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05/09/2012 - 11:36pm
Bobby V blasts umpires after Sox loss

In the aftermath of his team's 4-3 loss to the Royals, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine expressed dissatisfaction with the umpiring crew for its refusal to confer and discuss a pivotal play in the ninth inning in which a Marlon Byrd bunt attempt was ruled a foul ball rather than a hit by pitch. With runners on first and second and no outs, Byrd was trying to lay down a sacrifice. A Jonathan Broxton fastball tailed inside and appeared to hit Byrd.

Home plate umpire Jeff Nelson ruled that the ball hit the bat. Moreover, had Byrd offered at the pitch, even if it had hit his hand, it would have been interpreted as a foul ball, according to Nelson. Byrd and Valentine maintained that Byrd was pulling the bat back and that it hit him, in which case he would have been awarded first base to load the bases with no outs.

Valentine was miffed that Nelson refused to confer with the other umpires to make a determination about whether the ball was a foul ball or a...

05/09/2012 - 11:08pm
Sox fall short again in Kansas City

The Red Sox were done in by a lack of dominant pitching and by their defensive miscues in a 4-3 loss to the Royals on Wednesday night in the rubber match of a three-game set in Kansas City. With the defeat, the Sox dropped to 12-18 on the season.

Jon Lester did not pitch poorly, but he also lacked dominant stuff. He allowed four runs (just one earned) on six hits in five innings, walking one and striking out just three. Lester was touched for four hits in two-strike counts, and his inability to put away the Royals resulted in his exit from the game after requiring 108 pitches in his five frames.

The Royals' biggest offensive eruption of the night came in the first inning, aided substantially by a pair of Red Sox defensive misplays. With two runners on and two outs, center fielder Marlon Byrd misplayed a fly ball into a run-scoring error. One batter later, Cody Ross initially appeared to run down a fly ball by Brayan Pena in deep left, but the...

05/09/2012 - 7:46pm
Bobby V: Beckett wouldn't 'jeopardize team'

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine told reporters in Kansas City that he had not yet had a chance to speak with starter Josh Beckett about the reported golf outing he had last Thursday, one day after he had been scratched from a Saturday start due to soreness in his right lat muscle. Beckett, as is common for starters, flew back from Kansas City to Boston ahead of his team in preparation for his start in Fenway Park on Thursday.

While the Sox skipper said he had not yet discussed the incident, he downplayed it on two fronts, first noting that Beckett was dealing with soreness rather than an acute injury, and also suggesting that he trusted the pitcher not to do anything to put his health at risk.

"I’m not sure I can really comment on it other than to say, physical issues I guess, he had a sore lat. He wasn’t an injured player. I know that," Valentine told reporters. "We’ll take it from there. But I’m sure...

05/09/2012 - 4:49pm
Middlebrooks back in lineup vs. Chen
By: DJ Bean

Will Middlebrooks is back in the lineup Wednesday after leaving Tuesday's game with a tight left hamstring. Tuesday had marked the second time in four days that the hamstring limited him, as he was scratched Saturday and had to leave Tuesday in the second inning. 

The Red Sox will send Jon Lester to the mound against Bruce Chen and the Royals as they look to improve on their 1-6 record in the month of May. The lineup is as follows: 

1. Mike Aviles, SS

2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B 

3. David Ortiz, DH

4. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B

5. Will Middlebrooks, 3B

6. Cody Ross, LF

7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C

8. Marlon Byrd, CF

9. Ryan Sweeney, RF

SP -- Jon Lester

For more on the Red Sox, visit weei.com/redsox


05/09/2012 - 4:42pm
Middlebrooks back in lineup, batting fifth

Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks, after leaving Tuesday's game with tightness in his left hamstring, is back in the lineup and batting fifth against the Royals on Wednesday. Though lefty Bruce Chen is on the hill for Kansas City, Jarrod Saltalamacchia will get the start against the southpaw as the catcher for Jon Lester, and Ryan Sweeney will be in right field.

That likely reflects not just the desire of the Sox to get playing time for Saltalamacchia and Sweeney amidst a southpaw-heavy stretch of the schedule, but also that Chen hasn't produced dramatic left-right splits this year. Righties are hitting .260/.284/.500/.784 against him, while left-handed hitters own a .257/.316/.400/.716 line against the 34-year-old

For matchup information on how the Royals have done against Lester and how the Sox have fared against Chen,...

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