Notebook: Valentine likes the team he has

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Notebook: Valentine likes the team he has

BOSTON -- With the trade deadline looming and rumors swirling including reports of trade talks that involve Josh Beckett Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said hes satisfied with the team he has.

I like my team, Valentine said. I think were a good team and if theres any way general manager Ben Cherington thinks we can improve it for this year and beyond, Im sure hes going to do that. But this is a good group of guys that I dont see any gaping holes. I see more holes on the other teams than I see on ours.

I think we just play one game and try to do our best tonight and thats the best that we can do.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia is in the starting lineup, serving as the designated hitter with Kelly Shoppach catching for righthander Clay Buchholz.

Well, I just felt that it was either Salty or Cody Ross and I just thought that Cody would probably be a better option pinch-hitting if I needed it Get Salty off his legs, coming in at 3:30 in the morning and getting Cody a day off because hes been grinding it out--all contributing factors.

Reliever Andrew Bailey, on the DL all season after right thumb surgery, was scheduled to fly to Fort Myers today. He is expected to play catch tomorrow and may begin his rehab assignment in a Gulf Coast League game on Wednesday.

The Sox are waiting on the results of right-handed reliever Scott Atchisons MRI. Atchison, on the DL since July 14 with right forearm tightness, pitched one inning in a rehab assignment Friday with Pawtucket. He faced Indianapolis, giving up three runs on three hits, including a home run, with no walks in two strikeouts but felt discomfort.

Valentine said the discomfort may be more in Atchisons elbow than his forearm now.

It seemed like he went in with a forearm that might have moved back a little up closer to the elbow, Valentine said. It seemed like 15 days ago it was just going to be a couple of days rest and then we gave him a lot of rest and when he threw it didn't feel good the next day.

Valentine said closer Alfredo Aceves, who threw 37 pitches in 2 13 innings Sunday night against the Yankees in New York and was expected to be available Monday night against the Tigers.

Of course. He only threw 33 pitches, Valentine said. He usually throws that in an inning, or he can. Not usually, but he can. I call it a hunch that hes fine. I havent heard anything to the contrary.

Aceves was charged with his fifth blown save, before earning the win, improving to 2-6, with a 3.57 ERA.

Valentine was ejected in the 10th inning for arguing with home plate umpire Brian ONora. Valentine argued that Will Middlebrooks was hit by a pitch, while ONora said the pitch hit Middlebrooks bat on a bunt attempt. ONora, who was also hit by the ball and fell down, could have had his view obscured. Television replays appeared to support Valentine.

Currently, umpires can't consult TV replays on such plays.

Not yet. We kind of like the human element, Valentine said. I just always like to get it right and if I was on the other side of the coin, I wouldve liked it to have been called a foul ball. On the other side of the field.

Josh Beckett, in the dugout, was also ejected for arguing the call.

Right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Pawtucket Wednesday night. Matsuzaka, who has been on the DL since July 3 with a right upper trapezius strain, is scheduled to start in Rochester against ScrantonWilkes-Barre. Valentine said Matsuzaka is expected to make 75-90 pitches.

I think he has that in him, yeah, depending on how it goes, Valentine said. But it might get cut down to 45, depending on how he comes out of the chute. Hes feeling pretty good.

Valentine said Matsuzaka is free of the trapezius ailment, and now its just a matter of build up his pitches and his competitiveness.

ScrantonWilkes-Barre, the Yankees affiliate, is permanently on the road this season while their home field is being renovated.

Shortstop Mike Aviles was out of the lineup again, sidelined by turf toe in his right big toe. Pedro Ciriaco is in the starting lineup, playing shortstop, batting ninth. Valentine said Aviles could be available, but would not be used to pinch-run.

Mikes dealing with turf toe, just so we know what the situation is, Valentine said. Its not a life-threatening situation but it sure is an encumbrance and were just trying to see what we can do to get that feeling out of there. Most of us have had itits not fun to deal with. The less he strains it in the athletic motions of playing, the better it calms down. If it calms down, well have a hundred percent of Mike back. He could play in the game, go in in emergency, pinch-hit, all those things. I wouldnt pinch-run him necessarily. But he could if we had to.

Segura's single in 13th rallies Mariners past Red Sox, 6-5

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Segura's single in 13th rallies Mariners past Red Sox, 6-5

SEATTLE - Jean Segura rolled an RBI single up the middle with two outs in the 13th inning to cap a two-run rally and give the Seattle Mariners a 6-5 victory over the Boston Red Sox in a game that ended early Wednesday morning.

Mitch Haniger walked with one out in the 13th off Doug Fister (0-5), pitching his third inning, and was forced at second on Ben Gamel's fielder's choice. Guillermo Heredia, who had a three-run homer in the second, singled Gamel to third. Gamel scored on a wild pitch to tie it, with Heredia advancing all the way to third. Mike Zunino then walked. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts fielded Segura's roller behind second, but his off-balance throw was way late.

The Red Sox, who stranded two runners in the eighth, ninth and 11th innings, had taken a 5-4 lead in the top half when Sandy Leon singled home Hanley Ramirez with two outs off Tony Zych (5-2).

Mike Zunino opened the seventh inning with his 15th home run to bring Seattle even at 4-4.

Red Sox acquire third baseman Eduardo Nunez from Giants

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Red Sox acquire third baseman Eduardo Nunez from Giants

BOSTON — On the day Rafael Devers made his major league debut, the Red Sox added another piece to help them at the hot corner — and potentially elsewhere.

The Sox and the San Francisco Giants struck a deal that sends third baseman and utility man Eduardo Nunez to the Red Sox in exchange for minor league righties Shaun Anderson and Gregory Santos.

Nunez, a 30-year-old from the Dominican Republic, could prove a versatile bench piece, particularly as Xander Bogaerts and Brock Holt both struggle. The former is dealing with a hand injury. Dustin Pedroia, red hot, also needs to be spelled occasionally because of his left leg, so Nunez could help out in a variety of ways.

But perhaps the bulk of Nunez’s time with the Sox is to be spent at third base, where he fits as a right-handed complement to the left-handed hitting Devers in a platoon.

Nunez is slashing .299/.326/.414 this season against southpaws, with a  .263/.294/.412 line against them lifetime.

Nunez this year is batting .307 overall, which would be a career-high for him in a single season. But he doesn’t have much pop, with just four home runs this year and double-digits just once in his career (16 last year).

Defensively, Nunez has played shortstop and third base more than any other position in an eight-year career that brought him from the Yankees (four years), Twins (three years) and the Giants (two years) before the Sox. This year, Nunez has played more games at third than any other position, 48, but the seven errors he’s made isn’t an encouraging total.

Nunez isn't a pricey acquisiton in terms of the luxury tax threshold and salary. He's a free agent after the season and owed the prorated amount of his 2017 salary, roughly $1.5 million.

Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez tweeted an endorsement of Nunez, writing “Eduardo Nuñez plays amazing defense in whatever position he is placed. Red Sox are getting a great guy and player.”

The Red Sox and Mariners were in the middle of a night game in Seattle a little after midnight (on the East Coast) on Wednesday morning when Nunez was seen shaking hands with his Giants teammates. 

There’s a small irony at play here. The Giants, of course, recently re-acquired Pablo Sandoval on a minor league deal, with the Sox still paying Sandoval a ton of money. The Giants’ production at third base has actually been worse than the Red Sox’ this season.