Red Sox notes: Ellsbury out, Lester close to 200 innings

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Red Sox notes: Ellsbury out, Lester close to 200 innings

BOSTON Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury is out of the starting lineup for the Wednesdays final home game of the season against the Rays. It is the fifth straight game he has been out of the lineup (but he did get into Thursdays game in Tampa Bay).Hes doing OK, manager Bobby Valentine said. The training staff thought another day would be best and being he doesnt play today he gets two days rest with Thursdays off-day. Hopefully hell be OK when we get to Baltimore.Asked if there is a possibility Ellsbury could be shut down for the season, Valentine replied:If it comes to that, yeah. He says he wants to play.While Ellsburys ailment has not been disclosed it is believed to be a lat injury that affects his throwing.
-- Jon Lester enters Wednesdays game against the Rays having pitched 194 13 innings. He missed the 200-inning plateau last season, the first time since 2007, when he pitched 191 23 innings. Valentine said Lester is also expected to get one more start after tonight.I talked to Jon the other day and hes at the bottom of the tank, Valentine said. Hes not on fumes yet and I asked he and Aaron Cook about two more starts and they both seemed ready at that time willing and able.
-- Asked what he would like of Daniel Bard for the offseason, Valentine replied:I dont have that wish list yet but thatll be a project, Valentine said. And mainly just put this season in the rear view mirror.
-- Several players are planning to play winter ball, including Mauro Gomez and Pedro Ciriaco. Valentine said a decision had not yet been made about Jose Iglesias. Left-hander Franklin Morales is one of the players who will not be in winter ball.We want him to get on a complete physical arm strengthening conditioning program, Valentine said. We dont want to take any bullets out of the gun.
-- The Sox are planning to honor an all-Fenway team before tonights game. The team comprises the greatest Sox players in Fenway Park history as determined by fan voting, historians, staff, and the teams historical and archival consultants. Fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 6:30 p.m. for the program.

Weird umpire replay mistake helps Red Sox to record-tying 20 Ks

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Weird umpire replay mistake helps Red Sox to record-tying 20 Ks

New York’s mistake helped the Red Sox, and they weren’t playing the Yankees.

The Red Sox struck out 20 in a game for the third time in franchise history on Thursday night, and they were able to do so only after MLB’s replay team — based in Manhattan — gave Craig Kimbrel an extra batter to strike out in the ninth inning.

A 6-2 win over the Rangers featured 16 strikeouts for Red Sox pitching heading into the top of the ninth at Fenway Park. Kimbrel came on for a non-save situation because he had five days off previously.

There’s always that outside chance for a four-strikeout inning, and it happened. Even for a four-strikeout inning, however, this was bizarre.

The first batter, lefthanded hitting Nomar Mazara, swung and missed at a back-foot breaking ball for strike 3 — a literal back-foot breaking ball, because it hit him in that foot after he whiffed on the pitch.

On a swing and a miss with a pitch that hits the batter, the ball should be dead. He should not have been able to reach first base. But the umpires didn’t catch the ball hitting Mazara, and instead saw it as a wild pitch. 

Sox manager John Farrell asked for a review and the umpires went for one, but came back empty-handed. The crew was told, erroneously, that the play could not be looked at and the batter was awarded first base.

“It was just a swinging strike three, ball that go away and he obviously reached first base,” crew chief Alfonso Marquez told pool reporter Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. “The only thing that I can tell you, and the only thing I will say is, this was a replay issue. New York will come out with a statement.”

You could say it worked out just fine. Kimbrel went on to strike out the next three, and got the Sox to 20 Ks.

Kimbrel and Tim Wakefield are the only Red Sox pitchers to fan four batters in a single inning. Wakefield did it in the ninth inning on Aug. 10, 1999. 

Kimbrel did it once before as well, when he was with the Braves on Sept. 26, 2012.

No one has struck out five in a major league inning, although Kimbrel has as good a chance as anyone.

“The guy strikes out the world,” Matt Barnes said. “It’s ridiculous. … His fastball is seemingly unhittable. Complement that with the breaking ball he’s got, which comes right off that same plane, when he’s commanding it like he is, the numbers kind of speak for themselves. It’s kind of ridiculous. It’s fun to watch.”

The Sox have struck out 20 in a nine-inning game three times since 1913. Roger Clemens' two 20-strikeout games are the other two.

Red Sox win 4th straight behind stellar outing from Pomeranz, 6-2

Red Sox win 4th straight behind stellar outing from Pomeranz, 6-2

BOSTON - Drew Pomeranz pitched six strong innings and tied his career high with 11 strikeouts to lift the Boston Red Sox to a 6-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Thursday night.

Xander Bogaerts and Deven Marrero hit their first home runs of the season helping Boston to their fourth straight win.

Pomeranz (4-3) made it as far as six innings for the third time this season and beat Texas for the first time in nine career outings.

Elvis Andrus homered and Nomar Mazara had two hits and an RBI for Texas, which has lost four of five overall and has lost 15 of 21 on the road.

Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland had RBI singles in the first inning as Boston got to Rangers pitcher Nick Martinez (1-3) early.