Boston Red Sox

Ross, Sweeney newest Sox to DL, but both improving

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Ross, Sweeney newest Sox to DL, but both improving

BALTIMORE -- The daily march of outfielders to the disabled list continued unabated, with Cody Ross, eventually, being placed on the 15-day DL and Ryan Sweeney assigned to the newly-created 7-day DL reserve for those with suspected concussion issues.

The moves give the Sox what's believe to be an unprecedented seven outfielders on the DL at once. In addition to Ross and Sweeney: Carl Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jason Repko, Darnell McDonald and Ryan Kalish.

For a time Tuesday, the Sox were hopeful that Ross might be able to stay off the DL altogether, since he felt significant improvement in his left foot. Ross fouled a ball off his foot last Friday night in Philadelphia.

An MRI performed Monday in Boston showed a small crack in his navicular bone, but when Ross felt better Tuesday, there was, briefly, a feeling that the crack was pre-existing and not the result of Friday's foul ball.

A second opinion from a Baltimore-based orthopedist, however, seemed to rule that out, although the timetable for recovery could be swifter than once thought.

"He feels better," said GM Ben Cherington shortly before gametime Tuesday. "We got some more information today and I think more confirmation that this is something he'll recover from with conservative treatment, hopefully sooner rather than later. But a DL stint is still necessary. We've got to let the thing heal for a while.

"It's frustrating and a tough break for (Ross), but hopefully, we'll get him back as soon as we can. He's felt better every day since it happened and he's been able to put more weight on it. The concern is, since we believe it's a new crack, if he loads too much on it right now, there's a risk of it getting worse. So even though he feels better, we've got to do the right thing and let it heal first."

Ross is wearing a protective boot, and after he discards that, the Sox will have a better idea about the timetable for recovery.

As for Sweeney, he'll eventually have to pass the concussion test administered by MLB officials before being given clearance to play. Sweeney failed that test Monday, prompting his DL stint.

"We'll give him some time to feel better," said Cherington. "He feels a little better today. Hopefully, he feels a little better tomorrow and we'll see where it goes."

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

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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.

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

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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 MassLive.com, 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.