Red Sox come up short against Yankees, 4-2


Red Sox come up short against Yankees, 4-2

By Sean McAdam Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam

Alfredo Aceves almost never loses. Daniel Bard seldom fails to protect a late-inning lead.

But when both pitchers slipped up in the seventh inning Thursday night, it proved highly costly for the Red Sox, who lost to the New York Yankees, 4-2.

They were almost bailed out in the bottom of the ninth when the Red Sox loaded the bases, but Mariano Rivera got Adrian Gonzalez looking for the final out.

The setback moved the Yankees back to within a half-game of the first-place Sox, as the Yanks posted their first series win in five tries against Boston this season.

Dustin Pedroia's two-run homer into the center field bleachers had given the Red Sox a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth, a lead they maintained with nine outs to go.

But Aceves, a former Yankee, issued a one-out walk, then hit rookie Jesus Montero, leaving two baserunnes for Bard. Russell Martin shot a line double to the bullpen wall in right, scoring both baserunners and Eduardo Nunez followed with a run-scoring single.

The loss was just the third in 26 career decisions for Aceves. Meanwhile, Bard, who entered the game with the most holds in the American League (31) had a rare stumble.

A.J. Burnett, in danger of pitching himself out of the Yankees' rotation, turned in his best start in weeks, allowing just two runs on five hits in 5 13 innings. Five New York relievers, capped by closer Mariano Rivera, held the Sox scoreless over the final 3 23 innings.

Jon Lester endured a brutal first inning in which he threw 43 pitches, though he allowed just one run. Lester didn't allow another, but because of his inflated pitch count early, was done after five innings.

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

Report: Varitek signs new 2-year contract with Sox


Report: Varitek signs new 2-year contract with Sox

Jason Varitek has served as a Special Assistant to the President of Baseball Operations for the Red Sox most recently and can be seem in and around the Boston clubhouse at most home games.

Jared Carrabis of Barstool Sports reported Friday that the 2016 Red Sox Hall of Fame inductee will be with Boston for a few more years.

From the looks of it, his presence around the clubhouse will be felt more frequently on game days -- to what extent remains to be seen.

New photos show Sandoval has lost weight


New photos show Sandoval has lost weight

The last time a bunch of pictures of Pablo Sandoval made headlines, it was not a good sign for the Red Sox. The latest batch isn’t so bad. 

Sandoval became the story of spring training this season when photos -- specifically a Boston Globe one of him throwing -- revealed he’d gained significant weight. The veteran third baseman was surpassed by Travis Shaw for the starting job and began the season as a bench player. 

After three regular-season games, Sandoval was put on the disabled list with a shoulder strain. He was then shut down for the season in May due to shoulder surgery. 

In a tweet and story posted by FC Barcelona, a smiling -- and noticeably thinner -- Sandoval could be seen attending the club’s final training session. 

Sandoval, 30, is entering the third season of a five-year, $95 million contract. In his lone full season in Boston, 2015, Sandoval hit .245/.292/.366 with 10 homers and 47 RBI.