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09/11/2012 - 9:26pm
Walk-off in the park: Ellsbury, Sox win

Birthday boy Jacoby Ellsbury singled home Pedro Ciriaco with one out in the bottom of the ninth to give the Red Sox a 4-3 win over the Yankees Tuesday night at Fenway Park. The Red Sox, with their third walk-off win of the season, won for just the second time in 13 games and improved to 64-78. The Yankees (79-62) fell back into a first-place tie in the American League East with the Orioles, who hammered the Rays at Camden Yards. Ellsbury, who turned 29 on Tuesday, finished 4-for-5 on the night with a double and two RBIs. 

Jon Lester walked a career-high seven batters while setting a Red Sox record for strikeouts by a left-handed pitcher. He struck out the side in the fifth, finishing by blowing away Steve Pearce for his 1,044th career strikeout, one more than Bruce Hurst. 

The Yankees took advantage of the wildness from Lester in the opening inning as he walked Derek Jeter to open the game. Nick Swisher followed with a double that snapped...

09/11/2012 - 7:46pm
Lester sets Red Sox LHP strikeout mark

Jon Lester struck out the side in the top of the fifth inning of Tuesday night's Red Sox-Yankees contest, in the process reaching 1,044 strikeouts for his career -- one more than fellow southpaw Bruce Hurst had in his Red Sox tenure. In doing so, Lester became the all-time franchise leader in strikeouts by a left-hander. 

The 28-year-old, a second-round pick of the Sox in the 2002 draft, tied the mark by getting Robinson Cano to swing and miss at an 88 mph cutter. He then claimed sole possession of first by punching out Steven Pearce on an inning-ending curveball. Lester, who had five strikeouts in five innings, received the ball from catcher Ryan Lavarnway. He walked off the mound at the end of the inning with a 2-1 lead. 

For complete Red Sox coverage, visit weei.com/redsox.


09/11/2012 - 5:28pm
Matsuzaka to start again; Morales likely done

Though the Red Sox entertained the possibility of removing Daisuke Matsuzaka from the rotation after he yielded five runs in 1 1/3 innings on Saturday, the team will have him make another start on Friday in Toronto against the Blue Jays. Matsuzaka, according to manager Bobby Valentine, threw a bullpen session on Tuesday afternoon in which he "might have found something that feels good. ... [It's] a little thing out of the stretch that he felt better about." 

Matsuzaka, 31, is 1-5 with a 7.20 ERA in eight starts this year. Opponents are hitting .284 with an .858 OPS against him this year, including .315 with a .403 OBP and .884 OPS with men on base. 

Felix Doubront, meanwhile, came through his most recent bullpen session without incident, and so he will start on Thursday against the Yankees. However, Franklin Morales' season likely is over as the left-hander deals with shoulder discomfort. While Valentine had not yet heard the...

09/11/2012 - 5:13pm
Middlebrooks eyes batting practice

Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks acknowledged that he "probably [will] not" play again this year, but he is making progress in his recovery from a pair of fractures (to the pisiform and triquetrum bones) in his right wrist that occurred when he was drilled by a fastball from Indians right-hander Esmil Rogers. On Tuesday, he was examined and told that he can stop wearing a hard cast on his wrist and only needs to wear a soft cast sporadically. 

He no longer is experiencing pain in the wrist, but he is still working to regain motion. That being the case, the healing process will not permit him to play in another game before the end of the year, but Middlebrooks is trying to "get as close to game-ready as I can. I'm going to approach it like I'm trying to be back. I at least want to be taking [batting practice], going into the offseason knowing that I'm 100 percent. Probably about two weeks into the offseason I'll be able to...

09/11/2012 - 4:04pm
Bobby V: 'I'm the best man for the job'

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, when asked to state his case to fans that he should return to manage the Sox in 2013, expressed sympathy for those who feel disappointment in his team's season. At the same time, he declined the invitation. 

"I feel bad for those fans. I don't have to make a case to them, though. I've suffered with them," Valentine said.

Asked why fans should hope for a turnaround with him at the helm if he does return to manage the Sox next year, Valentine said simply, "I'm the best man for the job." He then broke into a grin. "Was that a tough question, by the way?"

Valentine was asked whether the speculation about his job security had cost him any sleep in recent weeks.

"I haven't lost any sleep only because when I get to bed I'm worn out," Valentine said. "These games have worn me out, to tell you the truth, very often."

As for whether he thinks he'...

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