Lavarnway: Good hitter, even better house guest

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Lavarnway: Good hitter, even better house guest

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA

On Tuesday night rookie catcher Ryan Lavarnway powered the Boston Red Sox to a crucial 8-7 win over the Baltimore Orioles with two homeruns and four RBIs.

But before he was driving an entire team to victory, Lavarnway played a role in one of his teammates success this season.

Lavarnway didnt know Josh Reddick very well when he was called up to the Pawtucket Red Sox from the Portland Sea Dogs in June.

When he asked around the clubhouse about taking a trip back up to Portland to retrieve the rest of his belongings following a day game, Reddick said he was already planning on driving up to Maine that night and agreed to give Lavarnway a ride.

That afternoon Lavarnway batted 2-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored; Reddick hit 1-for-3 with a double as well.

As Lavarnway looked to get settled into his new surroundings in Pawtucket, Reddick offered he could stay at his place until he found a spot to live. Both players were pursuing the next steps in their careers -- Lavarnway was getting adjusted to Triple-A baseball and Reddick was fighting to make it back to the Boston Red Sox.

A few days later, Lavarnway and Reddick each hit a pair of homeruns and drove in four runs apiece in an 8-3 win over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

Erring on the side of superstition, Reddick extended his hospitality.

We both hit two homers in the same game, Lavarnway recalled. He was like, Alright, you cant move out now.'

I think he got called up here (to the Red Sox) a couple days later and was hitting .300.

Lavarnway ended up living at Reddicks place in Pawtucket (and taking cared of his dog) while Reddick spent the rest of the season in Boston. A few months later, Lavarnway joined him on the Red Sox, where he played an integral role in Tuesdays must-win game.

In this game where theres only 25 spots on the roster, even if you dont play the same position, as much as were teammates in the minor leagues, everyones kind of competing with each other, said Lavarnway. The fact that we hadnt really met before and he was being so nice to me, you dont really expect that.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.com!JCameratoNBA.

Big Papi's Papi was taken by surprise at retirement announcement

Big Papi's Papi was taken by surprise at retirement announcement

BOSTON - David Ortiz may be masterful in the clutch and one of the more charitable athletes in the city, but much like anyone else, Big Papi doesn’t always inform his own Papi of news right away -- even if he plans to announce it to the general public.

“He actually didn’t tell me [that he planned to announce his retirement],” Enrique Ortiz, David’s father, said through a Red Sox’ translator on Saturday before the next-to-last regular-season game. “I was in the Dominican Republic when he announced it in the states.

While Enrique would explain -- humbly -- how proud he was of his son, he’s not so sure announcing his retirement before the season was the correct move.

“If I was [in America], I would have told him not to announce his retirement,” the elder Ortiz explained, “just because there’s so many things that can happen in a season. Or you might have a change of heart after the season.

“If I were here I would have told him to stay neutral so his options were more open. So I wouldn’t have told him to retire.”

Although dad wasn’t on board with his son’s announcement, he’s done what any good parent does -- bite their tongue and let things play out.

“I haven’t told him anything about why he's retiring because I know it’s coming from him and it’s his decision,” Enrique said. “But when I look back to 2013, I remember coming here and I see him with what looks like two cats on his feet. And I’m like ‘What happened to my boy? Did he get into an accident or something?’ And what he told me was, ‘This is how you son is making this money, doing all of this stuff before a game.’ So [him retiring] is not a surprise to me.”

Saturday's Red Sox-Blue Jays lineups: E-Rod on mound, Bogaerts back to 2-hole

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Saturday's Red Sox-Blue Jays lineups: E-Rod on mound, Bogaerts back to 2-hole

The Red Sox (93-67) look to close in on the No. 2 seed in the A.L. playoffs and home-field advantage in the Division Series with the Cleveland Indians (92-67) with a victory over the Toronto Blue Jays tonight at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox send left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (3-7, 4.68 ERA) to the mound against left-hander J.A. Happ (20-4, 3.20). Rodriguez is expected to pitch either Game 3 or 4 of the Division Series against the Indians next week.

If both teams finish with 94 wins, the Red Sox hold the tiebreaker over the Indians, based on Boston winning the season series, 4-2. The Indians may have to play a makeup game Monday with the Detroit Tigers.

The Jays are a game behind the Baltimore Orioles for the top A.L. wild-card spot and hold a half-game lead over the Detroit Tigers for the second wild-card spot. 

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts moves back to his customary No. 2 spot in the batting order after hitting sixth Friday night. Right-handed hitting Aaron Hill is at third base and Christian Vazquez catches for Boston.

There will be the second of three ceremonies this weekend to honor retiring Red Sox DH David Ortiz before the game.  

The lineups:

RED SOX
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Chris Young LF
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Aaron Hill 3B
Christian Vazquez C
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Eduardo Rodriguez LHP

BLUE JAYS
Devon Travis 2B
Josh Donaldson 3B
Edwin Encarnacion 1B
Jose Bautista DH
Russell Martin C
Troy Tulowitzki SS
Melvin Upton LF
Kevin Pillar CF
Ezequiel Carrera RF
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J.A. Happ LHP