Francona, Epstein give conflicting updates on Ellsbury

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Francona, Epstein give conflicting updates on Ellsbury

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- It may have been only a matter of semantics, but Terry Francona and Theo Epstein seemed to give different updates on Jacoby Ellsbury as he comes back from the broken ribs which sidelined him for all but three weeks in 2010.

In the afternoon, when asked about Ellsbury's progress, Francona noted that in a conversation a few weeks ago, the outfielder told him he "still feels it in the back.''

But hours later, Epstein indicated otherwise.

"He was ruled asymptomatic a couple of weeks ago,'' said Epstein. "I'm sure there are still come things he can do that create soreness, with rotation and whatnot. But I think that's normal.

"My understanding is that the fracture of a rib like this will still show up like a slight line on a scan for another couple of months. But that's a natural part of the process. You're actually healed before the line will completely disappear on the scan. He's been asymptomatic and very enthused about where he is in the offseason, getting ready for a normal season.

Ellsbury is in Arizona, training at Athlete's Performance Institute (API), as he would usually do in the winter.

"I think he's still tailoring his workouts for what he went through,'' said Epstein, "which is smart. He's not rushing it. The rotational stuff is where you can really feel the rib cage-area. I think he's easing into that, which makes sense.''

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

Red Sox’ quotes, notes and stars from 2-1 loss to Rays

Red Sox’ quotes, notes and stars from 2-1 loss to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Notes, quotes and stars from the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Rays:

QUOTES:

* "There's not much I can do about it now. It's kind of a waiting game and hopefully, the tests come back clean.'' -Andrew Benintendi, on the uncertainty surrounding his knee injury.

* "Sometimes, I like that, sometimes I don't because I'd kind of take a couple of quick outs in place of those to get a couple of more innings out there.'' -Drew Pomeranz on his career high 11 strikeouts.

* "That's probably the spot that looms the largest. Jackie's become more aggressive early in the count, but at the same time, that aggressiveness can work against you.'' -Farrell on Jackie Bradley Jr. swinging at the first pitch following a walk with the bases loaded.

NOTES:

* Drew Pomeranz recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts

 * Since moving to the leadoff spot, Dustin Pedroia has a slash line of .397/.418/.460 in 16 games.

* Pomeranz has yielded two runs or fewer in five consecutive starts.

* On the just-completed road trip, the Red Sox led in all but one game.

* Thursday's loss was the fourth this season in which the Sox allowed two runs or fewer.

 * The past 18 Red Sox losses have come by a combined 37 runs.

* Until Thursday, the Red Sox had won 20 of their past 31 day games.

* The bottom third of the makeshift Red Sox lineup combined to go 2-for-12.

* The Sox missed out on a chance to have an eight-win road trip, which would have been their first since 2011.

STARS:

1) Jake Odorizzi

The Rays started, facing a depleted Red Sox lineup, limited the Sox to a single run over seven innings, allowing just five hits and getting out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam by allowing just one run.

2) Mikie Mahtook

Mahtook was 0-for-34 when facing Drew Pomeranz in the seventh inning, but that didn't stop him from doubling home Steven Souza Jr with what proved to be the winning run.

3) Dustin Pedroia

The Sox couldn't generate much of anything at all offensively, but don't blame Pedroia. The leadoff hitter had three hits and a walk and was on base four times for the Sox.