Monbouquette excited to watch Weiland's debut

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Monbouquette excited to watch Weiland's debut

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON -- Bill Monbouquette, the native of Medford, Mass., who threw a no-hitter for the Red Sox against the White Sox in 1962, was at Fenway Park Sunday morning before the Red Sox first-half finale against the Orioles. Monbo and several other former Sox players were there as part of the teams Alumni Day celebration.

Monboquette, who turns 75 on Aug. 11, pitched for four teams the Sox, Yankees, Tigers, and Giants in his 11- season career, compiling a record of 114-112, with a 3.68 ERA. He was happy to report the stem cell transplant which he underwent almost three years ago has worked to combat the acute myelogenous leukemia he had been battling.

On Sunday, he was looking forward to watching right-hander Kyle Weiland make his major league debut for the Sox.

Im sure hes very, very excited, very nervous, Monbouquette said. But after the first pitch itll be like hes pitching any other time. Thats the way I was.

Monbouquette reflected on his own big league debut July 18, 1958, with the Sox facing the Tigers. He went five innings, giving up five runs (three earned) on seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Monbo wasnt involved in the decision as the Sox won, 11-9, at Fenway Park. But he quickly established his hard-nosed, no-nonsense reputation.

Billy Martin stole home on me that night, Monbouquette said. And the next time up, I flipped him. I really flipped him good. In those days there were no helmets. All I saw was his hat came off and the ball went between his hat and his head. Then the next pitch he popped up and he came running right across the mound, which is a no-no. Well, my glove was loose and I had my fist cocked. And he said he to me, Well, you owed me that, rook. And then I end up being his pitching coach in New York, and I wouldnt wish that on anybody. He was a tough guy to coach for.

But in that first game, they got four or five runs off me. We made two or three errors. Lepcio made a big error.

Of course, infielder Ted Lepcio, who turns 82 on July 28, did not make an error in that game. He just happened to enter the conversation just in time to hear Monbouquette using his name in vain. One ballplayer giving another ballplayer some good-natured grief.

Nice to see some things never change.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

First impressions: Detroit Tigers 4, Boston Red Sox 3

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First impressions: Detroit Tigers 4, Boston Red Sox 3

BOSTON -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Detroit on Wednesday afternoon:

1) Eduardo Rodriguez pitched pretty well, but not well -- or deep -- enough.

Rodriguez has now made three starts since coming back from Pawtucket and any one of them was better than his starts from earlier this year.

He's no longer tipping his pitches, he's commanding better in general and his fastball has been more powerful.

But he's also giving up a lot of hits (19 in 18 innings) and he's gotten through the sixth inning just once in his three outings. For a team short in its bullpen, that's leaving a big workload for the relievers.

2) The late-inning comebacks have been in short supply.

Yes,  the Red Sox have scored runs by the boatload at times. And yes, they've mostly played hard this season.

But before Wednesday, the Sox had been just 3-35 when trailing after seven innings and they had enjoyed only two walkoff wins all season.

Those numbers can be misleading, of course. Teams can dig out from early holes -- as the Red Sox did Tuesday night.

But the ninth-inning rallies haven't happened much. In fact, on the current home stand, the Sox have had the top-to-middle part of the order up in the bottom of the ninth -- with David Ortiz getting an at-bat each time -- on four separate occasions, trailing by a run or two, and couldn't produce a winning rally.

3) Clay Buchholz may be pitching himself out of the doghouse

After going weeks -- literally --between appearances, Buchholz has been called upon four times in the last seven games.

Granted, in most of those games, the Red Sox have been trailing. But the games were such that they were still within reach, contradicting John Farrell's remarks late last week when he broadly hinted that he didn't trust Buchholz in games that were close.

Slowly, however, Buchholz could be earning some trust coming out of the bullpen. He had a perfect inning Wednesday with the Sox trailing by a run at the time.

Wednesday's Red Sox-Tigers lineup: E-Rod aims to avoid sweep

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Wednesday's Red Sox-Tigers lineup: E-Rod aims to avoid sweep

BOSTON -- The Red Sox send Eduardo Rodriguez to the mound as they attempt to salvage the final game of their homestand and avoid a sweep at the hands of the Tigers.

Today's lineups:

TIGERS:
Ian Kinsler 2B
Jose Iglesias SS
Miguel Cabrera 1B
Victor Martinez DH
Nick Castellanos 3B
Justin Upton LF
Mike Aviles RF
James McCann C
Tyler Collins CF
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Michael Fullmer P

RED SOX:
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Aaron Hill 3B
Travis Shaw 1B
Sandy Leon C
Brock Holt LF
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Eduardo Rodriguez P