Notebook: Lillibridge designated for assignment

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Notebook: Lillibridge designated for assignment

BOSTON -- To make room for left fielder Carl Crawford, who was activated from the disabled list, the Red Sox designated Brent Lillibridge for assignment. Lillibridge, a utility infielderoutfielder, was acquired from the White Sox in the trade for Kevin Youkilis.

We discussed a few options and that seemed like the one that was the best in this situation, Valentine said.

During the time we had him he was available to do all those things. Now that it seems that Jacoby Ellsbury is back and ready to go, just seemed like he could do what we want him to do. Its just that its probably the thing that we need the least right now.

The move gives the Red Sox 10 days to release, or trade Lillibridge or have him accept a minor league assignment.

Manager Bobby Valentine said he expects Dustin Pedroia to be activated Thursday, when he is eligible to be activated from the DL, where he has been since July 4 with a right thumb strain.

Talked to Dustin this afternoon and he truly feels great and watching him hit in BP, its different right now. I think hes on track, Valentine said.

Different than what it was except for the first two weeks of the season. It wasnt like he was hurt after that. He didnt quite feel what he feels now. he didn't have the timing.

Valentine said Adrian Gonzalez (back) and Ryan Sweeney (left hamstring) are both feeling better. Gonzalez is in the starting lineup.

The Sox have four left-handed hitters at the top of the lineup for the first time since, Sept. 30, 2009, when Joey Gathright, Josh Reddick, Casey Kotchman, David Ortiz were in the top four slots, according to Elias.

Valentine said he was unsure if he would stick with the six-man rotation he is using for the first turn out of the break.

Well, we havent even gone through it yet so Im not sure that well go more than once through, but well see, he said. It hasn't been a rotation yet. Its just been a line of six guys. were on No. 4 right now.

For now, Franklin Morales is listed as a starter for Thursday in the series finale against the White Sox.

Valentine said he was pleased with what he saw from his three starters -- Morales, Clay Buchholz, and Josh Beckett -- in Tampa Bay.

Terrific. Absolutely what the doctor ordered, Valentine said. Id like to keep the ball rolling here at home.

Moreland, Travis homer to lead Red Sox past Northeastern 9-6 in opener

Moreland, Travis homer to lead Red Sox past Northeastern 9-6 in opener

Mitch Moreland and Sam Travis hit three-run homers and left-hander Brian Johnson started and pitched two scoreless innings to help the Red Sox win their spring training opener, 9-6, over Northeastern University on Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla.

Johnson, who made one spot start in his MLB debut with the Red Sox in 2015 but then was derailed by injuries and anxiety issues last season, struck out three and walked one Thursday. He's expected to start the season at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he went 5-6 with a 4.44 ERA in 15 starts in 2016.

Moreland, the left-handed hitting first baseman signed to a one-year deal after spending his first seven seasons with the Texas Rangers, and Travis, a right-handed hitting first base prospect coming back from knee surgery last season, each hit three-run homers in a six-run third inning.

Pablo Sandoval, attempting to reclaim the third-base job after missing nearly all of last season after surgery on his left shoulder, went 1-for-2 with a double. 

The Red Sox open Grapefruit League play Friday afternoon when they host the New York Mets at JetBlue Park. 

Pedro Martinez talks about one of the greatest games he's ever pitched

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Pedro Martinez talks about one of the greatest games he's ever pitched

CSN baseball analyst Lou Merloni sits down with Pedro Martinez and Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis to discuss one of Pedro's greatest games. 

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On September 10, 1999 at the height of the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry, Pedro Martinez struck out 17 Yankees in a complete game victory, with the only hit he allowed being a home run to Chili Davis. The two men recall that memorable night in the Bronx, and discuss the state of pitching in 2017.