Notes: Lavarnway relieved after getting first hit

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Notes: Lavarnway relieved after getting first hit

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
KANSAS CITY Ryan Lavarnway admits he felt "relief" after collecting his first big-league hit in the Red Sox' 7-1 win over the Royals Friday night.

The rookie catcherdesignated hitter, who was called up to the Sox on Thursday, went 0-for-4 in his debut, then left the bases loaded in each of his first two at-bats Friday night. But he singled his third at-bat -- with his parents, sister and college friends watching from the stands at Kauffman Stadium -- and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez retrieved the ball and saved it for him.

It was a little bit of a relief, said Lavarnway. It was a little more elusive than I thought it would be, but it wont be my last hit. Im pretty happy.

Alfredo Aceves has a pair of saves this season and has pitched 3 23 innings in each of the two save situations the first time the Sox have recorded a save of more than three innings since 2003. Aceves is now 8-1 with a pair of saves in a utility relief role.

The Sox right-handed credited the teams nutritionist, Tara Mardigan, with helping him lose 20 pounds, and with his brother for helping him keep the right frame of mind.

My brother always says that the best defense is to go out there and be aggressive, said Aceves of his brother Jonathan, a catcher in the Mexican Leagues. The best defense is the attack. I think its really true and it works. It makes sense for a pitcher. Instead of saying defense, defense in my head I just say attack, attack.'

With Mike Aviles and Jed Lowrie ready to play, the Sox have enjoyed the luxury of not needing to rush Marco Scutaro back into the lineup while he battles with a cranky lower back.

Scutaro sat out again Friday night, the seventh game in the last eight that he's missed, and manager Terry Francona thinks the rest has helped him enough that he'll be ready to return Saturday night.

Scutaro said his back finally began loosening up Tuesday and hes been making steady improvement while taking batting practice since then.

Hes okay. Hes doing really well, said Francona.

The Sox are anxious to get Scutaro back in the lineup. He's hit .318.371.409 since the All-Star break.

J.D. Drew (left shoulder) is feeling good taking batting practice and fielding his position in right field, and it appears he's getting close to a rehab assignment. He's been on the disabled list since July 20.

He hit Friday early. He hit real well, said Francona. Hell keep on doing that for a little bit and well see where we stand. He went out and shagged balls, and actually did really good.

I dont know if we know when Drew will go on rehab. We just need to keep increasing the reps and intensity, but hes actually doing a pretty good job.

Bobby Jenks (back) made 20 throws in his first bullpen session and got out to 120 feet in long toss at Bostons minor-league complex in Fort Myers, and is on the path toward a potential activation to the Sox roster in September.

Hell throw another side Saturday and the next throwing session would be a simulated game either Monday or Tuesday, said Francona.

Josh Beckett won his 10th game of the season on Thursday night in Kansas City, and also became a 10-5 guy in the Major Leagues, which means hes spent 10 years in the big leagues and five years with the Sox. That means, per the collective bargaining agreement, that Beckett has full no-trade rights if the Sox ever attempted to move him over the duration of his contract.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Cardinals pull away late for 7-2 victory over Red Sox

Cardinals pull away late for 7-2 victory over Red Sox

The Cardinals broke open a close game with four runs in the last two innings against Red Sox relief prospect Chandler Shepherd and went on to a 7-2 exhibition victory over Boston yesterday at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers.

Red Sox-Cardinals box score

The loss dropped the Sox to 1-3 for the exhibition season.

Boston had jumped on top, 1-0, on an RBI single by Mitch Moreland in the bottom of the first, but St. Louis countered with two runs in the second and one in the third, all against starter Brian Johnson. It remained 3-1 until the Cards touched Shepherd for two runs in the eighth and two in the ninth. The Red Sox added their final run in the bottom of the ninth when catcher Jordan Procyshen, who spent last season at Single-A Salem, hit a sacrifice fly.

Moreland, Xander Bogaerts and Chris Young each had two hits for the Red Sox. who also got scoreless relief from Teddy Stankiewicz, Noe Ramirez, Robby Scott, Kyle Martin and Brandon Workman. It was Bogaerts' last game before leaving to compete for The Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic.

The Sox host the Yankees on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m.

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia is no stranger to injuries. That's a big reason why he's no longer a stranger to the sometimes peculiar practices of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

In an interview on WEEI's "Bradfo Show," Pedroia told Rob Bradford that he's been taking cues from the five-time Super Bowl-winning QB to help extend his playing career and make his body healthier and more durable.

“I understand what he does and know what he does. I think it’s awesome,” Pedroia told Bradford. “There’s a reason why he’s successful at his age (39), and he looks better now than he did when he first came to the league. You have to be smarter as you get older and learn different styles -- the way to train and the way you take care of your body to be able to perform and stay on the field. It doesn’t matter what sport you’re playing. He’s definitely got that figured out.”

Pedroia, of course, played the entire 2013 World Series-winning season with a torn ligament in his thumb. He's battled through various other lower body and hand injuries over the past few seasons, as well. But in 2016, he had his best season in recent memory, posting his highest OPS since 2011, as WEEI notes.

Part of that is with his own take on the Brady approach -- which focuses more on pliability and resistance training than extensive, heavy weight lifting -- and a healthier overall lifestyle, something Brady is notoriously infamous for having.

"There’s tons of ways to take care of your body. It’s not just get in the weight room and throw weights around,” Pedroia explained. “As you get older, the human body can’t take the pounding if you’re going in there and power lifting. When you’re younger, you can handle some of that. But as you get older, you got to be smarter. Sometimes less is more -- whether that’s weight or reps or whatever. You’ve just got to be smart. And eating wise, that’s a big part of recovery. If you put the right foods in your body, you’ll heal faster if you’re injured or recover faster. It’s like a car, man. Put bad gas in, bro. It’s not going to be the same as good gas.”

He hopes the approach can, at the very least, keep him moving for quite some time.

“I plan on living until I’m 100," he said. "So we’re not even halfway home."