Matsuzaka strong in return as Sox beat Royals, 5-1

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Matsuzaka strong in return as Sox beat Royals, 5-1

BOSTON The Red Sox wrapped up their seven-game homestand with a 5-1 win over the Royals as Daisuke Matsuzaka earned his first win of the season.

Returning from the disabled list, Matsuzaka made his first start since June 2, going seven innings, giving up one unearned run on five hits and two walks with six strikeouts and a wild pitch. He threw 101 pitches (71 strikes) as he lowered his ERA from 6.65 to 5.10.
It was just his sixth start of the season after beginning the season on the DL recovering from Tommy John surgery in June 2011 and battling assorted ailments this season.

Early on it appeared Matsuzaka might be in for a struggle as he walked Royals lead-off batter Jarrod Tyson to open the game. Tyson then stole second, went to third on Dustin Pedroias error on the throw from Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and then scored on Alex Gordons sacrifice fly.

But that was all the Royals would get.

Cody Ross went 2-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored, while Jacoby Ellsbury hit his second home run of the season, a solo shot in the first inning.

Andrew Bailey earned his second save with a scoreless ninth.

The Sox finished the homestand with a record of 3-4.

Celtics engaged in talks with Pacers for Paul George

Celtics engaged in talks with Pacers for Paul George

BOSTON – Jayson Tatum was all smiles after hearing his named called by NBA commissioner Adam Silver as the number 3 pick by Boston in Thursday night’s NBA draft.

And as he made his way towards the commissioner and put on the customary Celtics hat, a bright future surely awaited him.

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But is it going to be in Boston?

CSNNE.com confirmed an earlier report by Yahoo Sports! the Vertical that the Celtics were indeed engaged in trade talks with the Indiana Pacers for Paul George.

Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is no stranger to taking chances that most GMs would not consider or take a pass on.

Trading for George, who informed the Pacers that he would not re-sign a long-term deal with them and would instead prefer to play for the Los Angeles Lakers when he hits free agency in the summer of 2018, is a huge risk.

While the particulars of the possible trade are still being discussed, Boston will likely have to include the number three pick – Jayson Tatum – in a deal for George.

Ainge appears willing to gamble that a season in Boston will be enough to convince George to re-sign a long-term deal in the summer of 2018 which would be a win-win in terms of bolstering their chances to compete with Cleveland for Eastern Conference supremacy, and keep him away from the Lakers.

Jayson Tatum: Coach K was effusive in praise of Brad Stevens

Jayson Tatum: Coach K was effusive in praise of Brad Stevens

Celtics draft pick Jayson Tatum will go from one highly regarded coach to another, and he said shortly after being drafted that Mike Krzyzewski had nothing but good things to say about Brad Stevens. 

Tatum said Coach K’s praise for Stevens came after the Celtics traded the first overall pick, thus establishing they would not be selecting Markelle Fultz. 

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“He called me and talked about that Boston was wanting me to come up there for a workout. He was just ranting about how great of a person Brad Stevens is, and [that] Coach K would love the opportunity if they would pick me and he really wanted me to go up there and work out for them,” Tatum said. “I was all for it. It worked out. I had a great time up there on my visit and obviously they enjoyed me.”

Krzyzewski and Stevens coached against each other in the 2010 national championship, which Duke won by two points when Gordon Hayward’s potential game-winning half-court shot nearly went in, but hit the rim. Hayward and Stevens could be reunited this offseason given that the veteran forward will be a free agent.

Tatum spent one year at Duke, averaging 16.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.