McHale can relate to talk of current aging Big Three

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McHale can relate to talk of current aging Big Three

BOSTON Not a game goes by it seems without a question or two centered around whether Danny Ainge should start to break off some - or all - of the Celtics' Big Three of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett or Ray Allen.

Few can speak on the subject matter better than Kevin McHale, who was literally in the shoes of Boston's current Big Three near the end of his Hall of Fame career with the Celtics.

"They're playing better than we did," said McHale, referring to himself, Larry Bird and Robert Parish. "At this point in our careers, we were all beaten down, had injuries and all that other stuff which is hard to deal with. It happens to everybody. It's just part of the game."

So is getting old, something McHale admits isn't easy to deal with for some players.

"Getting old in the NBA is not for the meek or the mild," said McHale, who now coaches the Houston Rockets. "Your mind is sharp as it's ever been. Sometimes athletically-wise, you can't do some of the things that you could (do earlier)."

And when that happens, production falls off.

When production falls off, players have to acknowledge their decline which for many, is a tough pill to swallow.

"If you're honest with yourself, you wake up in the middle of the night and go, 'You suck!'" McHale said. "Some people can't do that."

McHale, who spent his entire 14-year career with the Celtics (1980-1993), battled a series of injuries near the end of his career.

"I never appreciated enough guys who just grind themselves to a numb and got little accomplished (near the end of their careers)," McHale said. "I became one of those guys."

Eduardo Rodriguez strong, Red Sox down Mariners for 5th straight win

Eduardo Rodriguez strong, Red Sox down Mariners for 5th straight win

BOSTON (AP)  Eduardo Rodriguez pitched six scoreless innings and the Boston Red Sox took advantage of a sloppy performance by the Seattle Mariners to earn their season-high fifth straight win, 3-0 on Friday night.

It was the third consecutive win for Rodriguez (4-1), who went six innings, gave up just five hits and struck out four while throwing a season-high 112 pitches. Craig Kimbrel earned his 13th save.

Rodriguez has pitched at least six innings in his last seven starts, going 4-0 in that span.

The only run support Rodriguez needed came in the second inning, when Hanley Ramirez scored on Josh Rutledge's RBI groundout. Boston added two more runs in the sixth, scoring on a wild pitch and passed ball.

Yovani Gallardo (2-5) took the loss. He lasted 5 1/3 innings, gave up seven hits and was responsible for all three of Boston's runs. Seattle has won just one of its last seven.

Meanwhile, Boston gave Rodriguez got lots of help from his defense. Jackie Bradley Jr. had a pair of nice plays, getting an outfield assist in the second and running down another ball on the warning track in the sixth.

In addition to the pitching miscues, the Mariners had all kinds of issues in the wet conditions, committing two fielding errors.

The Red Sox left 11 runners on base, leaving the door open for the Mariners to get back in the game. But Seattle couldn't capitalize, going 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. The Mariners also left seven runners stranded.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: LHP James Paxton (strained left forearm) was slated to make a rehab start Friday night in Double-A Arkansas. He has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 5. He could be activated for a start at the end of the month against Colorado.

Red Sox: Infielder Marco Hernandez will be out the remainder of the season after undergoing stabilization surgery on his left shoulder on Friday. Hernandez was placed on the disabled list May 4 with a left shoulder misalignment. The 24-year-old hit .276 with two RBI in 21 games. ... A night after he left the game with left knee pain, 2B Dustin Pedroia was held out Friday for what manager John Farrell said was "precautionary reasons" because of the wet playing surface.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Rob Whalen (0-2, 4.09 ERA in Triple-A Tacoma) will be making his major league start since last season with Atlanta. He will be 12th different starting pitcher the Mariners have used this season.

Red Sox: LHP Brian Johnson (1-0, 7.20 ERA) will be making his second major league start this year and third of his career.

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