Notes: Lavarnway relieved after getting first hit

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Notes: Lavarnway relieved after getting first hit

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
KANSAS CITY Ryan Lavarnway admits he felt "relief" after collecting his first big-league hit in the Red Sox' 7-1 win over the Royals Friday night.

The rookie catcherdesignated hitter, who was called up to the Sox on Thursday, went 0-for-4 in his debut, then left the bases loaded in each of his first two at-bats Friday night. But he singled his third at-bat -- with his parents, sister and college friends watching from the stands at Kauffman Stadium -- and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez retrieved the ball and saved it for him.

It was a little bit of a relief, said Lavarnway. It was a little more elusive than I thought it would be, but it wont be my last hit. Im pretty happy.

Alfredo Aceves has a pair of saves this season and has pitched 3 23 innings in each of the two save situations the first time the Sox have recorded a save of more than three innings since 2003. Aceves is now 8-1 with a pair of saves in a utility relief role.

The Sox right-handed credited the teams nutritionist, Tara Mardigan, with helping him lose 20 pounds, and with his brother for helping him keep the right frame of mind.

My brother always says that the best defense is to go out there and be aggressive, said Aceves of his brother Jonathan, a catcher in the Mexican Leagues. The best defense is the attack. I think its really true and it works. It makes sense for a pitcher. Instead of saying defense, defense in my head I just say attack, attack.'

With Mike Aviles and Jed Lowrie ready to play, the Sox have enjoyed the luxury of not needing to rush Marco Scutaro back into the lineup while he battles with a cranky lower back.

Scutaro sat out again Friday night, the seventh game in the last eight that he's missed, and manager Terry Francona thinks the rest has helped him enough that he'll be ready to return Saturday night.

Scutaro said his back finally began loosening up Tuesday and hes been making steady improvement while taking batting practice since then.

Hes okay. Hes doing really well, said Francona.

The Sox are anxious to get Scutaro back in the lineup. He's hit .318.371.409 since the All-Star break.

J.D. Drew (left shoulder) is feeling good taking batting practice and fielding his position in right field, and it appears he's getting close to a rehab assignment. He's been on the disabled list since July 20.

He hit Friday early. He hit real well, said Francona. Hell keep on doing that for a little bit and well see where we stand. He went out and shagged balls, and actually did really good.

I dont know if we know when Drew will go on rehab. We just need to keep increasing the reps and intensity, but hes actually doing a pretty good job.

Bobby Jenks (back) made 20 throws in his first bullpen session and got out to 120 feet in long toss at Bostons minor-league complex in Fort Myers, and is on the path toward a potential activation to the Sox roster in September.

Hell throw another side Saturday and the next throwing session would be a simulated game either Monday or Tuesday, said Francona.

Josh Beckett won his 10th game of the season on Thursday night in Kansas City, and also became a 10-5 guy in the Major Leagues, which means hes spent 10 years in the big leagues and five years with the Sox. That means, per the collective bargaining agreement, that Beckett has full no-trade rights if the Sox ever attempted to move him over the duration of his contract.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

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Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- While there’s a deal of anticipation going into Spring training with the four Killer B’s, David Price and Pablo Sandoval’s shot at redemption and Rick Porcello looking to be something similar to his 2016 self, there’s one name that trumps them all.

Chris Sale.

The lankly lefty received an ovation from fans at the Friday night Town Hall, kicking off Red Sox Winter Weekend. With his consistent success, there’s reason to be excited.

But there’s also reason for apprehension given the way Sale’s departure from Chicago was depicted. But he’s made sure to clear the air.

“I wouldn’t say . . . ya know . . . I loved my time in Chicago,” Sale said when asked if it was time to leave the Windy City. “My best baseball memories are there [and] will be there forever. I love the city; I love the people in the organization.

“It was time for both sides to do something different, I guess. I talked to (White Sox Senior V.P.) Rick on the phone, I talked to (White Sox pitching coach Don) Coop (Cooper). We’re all cool, it’s fine. We understand where both of us are, it happens in baseball, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Chicago.”

He didn’t seem irritated discussing the issue, and certainly wasn’t timid -- we all know that’s not in his DNA.

He genuinely seems excited to deal with the large sum of Sox fans and to call a new place home -- in a city his wife’s fond of no less.

But ultimately, he’s focused on winning, nothing else.

“Every time I’m out there it’s gonna be all I got,” Sale said. "Every time, no matter what. Can promise you that.”

Kennedy in pursuit of Drake for concert at Fenway

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Kennedy in pursuit of Drake for concert at Fenway

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- Quick, if you could have one artist perform at Fenway Park, who would it be?

Florida Georgia Line or Carrie Underwood?

Kanye West?

Maybe a little throwback with Eminem?

Let’s stick to artists who go by one name actually. Red Sox President Sam Kennedy seems to think that’s a good idea.

“We’ve been approaching Drake, this year, we would love to have Drake come,” Kennedy said at Red Sox Winter Weekend. “We understand he’s not doing a big summer tour, but that’s an example of someone we’ve proactively gone out after.

“We’d love to have him come to Fenway Park, given his popularity.

Fenway will already play host to New Kids on the Block with Paula Abdul and Boysz II Men, James Taylor and Billy Joel, with the possibility of adding more.

“I’m not a huge music person,” Kennedy said. “We’ve tried to bring in as many different types of acts as we can to appeal to different demographics. The reality is with the baseball schedule, with the way it lays out, we’re sort of at the mercy of the touring and who’s out.

“We love having these events in Boston. It’s good for the economy, it’s good for Fenway . . . The city has been a very supportive partner in bringing events into town.”

From what Kennedy and his staff have gathered, it appears Drake is looking to do one-off shows instead of a tour. That’s just enough for the ever-persistent Red Sox President to keep working on bringing in the superstar.

“We’re not gonna give up,” Kennedy said.