Red Sox notes: 'Tek makes history with home run

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Red Sox notes: 'Tek makes history with home run

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA
BOSTON -- Jason Varitek is best known for his role behind the plate, but with one swing of the bat, he joined the ranks in the Red Sox offensive books.

The 39-years-and-138-day-old catcher hit a blast in the second inning off Guillermo Moscoso, making him the oldest Red Sox to hit a homerun since Ellis Burks did it on April 8, 2004 at 39 years and 210 days old.

Varitek has hit nine homeruns in 58 games this season, passing last season's total of seven in 39 games and on a better pace than the 14 home runs in 109 games played in 2009.

I think hes still got a lot left, Terry Francona said after the Red Sox 9-3 in Game 1 of the doubleheader. I think hes proving that. What he does behind the plate, weve been saying for years. Its nice when he chips in with some homeruns like hes been. I think the playing time hes getting is probably just about perfect. Hes kept himself in such great shape but hes caught a lot of games. We dont want to run him out there every day. Its not fair to him. But the way hes been catching has been really, really good. The production out of our catching has been tremendous.

Varitek is just happy to help the Red Sox win, regardless of how many individual accolades he picks up.

I have team goals, he said. I always have. What happens from there, theres so many elements to the game and trying to win and do things that I try not to spend too much time worrying about that stuff, just try to have competitive at bats.

Adrian Gonzalez connected for his 183th hit of the season, a new career high. His previous mark was 182 in 2007.

Mike Aviles recorded his first three-hit game (3-4, 2R) as a member of the Red Sox during Game 1. His last three-hit game came at Fenway Park on July 26 as a member of the Kansas City Royals.

With the win, the Red Sox improved to the following on the season:
29-11 in day games
54-18 when scoring first
55-10 when scoring five or more runs
62-29 when hitting a home run

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comJCameratoNBA

Sunday's Red Sox-Blue Jays lineup: Facing a favorable foe in Dickey

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Sunday's Red Sox-Blue Jays lineup: Facing a favorable foe in Dickey

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 six players who are hitting .275 or better against him through at least 10 career plate appearances against the righty. Travis Shaw leads that charge, going 4-10 so far off Dickey with a homerun and two doubles.

The lineups:

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

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