Boston Red Sox

Merloni: Farrell will have big impact on pitching staff

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Merloni: Farrell will have big impact on pitching staff

Lou Merloni is live from Fort Myers, FL for Red Sox Spring Training and joins Mike Felger on Sports Tonight to talk about the Sox pitching staff.

The staff was a disaster last year, but the hope is that new Sox manager, and former Sox pitching coach, John Farrell can change things. Merloni is on board with that way of thinking.

"I think he can have a big impact. Listen, the last time he saw these guys, a lot of them were on top of their game. Whatever liberties they took with Terry Francona, and the last couple of pitching coaches, I think that does go away. There was that fear factor with John Farrell; he does have that presence."

Merloni and Felger also tackle the news that John Lackey has arrived in camp having lost a ton of weight. Merloni doesn't seem to care much, but Felger thinks it's a good signs.

The two do agree on Jon Lester's recent comments regarding another "level" he can reach as a pitcher.

Check out the video.

Bruins explode for three goals in second period, beat Red Wings, 4-2

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Bruins explode for three goals in second period, beat Red Wings, 4-2

BOSTON – The Bruins continue their preseason display of youth and speed by opening their home exhibition season with a win over the Red Wings at TD Garden.

After a scoreless first period, the Bruins exploded for three goals in the middle 20 minutes with scores from Ryan Fitzgerald, Danton Heinen and Austin Czarnik that paced them to a 4-2 victory over Detroit, and gives them a 2-0-0 record thus far in the preseason.

The Bruins and Red Wings battled to a scoreless tie after the first 20 minutes of play, but things loosened up after that in a game that Boston controlled for long stretches with puck possession and transition offense. The first goal was actually a great individual rush by Jakub Zboril, who dropped a pass to a wide-open Fitzgerald for the finish past Petr Mrazek. Little more than four minutes later Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson drove the net, drew the defense toward him and then fed to a wide open Heinen crashing on the backdoor.

Czarnik put the punctuation mark on a strong game by earning himself a penalty shot after getting behind the Red Wings defense, and scored the game-winning goal in the second period. Detroit scored a couple of goals afterward to make it a competitive third period, but they didn’t have enough to overtake Anton Khudobin playing the full game for the B’s. Teddy Purcell added an insurance marker late in the third period after finishing off a 3-on-1 feed from Czarnik. 

Khudobin finished with 14 saves in a win that was dominated by the home team in front of the home crowd. The only downer in the preseason win was both Torey Krug (puck to the face) and Forsbacka Karlsson (big hit in corner) getting dinged up as things went along. 

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After bloodied nose, Dustin Pedroia expected in Red Sox lineup Wednesday

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After bloodied nose, Dustin Pedroia expected in Red Sox lineup Wednesday

BALTIMORE — Dustin Pedroia is expected to return to the Red Sox lineup on Wednesday, manager John Farrell said. Not a bad turnaround time for someone who, on Monday, was holding his jersey to his face as he was bleeding.

Pedroia hit a foul ball that bounced off the plate and into his nose on Monday night. He did not go for further testing on Tuesday, which was a positive sign. A CAT scan would have been needed to see the full extent of the damage.

“He’s sore,” Farrell said. “I would think in an emergency only would we even consider putting him in a game [Tuesday]. But felt like after talking with him here and after he got checked out, felt like it was best to just hold him out a day. I would expect him to be back in the lineup tomorrow, but there was no further imaging here today. Didn’t feel like the follow-up with the medical staff warranted it. But he is sore, there’s no question.”

Farrell said the subject of Pedroia employing some sort of protective piece attached to his helmet or other type of guard going forward had not been broached. But, Farrell acknowledged that using such a thing likely wouldn’t be Pedroia’s style.

Other injury news: 

• Eduardo Nunez was slated to run the bases on Wednesday, but the way Farrell was talking on Tuesday, that may not happen.

• Hanley Ramirez pinch-hit on Monday but remained out of the lineup Tuesday because of right biceps inflammation. 

• Carson Smith is in consideration for the postseason roster, Farrell said.

• David Price declared himself available Monday, Farrell said, and Farrell left open the possibility he could pitch even Tuesday. But Farrell's preference was to give Price more rest after his two innings Sunday.