Red Sox notes: Aviles channels his power

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Red Sox notes: Aviles channels his power

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen

BOSTON -- Mike Aviles first home run in a Red Sox uniform came at a very good time. With two outs in the fourth and the score tied, he hit a solo blast off James Shields over the Monster in left field, giving the Sox the 4-3 lead that would hold as the final score.

It was a changeup that stayed up a little bit and I was fortunate to get the barrel on it, Aviles said. Its definitely great. The fans here are awesome. Theyre into every pitch so any time you can contribute its always great. I enjoy coming out every night because I can feed off the energy.

It was his sixth home run of the season, and first since May 1, while with the Royals against the Twins.

The Sox win snapped their longest-ever losing streak to the Rays and the Rays longest-ever win streak over the Sox at six games.

Sox pitchers had a total of 15 strikeouts, their most in a nine-inning game since April 28, 2010, in Toronto. They recorded their last eight outs of the game, and 10 of their last 12, on strikeouts.

Jonathan Papelbon earned his 30th save of the season with a scoreless ninth, becoming the first pitcher to reach that mark in each of his first six full big league seasons. He extended his scoreless-innings streak to 22, the longest of his career, over 21 games. In that stretch he has allowed just five hits, all singles, with two walks and 28 strikeouts.

The Sox had gone 25 games without a save since Aug. 19 in Kansas City. Since 1988, the Sox have had only one other streak of that length without a save, 25 games from June 15 July 15, 2004.

David Ortiz went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI. in his last 21 games he is batting .413 (31-for-75) with eight doubles, five home runs, and 15 RBI.

The Rays went 7-for-7 in stolen bases against the Sox. It is the most the Sox have allowed since giving up nine on April 20, 2010, against the Rangers. It is the second-most in a game the Rays have stolen since eight on May 3, 2009, in Tampa Bay against the Sox. Carl Crawford had six of those eight stolen bases.

Majority of them werewhen Beckett lifted his leg, Francona said. We felt like well sacrifice the stolen base to keep the ball in the ballpark.

The Red Sox announced Friday that Kevin Youkilis, already out of Friday's lineup, will not play Saturday, either.

Youkilis, suffering from bursitis in his hip and a sports hernia, is batting only .150 (6-for-40) since coming off the disabled list. He's been playing through pain and stiffness, and the Sox announced after Thursday's loss to the Rays that he'd be given Friday off.

Now he's been ruled out of Saturday's game, as well.

Hes pretty sore, Francona said. i think we kind of knew that Thursday night. Hes certainly not going to play Friday and he wont play Saturday. Were going to have to let this thing calm down a little bit and then well go from there. Thats probably not a lot of news but thats where we are with him so how much, when we get out of him will be determined by how quickly he recovers, how everything feels because last night he didnt feel very good and I think it was pretty obvious.

Just the way he feels physically. As he gets into the game, and theres certainly come standing around in the game, which inevitably happens, just getting stiff and sore, but anything rotational or diving, just about anything you would do on the field to try be productive, is getting harder for him.

Clay Buchholz is still expected to throw a bullpen session on Saturday.

John Lackey is expected to start one of the games of Mondays doubleheader against the Orioles at Fenway Park. It is not yet known who will start the other game. Kyle Weiland, who started Thursday against the Rays, is expected to start Tuesday against the Os.

We thought about bringing him back because he didnt go very long Thursday but we still need a pitcher for one of those days, anyway, so it makes sense to keep him on his day, Francona said. I dont think we can name somebody yet just because it may depend on how we get there, who we use. Certainly with the call-ups its not as critical if somebody goes six innings. So it may depend on how we get there.

Alfredo Aceves would be in consideration, except for his value in the role he currently fills.

If you're going to start him, and I dont doubt he would do really well, I think he could handle five innings and probably do pretty well, but then you're losing him for three days beforehand and three days after, Francona said. And right now I dont think that makes us a better team.

The Sox will hold Fan Appreciation Series Saturday through Wednesday and will include seat upgrades, giveaways, discounted concessions and souvenirs, and special experiences like an inning inside the Green Monster.

Those attending the 1:05 p.m. game on Monday, will have the chance to enter a special contest online. Since many of these tickets have been held for months by fans since the rainout on May 17, the Red Sox wanted to reward their wait with the Golden Seat Sweepstakes. Five ticketholders for this game will be randomly selected as the Red Sox Golden Seat winners. The five Golden Seat Prizes include: an autographed Jon Lester jersey and baseball; autographed Adrian Gonzalez baseball and bat; and upgrades and experiences for up to four people, including Green Monster seats, lunch in the EMC Club, and the opportunity to watch an inning of the game inside the Green Monster. To be eligible to win, fans must enter their ticket information online atredsox.comgoldenseatand make sure they are in their seats at the beginning of the day game on Monday.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

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.

MLB players' union agrees to pitchless intentional walks

MLB players' union agrees to pitchless intentional walks

NEW YORK - There won't be any wild pitches on intentional walks this season.

The players' association has agreed to Major League Baseball's proposal to have intentional walks without pitches this year.

"It doesn't seem like that big of a deal. I know they're trying to cut out some of the fat. I'm OK with that," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said.

While the union has resisted many of MLB's proposed innovations, such as raising the bottom of the strike zone, installing pitch clocks and limiting trips to the mound, players are willing to accept the intentional walk change.

"As part of a broader discussion with other moving pieces, the answer is yes," union head Tony Clark wrote Wednesday in an email to The Associated Press. "There are details, as part of that discussion, that are still being worked through, however."

The union's decision was first reported by ESPN .

"I'm OK with it. You signal. I don't think that's a big deal," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "For the most part, it's not changing the strategy, it's just kind of speeding things up. I'm good with it."

There were 932 intentional walks last year, including 600 in the National League, where batters are walked to bring the pitcher's slot to the plate.

"You don't want to get your pitcher out of a rhythm, and when you do the intentional walk, I think you can take a pitcher out of his rhythm," Girardi said. "I've often wondered why you don't bring in your shortstop and the pitcher stand at short. Let the shortstop walk him. They're used to playing catch more like that than a pitcher is."

Agreement with the union is required for playing rules changes unless MLB gives one year advance notice, in which case it can unilaterally make alterations. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed hope Tuesday that ongoing talks would lead to an agreement on other changes but also said clubs would reserve the right to act unilaterally, consistent with the rule-change provision of the sport's labor contract.

Some changes with video review can be made unilaterally, such as shortening the time to make a challenge.

"I know they were thinking about putting in a 30-second (limit) for managers to make a decision," Francona said. "I actually wish they would. I think it would hustle it up and if we can't tell in 30 seconds, maybe we shouldn't be doing it anyway."