Red Sox beat the Angels yet again, 7-3

191542.jpg

Red Sox beat the Angels yet again, 7-3

By SeanMcAdam
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- If only the Red Sox could figure out a way to play the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim every night.

The Red Sox bashed the Angels for the second straight night, 7-3, pushing their record against the Angels to a perfect 6-0 this season. Since the start of the 2010, the Sox are 15-1 against them.

Jon Lester won his fourth straight start, improving to 4-1 this year. He pitched seven innings and allowed just one run on six hits.

The Sox rallied from behind to score twice against Dan Haren in the sixth. Singles from Adrian Gonzalez and Jed Lowrie produced the runs.

Following a run-scoring double by Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the seventh, the Sox tacked on four more in the eighth with homers by Gonzalez -- his first after 96 at-bats -- David Ortiz and Marco Scutaro.

Haren took the loss. He has two losses this year and Jered Weaver one -- all at the hands of the Red Sox.

STAR OF THE GAME: Jon Lester
Lester won his fourth straight start, limiting the Angels to a single run over seven innings to improve to 4-1.

He struck out 11, marking the 15th time in his career that he has registered double-digit strikeouts.

After allowing a solo homer to Mark Trumbo in the second inning, Lester permitted just one more baserunner into scoring position the rest of the way.

HONORABLE MENTION: Adrian Gonzalez
Gonzalez had a run-scoring single in the sixth to account for the first Red Sox run of the night. He then added a solo homer to lead off the eighth inning, chasing Angels starter Dan Haren.

The homer was his first as a member of the Red Sox at Fenway and just the second of the season overall, coming 96 at-bats after hitting his first.

GOAT OF THE GAME: Hisanori Takahashi
Takahashi entered with no outs in the bottom of the eighth and the Angels trailing 4-1. Four batters -- and two homers later -- the Red Sox lead 7-1 and the game was effectively over.

TURNING POINT
In the seventh inning, with the Sox clinging to a 2-1 lead, Jarrod Saltalamacchia belted a double high off the wall in left-center, scoring Carl Crawford and pushing the Red Sox lead to 4-1.

BY THE NUMBERS
Since being rocked for six runs on Opening Day, Jon Lester has compiled a 1.54 ERA over his last five starts.

QUOTE OF NOTE
"Was I concerned? Well, I knew I'd hit another one before the end of the year.'' -- Adrian Gonzalez after snapping a homerless streak that lasted 96 at-bats.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

More bad blood ahead for Celtics vs Wizards series?

best_of_bst_042417.png

More bad blood ahead for Celtics vs Wizards series?

On this episode of "The Best of Boston Sports Tonight Podcast", Tom Curran, Michael Holley, Kayce Smith and Tom Giles break down the Celtics closing out the Bulls and preview the next round against Washington with Chris Mannix, Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely. Also, Mike Giardi and Phil Perry break down the Patriots two picks on Friday.

  • 0:41 - Tom Curran, Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith discuss the Celtics defeating the Bulls 105-83, beating Chicago in 6 games to advance in the 2nd round of the playoffs.
  • 6:14 - Kyle Draper and Chris Mannix preview the upcoming series against the Washington Wizards and the bad blood between the two teams.
  • 10:19 - Mike Giardi and Phil Perry break down the Patriots first drafts picks, selecting DE Derek Rivers from Youngstown and OT Antonio Garcia from Troy in the 3rd round.
  • 15:45 - Hear what Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley had to say after the win. Also, A. Sherrod Blakely joins BST to discuss the feeling in the Celtics locker room after the win.

Patriots third-rounder Rivers takes winding road to Foxboro

Patriots third-rounder Rivers takes winding road to Foxboro

FOXBORO -- There was not much room for debate as far as this was concerned: Derek Rivers was among the most physically-impressive defensive ends in a draft class loaded at that position.

That begs the question, then, how did the Patriots have the opportunity to draft Rivers at No. 83 overall in the third round? 

The short answer is that he went to Youngstown State, an FCS school, and those players usually don't come off the board early.

But that answer only leads to more questions, as in, how did someone with the athleticism Rivers possesses end up at Youngstown in the first place? And why did he stay?

At 6-foot-4, 248 pounds Rivers was among the top defensive line performers at this year's combine. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.61 seconds, which was good for fourth at his position group. His 30 bench reps of 225 pounds were also fourth among defensive linemen, and tied him with Solomon Thomas (the No. 3 overall pick who weighed 273 pounds in Indy).

Rivers also checked in with the ninth-best broad jump for defensive linemen (123 inches), the fifth-best vertical (35 inches), and the third-best three-cone drill (6.94 seconds).

Those kinds of athletes don't typically end up at Youngstown State. They usually end up a couple hundred miles down the road in Columbus.

"Out of high school, I was a non-qualifier, so I didn’t get my SATs, and then I was just a late bloomer," said Rivers, who was 182 pounds near the end of his sophomore year in high school, according to Vindy.com. "I wasn’t very heavily recruited so I went to Fork Union [Military Academy] and then Youngstown came and they offered me. I was just ready to play ball."

Rivers may have been able to head to a bigger program after emerging for Youngstown as a sophomore with 14 sacks (fifth in FCS that year) and 17 tackles for a loss. But he stayed, and he continued to dominate. As a junior he had eight sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss. As a senior he had 14 sacks and a whopping 19.5 tackles for loss.

Feeling devoted to the program that gave him a chance, Rivers remained and had the opportunity to work under coach Bo Pelini for each of the last two seasons. 

Pelini, a former Nebraska head coach and former Patriots linebackers coach under Pete Carroll (1997-99), may have in a roundabout way helped Rivers land in New England. Pelini and Bill Belichick seem to have a good relationship -- Belichick is now coaching two of Pelini's former players in Vincent Valentine and Rex Burkhead -- and Belichick referenced the coaching Rivers received under Pelini as one of the reasons why Rivers is ready for the NFL. 

When asked about Pelini during his conference call with Patriots reporters, Rivers seemed to agree. 

"Bo was awesome, man. He was like another father to me as far as when he came to Youngstown," Rivers said. "I mean, he took our team to another level. Just the little things that he focused on as far as accountability, doing all the little things right. I mean, those were the things that Bo emphasized, and those were the things that Bo instilled in me."

Rivers added: "The first thing that Coach Bo said in his first meeting with us when he got to Youngstown was that he was like, ‘What you do off the field is going to reflect on how you play on the field.’

"I was a non-qualifier in high school. At Youngstown, I’m probably going to graduate with a 3.0, and it makes sense. If you’re lazy off the field, you’re going to be lazy on the field. If you miss assignments in class, you may miss assignments on the field, so they translate."

Even though even though he's not coming from Alabama or Florida State, even though he took a bit of a circuitous route to get there, in his first night with the team Rivers sure sounded like someone who's been on the fast track to Foxboro for years.