"He’s been an effective starting pitcher in the American League East this year. However you want to look at it, that’s what he’s been. We’re not doing anything to help us if we take that off the table. We’re trying to improve things.



NEW YORK -- Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said before Friday's game, a 10-3 loss to the Yankees, that Josh Beckett remains a valued contributor in his team's rotation and that the team would do nothing to improve by getting rid of him.

NEW YORK -- After the Red Sox' 10-3 loss to the Yankees -- dropping Bobby Valentine's team to two games under .500 (49-51) for the first time since June 15 -- Dustin Pedroia had some pointed analysis regarding the Sox' situation.

"First 100 games have been [expletive]," Pedroia said. "I mean, at two games under .500, we're the Boston Red Sox. If everyone's thrilled about where we're at then we need to re-evaluate because I don't like losing. I know everyone else doesn't like losing. We go to play better, man."

 NEW YORK -- The Red Sox fell two games below .500 for the first time since June 15, dropping a 10-3 decision to the Yankees, Friday night at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees, who now have an 11 1/2-game lead in the American League East on the Sox, used three homers to power their way to the victory, highlighted by Curtis Granderson's eighth-inning grand slam against Red Sox reliever Mark Melancon. Also homering for the hosts were Raul Ibanez and Russell Martin.

NEW YORK -- According to a major league source, the Red Sox have drawn "significant" interest in outfielder Cody Ross, but the team has told interested parties that it has no intentions of dealing Ross at this time.

If made available, Ross would be a valued commodity leading into Tuesday's non-waiver trade deadline both because of his production and affordability. The 31-year-old entered Friday night's game with the Yankees hitting .261 with 16 home runs and an .870 OPS. He is in the midst of one-year, $3 million contract.

NEW YORK -- After having his right Achilles tendon examined Friday, David Ortiz was cleared to start hitting. The Red Sox designated hitter is currently on the 15-day disabled list, having just gotten his protective boot off Tuesday.

When asked if he was optimistic he would return to the active roster when eligible to come off the DL, Ortiz said the recovery process still has some semblance of uncertainty.

Carl Crawford is back near the top of the lineup for the Red Sox as they prepare to take on Phil Hughes and the Yankees. With the right-handed Hughes on the mound, Daniel Nava will be the Red Sox' designated hitter, batting eighth. Jarrod Saltalamacchia will get the start behind the plate with right-hander Aaron Cook on the mound.

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, during an appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning, said he's confident the team can turn its fortunes around and make the playoffs without mortgaging the future.

Cherington said the baseball operations staff has been active and will continue to be so leading up to Tuesday's trade deadline. The Sox play the first-place Yankees in New York this weekend.

There’s a very good chance that the Red Sox remain relatively quiet at the trade deadline, that they pass on the high-end, impact big leaguers in a season where the team’s realistic chances of a playoff run are slim.

The police officer who allegedly directed a racial slur at Carl Crawford at a minor league baseball game in Manchester, N.H., on July 5 has been fired, Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella announced Thursday.