Notes: Red Sox announce weekend starters


Notes: Red Sox announce weekend starters

By SeanMcAdam

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Red Sox announced Tuesday some scheduled pitchers for the first three days of exhibition games.

Stolmy Pimentel will start Saturday's afternoon contest with Boston College, followed by Michael Bowden and Jason Rice. Against Northeastern Saturday night, the Sox will go with Kyle Weiland, Alex Wilson and Rich Hill.

In the Grapefruit League opener Sunday night against the Minnesota Twins, Josh Beckett will start, with Clay Buchholz to follow. On Monday, also against Minnesota, Daisuke Matsuzaka will start.

Junichi Tazawa, who underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery on his right elbow last spring, threw his first full bullpen session Tuesday morning.

Tazawa had thrown a shorter distance Sunday. On Tuesday, he threw the normal distance, though he concentrated solely on fastballs.

"It's getting gradually better and better,'' said Tazawa through a translator. "I still have a little bit of anxiety about throwing, but it went well.''

It's unlikely that Tazawa will be ready for the start of the minor-league season in early April.

"I don't know the timetable that far ahead,'' he said. "Currently, I've only been given a week at a time, so I only know that.''

Tazawa said he could feel some "tension'' in his right shoulder, but added: "There's no problem at all with the elbow.''

When cleared, Tazawa is slated to be part of the Pawtucket rotation, providing some starting depth for the major league team.

The Red Sox had a morning meeting with umpiring supervisors Larry Young and Joe Garagiola Jr. to go over issues and answer questions from staff and players.

"It was actually a good meeting,'' said Terry Francona. "They told us what they feel they needed to tell us and then guys were allowed to ask questions. They're good listeners. I think they made some good points. I thought it was a good meeting.''

J.D. Drew, who complained last season about inconsistency with the strike zone, said he did not speak up during the meeting.

"I don't want to reflect back on my complaints too much, because it doesn't do me any good,'' said Drew. "I just want to get back to being more patient at the plate, regardless of the situation. There might be a lot of called strike threes against me that I'll still have questions about, but I've got to learn to not expand the strike zone, regardless.''

Adrian Gonzalez took another 30 swings off a tee Tuesday morning. Gonzalez has been given the option of repeating the work Wednesday or taking a day off and resuming swings Thursday . . . Jonathan Papelbon, still battling the flu, remained inside and didn't participate in the workout for the second time in the last three days . . . Jason Bergmann, who was sidelined with shoulder weakness last week is improving but still hasn't been cleared to throw.

Sean McAdam can be reached at Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

NLCS: Cubs beat Dodgers 8-4, head home with 3-2 series lead


NLCS: Cubs beat Dodgers 8-4, head home with 3-2 series lead

LOS ANGELES - Jon Lester pitched seven sharp innings, Addison Russell hit a tiebreaking homer and the Chicago Cubs moved one win from their first World Series trip in 71 years by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-4 on Thursday.

The Cubs grabbed a 3-2 lead in the NL Championship Series and will have two chances to wrap up that elusive pennant back home at Wrigley Field.

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