Signs point to Sveum as Red Sox front-runner

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Signs point to Sveum as Red Sox front-runner

MILWAUKEE -- The more Ben Cherington speaks, the more it appears Dale Sveum is the favorite to become the next manager of the Red Sox.

Sveum will meet with Cherington, owners Tom Werner and John Henry, and CEO Larry Lucchino Wednesday afternoon as part of his second interview with the organization.

Cherington said the Sox "expect there will be" a second interview for another candidate, but revealed the Sox have yet to settle on who that will be.

"We're still narrowing in on another finalist," said Cherington. "At least one another finalist. It's a combination of (identifying the second candidate) and the logistics (of setting up a meeting)."

The very fact that Sveum is being introduced to the owners before the team can settle on another finalist marks him as the front-runner for the position.

One complication could be a similar feeling by the Chicago Cubs toward Sveum. Sveum interviewed last week with Chicago. It's not known if he'll have a formal second interview with the Cubs when he's in town Wednesday, but it is known that Sveum is still in the running with the Cubs.

"It is a factor," acknowledged Cherington of the Cubs' parallel search, "because a lot of the candidates are similar. As I've said before, we're going to have a manager; the Cubs are going to have a manager. I'm not sure the same person is the right person for both jobs.

"We don't have the field to ourselves, so that's a factor and it effects timing more than anything. But I do think the jobs are different."

Henry, who arrived Tuesday night for the start of owners' meetings Wednesday, said he was eager to get to know Sveum better.

"I never really spent a lot of time with Dale (when he was the Red Sox' third-base coach in 2004-05)," said Henry, "so I'm looking forward to it."

Asked about a timetable for hiring a manager and the possibility of wrangling with the Cubs for their first choice, Henry said: "It's not so much about the timing. It's about getting the right man."

Red Sox’ quotes, notes and stars from 2-1 loss to Rays

Red Sox’ quotes, notes and stars from 2-1 loss to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Notes, quotes and stars from the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Rays:

QUOTES:

* "There's not much I can do about it now. It's kind of a waiting game and hopefully, the tests come back clean.'' -Andrew Benintendi, on the uncertainty surrounding his knee injury.

* "Sometimes, I like that, sometimes I don't because I'd kind of take a couple of quick outs in place of those to get a couple of more innings out there.'' -Drew Pomeranz on his career high 11 strikeouts.

* "That's probably the spot that looms the largest. Jackie's become more aggressive early in the count, but at the same time, that aggressiveness can work against you.'' -Farrell on Jackie Bradley Jr. swinging at the first pitch following a walk with the bases loaded.

NOTES:

* Drew Pomeranz recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts

 * Since moving to the leadoff spot, Dustin Pedroia has a slash line of .397/.418/.460 in 16 games.

* Pomeranz has yielded two runs or fewer in five consecutive starts.

* On the just-completed road trip, the Red Sox led in all but one game.

* Thursday's loss was the fourth this season in which the Sox allowed two runs or fewer.

 * The past 18 Red Sox losses have come by a combined 37 runs.

* Until Thursday, the Red Sox had won 20 of their past 31 day games.

* The bottom third of the makeshift Red Sox lineup combined to go 2-for-12.

* The Sox missed out on a chance to have an eight-win road trip, which would have been their first since 2011.

STARS:

1) Jake Odorizzi

The Rays started, facing a depleted Red Sox lineup, limited the Sox to a single run over seven innings, allowing just five hits and getting out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam by allowing just one run.

2) Mikie Mahtook

Mahtook was 0-for-34 when facing Drew Pomeranz in the seventh inning, but that didn't stop him from doubling home Steven Souza Jr with what proved to be the winning run.

3) Dustin Pedroia

The Sox couldn't generate much of anything at all offensively, but don't blame Pedroia. The leadoff hitter had three hits and a walk and was on base four times for the Sox.