Bowden receives high praise from Valentine


Bowden receives high praise from Valentine

FORT MYERS, Fla. In two Grapefruit League outings, spanning 2 23 innings and eight batters, right-hander Michael Bowden has yet to give up a hit, a walk, or a run. He earned a save in his first outing, against the Orioles Tuesday. His performance led Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine to say this after Bowdens perfect inning of work against the Pirates in the eighth inning Friday night:

I really liked Michael Bowden. His fastball was down in the zone, Im not sure of the speed because we dont have guns here but it looked like it was 91, 92. He had a good split working off of it. His split I saw it, from the side, but I had a pretty good perspective of things I think. Looked like it was a pitch that was very hard to recognize. I liked what I saw. Hes going to get more quality innings, move up in the game a little.

That kind of praise from a manger is what every player wants to hear. Especially a player, who made his big league debut in 2008 but is still trying to establish himself at the big league level.

It makes me feel great, Bowden said. Im glad that the person that matters, my manager, likes what he sees and wants me to get out there and continue throwing and show him what I can do.

Bowden has appeared in 37 big league games over the last four seasons, posting a record of 2-2 with a 5.75 ERA. After converting to the bullpen full-time in the second half of 2010, Bowden earned 16 saves for Triple-A Pawtucket last season, with a record of 3-3 (2.73) in 41 appearances.

Bowden was a first-round (47th overall) pick of the Sox in 2005. This is the first year he is out of options. Bowden is trying to keep his focus on the field.

I prepared for this spring training the exact same way as the last four spring training, he said. Coming in here, and for myself I believe Ive been competing for a job, even though that wasnt the case. But I think this year I really do have a chance and all I have to do is continue to prove that I can get outs and make quality pitches and do it consistently. Just do everything I can.

Im just worrying about what I can do. Just stay healthy, get better, work on what I need to work on so I can do my job every time out. If I worry about the stuff I cant control, thats just going to take me off my mindset. So I try not to worry about stuff like that. But theres a lot of spring left, a lot of stuff can happen. I know theres spots in the rotation for guys and if theyre not in the rotation, theyll be in the bullpen. So all I can worry about right now is just when I go out there every time I get the ball just do the best I can.

Revs beat Toronto FC 2-1, deny Shield-clinching opportunity


Revs beat Toronto FC 2-1, deny Shield-clinching opportunity

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Lee Nguyen and Kei Kamara scored late goals and the New England Revolution, with a 2-1 win, denied Toronto FC an opportunity to clinch the Supporters' Shield on Saturday.

Kamara scored the go-ahead goal in the 87th minute with a header off Nguyen's cross. The Revs (11-4-5) avoided playoff elimination and extended their undefeated streak at home against Toronto FC (18-5-8) to six games. Toronto has three matches remaining to clinch the Shield with a magic number of three points.

Nguyen opened the scoring for New England in the 82nd minute with his 50th career goal, taking Chris Tierney's lead pass from midfield and finishing through a defensive deflection.

Toronto FC's Nicolas Hasler answered two minutes later with a right-footed volley of Michael Bradley's diagonal cross.

Forwards Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore missed the match for Toronto FC, both due to lower body tightness.


COLLEGE FOOTBALL: No. 2 Clemson pulls away in 4th quarter to beat Boston College, 34-7


COLLEGE FOOTBALL: No. 2 Clemson pulls away in 4th quarter to beat Boston College, 34-7

CLEMSON, S.C. - Adam Choice had a 6-yard tiebreaking touchdown in the fourth quarter and Travis Etienne had two scoring runs in the final six minutes as No. 2 Clemson wore down Boston College in a 34-7 victory Saturday.

The Tigers, who came in off top-15 wins over Auburn and Louisville the last two weeks, were five-touchdown favorites over the Eagles (1-3, 0-2 Atlantic Coast Conference). But Boston College quieted the large Death Valley crowd on AJ Dillon's 1-yard TD late in the third quarter to tie the game at 7-all.

Clemson finally got going in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Kelly Bryant led the Tigers on a 76-yard drive, capped by Choice's go-ahead score. The next series, they were at it once more on a 90-yard series and the speedy freshman Etienne burst through the weary Eagles to finally give the Tigers some breathing room. Bryant added a 4-yard TD before Etienne closed the scoring with a 10-yard run.

Clemson (4-0, 2-0) won its seventh straight over the Eagles and opened 4-0 for a third consecutive season.

Bryant ended with 106 yards rushing and two touchdowns on the ground. It was the second straight game Etienne, a Louisiana recruited wooed heavily by LSU, broke off a long touchdown run after his 81-yard score against Louisville last week.

Boston College's defense and punter Mike Knoll kept it in the game longer than most figured. Clemson had only 38 yards in the third quarter and Knoll had pinned the Tigers inside the 10 five times.

The effort clearly wore down the Eagles, who were outgained in the final period 213-37.