to where you started. I know I had a good sleep last night so I can be extra hyper today because I like coming here. I always like playing in this park."

It was only 10 months ago that Aviles was traded, but in some ways, it feels longer.

"Getting traded, you kind of have to turn the page and move forward and get on the program with the new organization," said Aviles. "That's kind of what happened when I got traded. When you have that going on, it makes it feel like it's been a long time. But it really hasn't. I haven't even better here a year, but I feel like I've been here a lot longer."

Aviles was drafted by the Royals in 2003 and played parts of four seasons with them before the Sox obtained him last July 30. Toward the end of his time with the Royals, Aviles had become a role player and was eager for the chance to play every day.

When the Sox traded Jed Lowrie and Marco Scutaro over the winter, that chance arrived.

"Any time you get an opportunity (to play), it's definitely fun," he said. "I'm just enjoying my opportunity and trying to take advantage of it and show everybody that I can play."

Heading into the series, Aviles was hitting .265 with five homers and 19 RBI.

"I feel like I've proven that I can play on an everyday basis in the big leagues," said Aviles. "I feel like I still need to prove it because that's just my personality."

Three-run HR from Sandoval (.353) leads Red Sox split squad past Rays, 7-5

Three-run HR from Sandoval (.353) leads Red Sox split squad past Rays, 7-5

Pablo Sandoval hit his fourth home run of the spring and Rusney Castillo had three hits to lead a Red Sox split squad to a 7-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday in Port Charlotte, Fla. 

Sandoval, who has won back his third base job after missing nearly all of last season following surgery on his left shoulder, connected for a three-run shot, batting right-handed, against Rays starter Ian Snell in the fifth inning. The switch-hitting Sandoval had abandoned hitting right-handed in 2015, his last full season with the Red Sox.

He's hitting .353 this spring with a 1.051 OPS and 19 RBI.

Castillo, the Cuban outfielder signed to a seven-year, $72 million deal late in 2014 but again likely headed for Triple-A Pawtucket, went 3-for-4 and is hitting .368 this spring. Catcher Blake Swihart, also probably Pawtucket-bound, had two hits and is hitting .325.


 

Another strong start for Kendrick in Red Sox split squad's 3-3 tie with Phillies

Another strong start for Kendrick in Red Sox split squad's 3-3 tie with Phillies

Kyle Kendrick strengthened his bid for a spot in the rotation by allowing two runs in six innings and striking out six and Jackie Bradley homered as a Red Sox split squad played to a 3-3 tie with the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla.

Kendrick, 32, a non-roster invitee to spring training, allowed eight hits and a walk in his sixth start this spring. He's been the Red Sox best starter with an ERA of 2.17. 

With David Price out until May and lefty Drew Pomeranz still a question mark, Kendrick could find his way into the rotation behind Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, Steven Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez.

Bradley went 2-for-3 with his third homer of the spring. He's hitting .244 in spring training games. 

The Phillies pushed across the tying run in the ninth off lefty reliever Robby Scott, the first run he's allowed this spring in 10 innings. 

The Minnesota Twins host the Red Sox on Sunday at 1:05 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.