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.

Sunday's Red Sox-Blue Jays lineup: Ortiz a late scratch

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Sunday's Red Sox-Blue Jays lineup: Ortiz a late scratch

David Ortiz was a late scratch from Sunday's lineup because his left foot is sore after getting hit by a pitch Saturday. Travis Shaw moves up to the fourth spot in the order at first base, Hanley Ramirez becomes the DH and Josh Rutledge will bat seventh at third base.

After extending his streak to 21 games Saturday, Xander Bogaerts faces a familiar foe in R.A. Dickey. So far the matchup has been favorable for the shortstop, batting .364 through 35 at-bats against the knuckleballer. 

Dickey, on the other hand, has been on the wrong side of matchups against Boston since joining the Blue Jays. In 2016 alone, he's allowed eight runs in 9.2 innings in his two starts against the Red Sox. He faces a lineup that has five players who are hitting .275 or better against him through at least 10 career plate appearances against the righty. Shaw leads that charge, going 4-10 so far off Dickey with a homerun and two doubles. Rutledge is the lone Red Sox hitter yet to face Dickey.

The lineups:

BLUE JAYS:
Jose Bautisa RF
Josh Donaldson 3B
Edwin Encarnacion DH
Justin Smoak 1B
Devon Travis 2B
Darwin Barney SS
Kevin Pillar CF
Ezequiel Carrera LF
Josh Thole C
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R.A. Dickey P

RED SOX:
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Travis Shaw 1B
Hanley Ramirez DH
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Josh Rutledge 3B
Christian Vazquez C
Blake Swihart LF
---
David Price P

The price of being the ace

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The price of being the ace

David Price has a chance for his first “ace” moment to show Boston he’s truly the pitcher they paid for.

The bullpen is spent after giving up the game late Saturday, to go with the team dealing with a three game skid -- the longest since their three-game losing streak from April 17th – April 19th.

On top of the Sox not having lost four-straight yet in 2016, Price is back at the Rogers Centre for the first time since his playoff run with the Blue Jays last year.

So this game should have a playoff feel to it -- as much as one can in late May -- especially with the Toronto picking up steam.

And lastly for Price, he’s started to figure things out since making a mechanical adjustment following his atrocious 4.2 inning start against the Yankees earlier in the month.

But he hasn’t had to throw against a top of the line offense yet.

The lefty dominated Houston, much like everyone has this year and also did well against Colorado.

In between those two he did face a strong opponent in Kansas City, but the Royals still haven’t completely gotten things together (although they did mount a ridiculous comeback Saturday against the White Sox).

Toronto’s scored over seven runs in three of their last four, winning all four of those games and seven of the last 10 contests -- putting them four games behind Boston in the AL East standings.

Price does have a few things going for him entering Sunday’s contest.

He threw well against his old team earlier this year -- seven innings, two earned runs, nine strikeouts and zero walks -- when his mechanics weren’t where he wanted them.

Also after being traded to Detroit from Tampa Bay in 2014, Price was dominant in his returning start at Tropicana Field.

Although he took the loss 1-0, the lefty dealt, chucking a one-hitter over eight innings, striking out nine without walking a batter -- and the one run off of him was unearned.

Price has yet to pitch at Comerica Park since leaving the Tigers, so that’s something Boston may deal with later in the year, too.

Now Price has to block all of this from his mind and execute pitches, in what is his biggest test this point in the season.

A lot for him to ignore in what could’ve easily been a regular start had Boston’s bullpen done its job Sunday -- but then again, this is a part of the price of being an ace.

McAdam: Red Sox relievers didn’t do the job vs. Toronto

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McAdam: Red Sox relievers didn’t do the job vs. Toronto

Sean McAdam joins SNC to discuss the Red Sox bullpen giving up a 4-run lead in the late innings of their loss to the Blue Jays.

Watch the video above.