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06/24/2011 - 10:17pm
No power in Pittsburgh: Sox lose opener

PITTSBURGH -- The Red Sox went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 baserunners in total on the way to dropping an 3-1 decision to the Pirates in the teams' series opener Friday night at PNC Park.

Taking the loss (his first on the road this season) was Jon Lester, who gave up three runs (2 earned) in six innings of work. The lefty did strike out five and walk just one, but gave up eight hits on the way to falling to 9-4.

The Sox best chance at tying things up in the late innings came when David Ortiz was called upon to pinch-hit for reliever Tommy Hottovy with two outs and runners on second and third in the eighth inning. But Pittsburgh relief pitcher Jose Veras managed to induce an inning-ending ground ball to shortstop, stranding Darnell McDonald and J.D. Drew.

Up until his eighth inning, leadoff single, McDonald had a tough night filling in for Ortiz in the No. 5 spot, stranding six runners in his first three plate...

06/24/2011 - 8:34pm
All the Bruins love him: B's take Hamilton
By: DJ Bean

The Bruins selected Niagara Ice Dogs defenseman Dougie Hamilton with the ninth overall pick in Friday's NHL draft. Hamilton was rated the fourth-best North American skater in the draft by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau.  

At 6-foot-4 and 187 pounds, Hamilton is considered a strong defenseman with good puck-moving ability. In 67 OHL games this past season, Hamilton had 12 goals and 46 assists for 58 points. He had a plus-35 rating and racked up 77 penalty minutes. 

After making the choice, B's general manager Peter Chiarelli appeared on VS. and described Hamilton as a "big strong kid with good offensive instinct."

The selection closes the book on 2009's trade between the Bruins and Maple Leafs that sent Phil Kessel to Toronto in exchange for two first-round picks and a second-rounder.

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.


06/24/2011 - 7:45pm
Chiarelli: Bruins qualified RFA Marchand
By: DJ Bean

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told reporters in Minnesota Friday that the team has qualified restricted free agent Brad Marchand, meaning the team has retained negotiating rights with the 23-year-old and can match any offer sheet that another club may sign him to. 

Should Marchand sign an offer sheet with another team, the Bruins will have seven days to either keep Marchand under those terms or see him walk. The Bruins would receive draft pick compensation if they were to lose Marchand, but given his importance to the club and how much cap space the B's have, the chances of him not returning are extremely slim. 

As a rookie Marchand scored 21 goals and 20 assists for 40 points in the regular season. He scored 11 goals in the playoffs, including two in the Bruins' Game 7 win over the Canucks in the Stanley Cup finals.

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.


06/24/2011 - 7:17pm
Beckett: 'I'm about 60 percent right now'

PITTSBURGH -- Josh Beckett said prior the Red Sox' series opener against the Pirates at PNC Park Friday night that he felt significantly better after being bed-ridden with flu-like symptoms for much of the week. The starter, who could be seen running the stadium stairs earlier in the afternoon, is planning on throwing his normal side session Saturday in preparation of starting Tuesday in Philadelphia.

 

"I'm about 60 percent right now. Yesterday I was at 50 percent, and I was down to 10 or 15 percent the day before that. I didn't brush my teeth until 8 p.m. Wednesday night," he said. "I couldn't get out of bed."

Beckett already had seen his scheduled start last Tuesday pushed to Saturday due to the illness. But when the symptoms didn't improve as the week progressed, another adjustment needed to be made.

"I knew I had to have a really good day yesterday, but I didn't have a really good day," Beckett...

06/24/2011 - 4:40pm
Bruised nerve the cause for Lowrie's injury

PITTSBURGH -- Both Jed Lowrie and Red Sox manager Terry Francona said prior to their teams' series opener against the Pirates at PNC Park Friday that it had been determined that a nerve in Lowrie's left shoulder had shut down the muscles in the area, leading to the injury that landed him on the 15-day disabled list.

Lowrie, who has been suffering with soreness in the area since colliding left fielder Carl Crawford May 27,  had sought a second opinion with Dr. Lewis Yocum earlier this week after an initial diagnosis had shown no structural damage to the shoulder.

"The nerve shut down the whole area," Lowrie said. "We knew the [scapula] wasn't moving properly and the shoulder had some weakness. I was never told anything about the nerve.

"It's going to be hard work to move properly and get that strength back, but I think we have a heading at this point and know exactly what is going on."

Francona said there...

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