Boston Red Sox

Notes: Ortiz launches appeal of suspension


Notes: Ortiz launches appeal of suspension

By Sean McAdam Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- David Ortiz has launched an appeal of his four-game suspension, handed down Thursday after his role in a bench-clearing brawl last week, but sidestepped any comments about the punishment.

"I can give you an answer after I go through the whole thing,'' said Ortiz. "I can't really talk about it right now. But I'm appealing and whenever I hear back from (MLB and MLBPA) I can let you know.''

Ortiz was hopeful that the appeal will be held soon.

"I can't really talk to you guys about it right now. But I will. I'll tell you what I was thinking, what I thought was right and I'll tell you what I'm going to get.''

He was unsure whether the appeal might be heard before Monday night when the Red Sox open a three-game series against the Orioles in Baltimore.

"I don't know,'' he said. "I haven't heard anything.''

Asked if there was the potential for a carryover from the last series when the teams meet next week, Ortiz said: "Hopefully not. Not from my side. You saw what happened already. You saw another guy (Mike Gonzalez) throw (behind) me (Sunday) and you saw my reaction. I was surprised they were still carrying it over (two days later).

"But let's see. Major League Baseball is always doing the right thing to make sure we don't get into that too much. Hopefully, everyone can turn the page.''

Ortiz joked that in an effort to not be hit, he "got skinny as (Andrew) Miller,'' when Gonzalez threw behind him Sunday.

Reflecting back on the series with the Orioles, Ortiz said: "Sometimes you get put in situations and you either act like you don't care or you do what you've got to do. I got caught up in a situation and you just move on.

"I don't want anyone looking at you like you're a punk. I'm a grown-ass man. I respect everybody and that's why I have a lot of friends around the league because that's the way it's supposed to be.

"When we cross the lines, you've got to play the game the way it's supposed to be and that's about it.''

- Shortstop Jed Lowrie (bruised shoulder nerve) feels improvement though there's still some fatigue in the area.

"He's doing better,'' said Terry Francona. "I bet you he's not too far off from starting to swing a bat. Maybe in Baltimore; maybe that's a little too quick. But I bet you in the not-too-distant future.''

- Jon Lester, who is on the DL with a strained lat muscle, threw Friday afternoon from a distance of 90 feet at Tropicana Field and will stretch out to 120 feet Saturday. After a day off, he'll throw a side session in Baltimore Friday.

Lester is eligible to come off the DL Thursday and has told the team he think he'll be able to go Friday when the club begins a homestand.

Francona, however, thinks that might be a little premature.

"I think he thinks he's going to be ready to do that,'' said Francona. "I don't know. When he pitches, we're not going to mess it up. There are a few things to think about. He feels he's going to be more than ready, so that's good news."

- Yamaico Navarro got the start in left field, with Darnell McDonald in right field against Tampa Bay lefty David Price.

"We've got some lefties,'' said Francona. "Some of it's going to be determined by how he hits and how other guys hit. Carl (Crawford) is going to be back in a couple of days; until then, we're just trying to get as much production as we can.''

Francona said Navarro "looks real comfortable (in the outfield). It's actually pretty impressive. Wherever you put him, he's got that nice feel. There's no panic. He's really athletic. He looks go out there.''

- Daisuke Matsuzaka was in the clubhouse, traveling up from nearby Fort Myers, where he's rehabbing following his recent Tommy John surgery.

"He just wanted to check in,'' said Francona. "He looks good. He's got nice range of motion (with his right arm); it's nice to see him.''

Sean McAdam can be reached at Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Red Sox move closer to AL East title with 5-0 win over Reds


Red Sox move closer to AL East title with 5-0 win over Reds

CINCINNATI - Mitch Moreland ended his long slump with a three-run homer, Eduardo Rodriguez pitched three-hit ball into the eighth inning, and the Boston Red Sox took another step toward a second straight AL East title, beating the Cincinnati Reds 5-0 on Saturday.

Boston has won 13 of 16, holding off the Yankees as it tries to win back-to-back East titles for the first time since divisional realignment in 1969. The Red Sox have their best record of the season at 90-64, reaching 90 wins for the second year in a row.

They remain four games in front of the Yankees, who beat Toronto 5-1.

Moreland was in an 0-for-19 slump when he connected off Robert Stephenson (5-6) in the sixth inning, his 20th homer of the season but only his second in September. The Red Sox are last in the AL with 160 homers.

Rodriguez (6-6) has given up two or fewer earned runs in each of his last four starts, the best stretch of his career. The left-hander gave up three singles and two walks in 7 2/3 innings, his longest outing since May 21.

The Red Sox have shutout victories in three of their last four games, including two at Baltimore. They are 7-1 on a trip that ends Sunday. Boston wraps up the regular season at Fenway Park with three games against Toronto and four against Houston.

Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi, who grew up in suburban Madeira and had hundreds of relatives and friends in the stands for the series, singled home a run in the seventh at the ballpark where he regularly attended games as a youth.


Betts (foot), Pedroia (knee) out of Red Sox lineup


Betts (foot), Pedroia (knee) out of Red Sox lineup

Mookie Betts, who fouled a ball off his left foot Friday night, and Dustin Pedroia, who has been bothered by a knee injury almost all season, were out of the Red Sox lineup Saturday against the Reds in Cincinnati.

Chris Young started in right field for Betts and Brock Holt at second base for Pedroia.

Betts was scratched from the original lineup but was a late scratch. Pedroia, who had been getting intermittent days off to rest his knee was originally expected to play but needed treatement and hopes to be able to play Sunday, according to Scott Lauber of ESPN. 

Manager John Farrell told reporters, including Christopher Smith of, that Betts "was hindered by it last night in the second half of that game. [He] woke up a little bit more sore. Went through treatment. But felt it was best to give him a day to fully recover and get some additional treatment."

The manager added that Betts was available to pinch hit Saturday and did not have X-rays, but that step could be taken if there's no improvement in the next 24 hours.