Pedroia featured on latest Sports Illustrated cover

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Pedroia featured on latest Sports Illustrated cover

Dustin Pedroia will be featured on the cover of the next issue of Sports Illustrated as the "heart" of the Red Sox.

In the story by Tom Verducci, Pedroia reveals, among other things, how his latest nickname came to be.

Pedroia says his latest moniker, the Muddy Chicken, came about during the postgame meal following Bostons 10, 16-inning win over Tampa Bay in June:

David Ortiz was eating this chicken from the Dominican Republic," he told SI. "I dont know who he got it from. But it was bleeping disgusting. So I said, I want to be called that. Bleeping Muddy Chicken. They started laughing, so they started calling me that. And it was a 16-inning game, and I think there were some cocktails involved in some peoples interviews. Thats basically it. And then we got back home and, thanks to New Balance, there are boxes of Muddy Chicken T-shirts. Im like, Whats wrong with you guys?

Pedroia also gets some backhanded praise from White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen:

I love that little guy," Guillen tells SI. "It looks like he escaped from Cirque du Soleil and they put a uniform on him.

Flubbed popup opens floodgates, helps Blue Jays beat Red Sox, 8-6

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Flubbed popup opens floodgates, helps Blue Jays beat Red Sox, 8-6

BOSTON -- Justin Smoak hit a pair of homers and Steve Pearce drove in two runs when Boston second baseman Brock Holt lost his popup in the sun, and the Toronto Blue Jays held on to beat the Red Sox 8-6 on Thursday.

The teams split the four-game series. Including the 15-inning game on Tuesday with Toronto, the AL East-leading Red Sox played 76 innings in about 144 hours - the equivalent of 8 1/2 games in six days.

Dominic Leone (2-0) earned the win. Starter Francisco Liriano got just five outs, allowing three runs in the second, but Toronto came back with four in the third to take a 5-3 lead against Doug Fister (0-4).

Roberto Osuna pitched the ninth for his 24th save.

Smoak has 26 homers this season. His previous career high was 20, in 2013.

It was 7-3 in the seventh when Dustin Pedroia, in the lineup at designated hitter after the long week, hit a three-run homer - his third hit of the day and his fourth homer in 11 games.

Smoak, who also had an RBI single, added his second homer of the game in the ninth.

Farrell says Red Sox clubhouse anticipating trade

Farrell says Red Sox clubhouse anticipating trade

BOSTON — John Farrell might have stopped short of actually stumping for a deal. Still, the Red Sox manager on Thursday morning spoke highly of the potential impact of a trade and indicated his players are waiting to see what this front office can add to a first-place team.

From a morale perspective, Farrell sees a potential boon in an acquisition.

“I think it’s always a plus,” Farrell said. “It’s a strong sign that everyone is aligned to support, add to, fortify — however you want to describe it — an area of need. And I think there’s a lot that goes into — there’s almost an injection of maybe that support or, further momentum that, OK, this is going to better equip us to go deep into the season.”

The players, Farrell said, have an anticipation for the possibility of a trade as well.

“I think there is. I think players carry that,” Farrell said. “They’re well in tune. Maybe some of them might be wondering OK, am I out?...So there’s a tentative period of time that we’ll go through here in the next 10-14 days. But adding to [the team] I think is always a positive.”

A day earlier, Farrell noted the improvement the Yankees made in their trade for Todd Frazier, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle.