Sox grind out win over Royals, 4-3

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Sox grind out win over Royals, 4-3

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs

BOSTON In the end all the Sox wanted was a measly little win, and thats exactly what they earned.

Without the ailing David Ortiz or Kevin Youkilis and locked into a rut of four losses in their previous six games headed into Thursday nights tilt with the Kansas City Royals, the Sox eked out 4-3 victory over KC at steamy Kauffman Stadium.

The go-go Sox ran into a handful of outs on the base paths while working aggressively, but they also did just enough offensively with some gaping holes in their lineup while finishing with four stolen bases on the night.

The big blows were a couple of hits from Dustin Pedroia, who stepped up with so many of his teammates on the shelf. Pedroia smacked a two-run single up the middle in the top of the third inning, and collected the game-winner on a run-scoring single in the fifth that saw the second baseman also get gunned down trying to advance toward second base.

Josh Beckett was far from dominant, but he was just good enough to win in lasting seven innings and holding the Royals to three runs.

Luke Hochevar was nearly as good for the Royals, and things looked like they might go Kansas Citys way when Alex Gordon launched his 17th home run of the season over the left field fence in third frame. Gordons blast went opposite field on a Beckett breaking ball that actually a pretty fair piece of hitting, but it also represented the last bit of offense from the Royals.

After the home run, Beckett retired 14 of the final 18 batters he faced and scattered four singles in the final four innings. In all Beckett finished seven full walk-free frames and scattered three runs on seven hits while fanning four Royals hitters.

Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon locked things down over the final two innings to secure the one run win.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs.

Wednesday’s Red Sox-Yankees lineups: Pedroia still out

Wednesday’s Red Sox-Yankees lineups: Pedroia still out

Dustin Pedroia is again out of the Red Sox lineup tonight, John Farrell said in his weekly interview on WEEI Wednesday afternoon. The Sox open a two-game series with the New York Yankees at Fenway.

Pedroia hurt his knee and ankle Friday night after a hard slide into second base by the Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado, leading to plenty of controversy in its aftermath. 

With Pablo Sandoval placed on the 10-day disabled list before the scheduled opener of this series was rained out Tuesday, Josh Rutledge, just off the DL, will start at third and Marco Hernandez will play second.

Rick Porcello (1-2, 5.32 ERA) pitches for the Red Sox, opposed by the Yankees right-hander Luis Severino (1-1, 4.05).  Here's how Porcello has fared against the Yankees: 

The full lineups: 

YANKEES
Brett Gardner LF
Chase Headley 3B
Matt Holliday DH
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Starlin Castro 2B
Aaron Judge RF
Greg Bird 1B
Austin Romine C
Ronald Torreyes SS

Luis Severino RHP

RED SOX
Xander Bogaerts SS
Andrew Benintendi LF
Mookie Betts RF
Mitch Moreland 1B
Hanley Ramirez DH
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Josh Rutledge 3B
Marco Hernandez 2B
Sandy Leon C

Rick Porcello RHP

POLITICO sees Epstein as potential savior for Democrats

POLITICO sees Epstein as potential savior for Democrats

A piece that ran on POLITICO Wednesday morning explored an interesting possibility: A potential political career for longtime baseball executive Theo Epstein. 

The piece, titled “Could Theo Epstein Perform a Miracle for the Democrats?” comes a month after Fortune magazine ranked the Cubs president of baseball operations No. 1 on its annual ranking of the world’s greatest leaders. In the POLITICO article, Ben Strauss, in addition to noting the 43-year-old’s accomplishments with the Red Sox and Cubs, hits on several instances in which Epstein’s leadership has been mentioned in relation to politics. 

Strauss then goes on to interview CNN senior political commentator (and Cubs fan) David Axelrod about whether Epstein could be a saving grace with “Democrats on the lookout for a new generation of talent.”

The interview sees both POLITICO and Axelrod compare Epstein to Barack Obama. Says Axelrod: 

They both have two kinds of intelligence: emotional intelligence and a more linear intelligence. They both have the self-confidence to surround themselves with very smart people. Theo’s had a core group around him (general manager Jed Hoyer and head of amateur scouting Jason McLeod) since the beginning in Boston. It’s striking how much he relishes smart people around him and has the confidence to be challenged...Obama had it, too. I would add that Epstein has learned on the job. In Boston he was a pioneer [in using statistical analysis]...He’s told me that he used to be dismissive of the touchy-feely stuff [in evaluating baseball players], but now his scouts write five-page essays about the guys they’re going to draft. In the same way, Obama would tell you he was a better president at the end of eight years than at the beginning. He was smart enough to learn on the job, too.

Asked whether Epstein could win a statewide race for governor or Senate in Illinois, Axelrod replied, “Yeah, he could,” but questions whether Epstein has “the desire to hold public office.”

“I think Theo would be frustrated in public office because of the situation he’s in now,” Axelrod said. “He basically has free rein to do what he needs to do for the success of the organization. That is not the case in politics—you’re seeing that with the governor in Illinois (Bruce Rauner) right now. You have to deal with legislatures and all kinds of public stakeholders. And if you’re used to making things happen, I’m not sure the Senate would be a particularly satisfying job for you. When I talked to him on my podcast...about what he might want to do next...he allowed that he might want to own a team sometime and use that team or use that platform to try to impact on a community. He clearly cares about the larger world and wants to make an impact...But there are many, many reasons I think Cubs fans can relax and enjoy the benefits of his leadership for many years to come.”