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

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu are back together.

The two Cuban natives were teammates in 2012 when they played for Cienfuegos in Cuba, and now they'll be in the same dugout once again — this time in Chicago.

"To get the opportunity to play with him right now in the United States, it's an honor for me," Moncada said through a translator on a conference call Wednesday. "I'm thrilled with that."

Click here for the complete story on CSNChicago.com

Red Sox notes: Sox did their homework researching Sale's character

Red Sox notes: Sox did their homework researching Sale's character

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- In today's game, teams are sure to do their homework when bringing in a star player. For either a big free agent or trade acquisition, clubs want to know everything they can about the individual.

New starter Chris Sale passes that test for the Red Sox.

"There's always an on-field (personality) and away from the game (to consider),'' said Dave Dombrowski, the Red Sox' president of baseball operations. "On the field, he's as competitive as can be. He's got an edge to him - a good edge. His teammates love him.

"Off the field, I've heard a lot of pleasant things about him. I've heard tremendous things from him as an individual. A couple of our guys in the organization know him very well and say real good things about him.''

Sale was involved in two clubhouse incidents last season - one in which he angrily confronted White Sox president Kenny Williams about his decision to limit the amount of time Adam LaRoche's son could spend with the team, and another in which he cut up a throw-back uniform with scissors.

"I think you do your checking to see what causes some things,'' said Dombrowski. "But after I checked things, (I'm) not really (concerned).''

Another benefit to having Sale is that he could potentially take some pressure of David Price, who struggled at times in his first season in Boston and perhaps tried too hard to validate his $217 million contract.

"I think it's always good for a club if they have a number of guys, top of the rotation guys, to take the pressure off everybody else,'' Dombrowski said. "Because you know that everyone has a bad outing here and there, and somebody else picks you up in that case. I think that's helpful. If we didn't have (another No. 1 starter), I'd still have confidence in (Price).''

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It's possible that the Red Sox could go into next season with as many as four lefthanders in their rotation -- Sale, Price, Eduardo Rodriguez and Drew Pomeranz.

"It's unusual to have four lefthanders, potentially, in the rotation,'' acknowledged Dombrowski. "A lot of times, you're looking for one. But if it was four lefties, that would be fine. I think it's more important that they get people out. I'd be comfortable with that.

"I've really never been in that spot before, which doesn't make me feel uncomfortable. I don't have a driving force to make any trades because four guys are lefties. I think they're good lefties.''

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Retired Red Sox slugger David Ortiz caused a stir with an Instagram post Tuesday night, kiddingly suggesting that the arrival of Sale was forcing him to re-think his decision to quit.

"It's amazing the number of people who reached out to me,'' laughed Dombrowski. "I know David well enough. I do know that if he really had sincere interest (in returning), he would call. But I also know that he has to stay on the voluntarily retired list for 60 days. So there's rules involved with that. But I know he was just joking.

"When I walk into the clubhouse and I see him working out, I say, 'You could play now. Look at the shape you're in!' But he says, 'Oh, nooooo.' ''

The Sox have yet to officially confirm that they've signed free agent first baseman Mitch Moreland. The two sides are in agreement on a one-year deal for $5.5 million deal, but a slight delay has taken place because of either contractual formalities or added time for medical information to be obtained.

"I can't say much about free agent players,'' said Dombrowski. "We've made some strides with an individual. But I'm not in a position to say much about that for various reasons.''