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04/16/2011 - 12:01am
Francona will discuss Crawford's lineup spot

Red Sox manager Terry Francona acknowledged the obvious. Outfielder Carl Crawford is pressing, appearing "a little jumpy" at the plate, in the words of Francona. On Friday night, Crawford went 0-for-5 with a strikeout, taking a number of bad swings. He is now hitting .138 for the season, including a 3-for-28 (.107) rut from the leadoff spot -- a place in the batting order where Crawford has yet to walk in 29 plate appearances.

After the Sox' 7-6 loss to the Blue Jays, Francona said that he planned to discuss with Crawford his comfort in the leadoff spot.

"That’s probably something I probably need to sit and talk with him about because the last thing I want to do is hinder somebody. I want to help him," said Francona, who shifted Crawford to the leadoff spot at the start of the current homestand. "He’s never really gotten hot yet. He’s gonna get hot. I don’t care if we hit him one through...

04/15/2011 - 10:59pm
Hole gets deeper as Jays drop Sox

It was a night ill-suited for baseball, and it certainly appeared that way while Clay Buchholz and Bobby Jenks were on the mound for the Red Sox. Buchholz matched a career-high by permitting five walks, and Jenks allowed a career-high in runs (4) while matching a career-high in hits allowed (4) as the Sox suffered a 7-6 loss to the Blue Jays that dropped their record to a major league-worst 2-10.

Buchholz allowed just three hits in his five-plus innings of work, but walks and poor command did him in after he allowed three runs. The right-hander threw fewer than half (46) of his 94 pitches for strikes.

Jenks, who was brought into a 3-3 tie in the top of the seventh, had difficulty finding the strike zone, but when he did, he found the middle of the plate. The Jays pounded him for four hits in just one-third of an inning, and the Toronto eruption proved significant, as it spread the game out to the point where the Sox' three-run eighth inning...

04/15/2011 - 5:20pm
Theo: Big deals don't signal shift in Sox

With the official announcement of the seven-year, $154 million deal between the Red Sox and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, the Red Sox now have committed to two nine-figure contracts in the span of five months after never having done one in the first eight years of GM Theo Epstein's tenure as general manager. The biggest deals ever done by the Sox prior to the signings of Gonzalez and Carl Crawford (seven years, $142 million) were the five-year, $82.5 million deal for John Lackey and the five-year, $70 million deal signed by J.D. Drew.

That being the case, Epstein was asked whether the Sox have changed their organizational philosophy about long-term deals. The GM said that he did not believe that the Gonzalez and Crawford deals represented a departure. He suggested that the team has, in fact, offered such contracts in the past (the team failed in attempts to acquire both Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez, though they were prepared to commit well over $100...

04/15/2011 - 5:09pm
Doc: Shaq sits, decision on Saturday

WALTHAM -- Celtics coach Doc Rivers is hoping Shaquille O'Neal returns to practice on Saturday after watching from the sidelines on Friday as the team began full-scale practice preparations for the Knicks Sunday night in Game 1 of their first-round series. 

“He was doing good. He sat pretty well today, looked good over there," Rivers said tongue-in-cheek. "It was terrific. He watched the entire practice."

Rivers said the team is managing O'Neal's calf injury as carefully as possible before letting him get back on the court.

"We knew that, we planned that," Rivers added. "[Saturday] we’ll see what he can do. He did some of the walk-through stuff but I just don’t want to take a chance. We’ll find out [Saturday]. “He’ll practice hopefully and then we’ll make a decision after that.”

Delonte West (ankle) and Jermaine O'Neal both returned to full-...

04/15/2011 - 3:36pm
Ellsbury to hit 9th against Jays

With a rare two off-days in a row, Red Sox manager Terry Francona opted to skip John Lackey in the rotation and keep Clay Buchholz with his regularly scheduled start on Friday night against Toronto’s Brett Cecil. The Red Sox starting lineup for Friday night against the Blue Jays is as follows:

Crawford LF
Pedroia 2B
Gonzalez 1B
Youkilis 3B
Ortiz DH
Drew RF
Saltalamacchia C
Scutaro SS
Ellsbury CF
 
Buchholz P

For a complete look at the Red Sox - Blue Jays matchups, click here.


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