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05/15/2012 - 7:04pm
High five: Beckett, Sox keep rolling

Josh Beckett took his turn in a suddenly dominant stretch turned in by Red Sox starters. The right-hander punched out a season-high nine batters in seven shutout innings, limiting the Mariners to just four hits as the Red Sox beat Seattle, 5-0, to conclude a two-game series sweep.

Beckett's gem was the crowning performance of a full turn of the Red Sox rotation that featured dominance from the team's starters. He gave the team its fifth straight quality start, a five-game span in which the starters were 5-0 with a 1.57 ERA, 22 strikeouts and 11 walks. Pitching on his 32nd birthday, Beckett featured a full complement of swing-and-miss pitches, as the Mariners struggled with his 91-94 mph fastball, changeup, curveball and cutter. The result was nine strikeouts (most by a Red Sox pitcher this year) over seven shutout innings in which Beckett allowed just four hits (all singles) while walking two.

The Red Sox provided the only support Beckett would...

05/15/2012 - 2:03pm
Youkilis rehab assignment begins Wednesday

Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis will begin his rehab assignment on Wednesday with Triple-A Pawtucket. The 33-year-old will take three at-bats as designated hitter for the PawSox on Wednesday in North Carolina against the Durham Bulls.

"We're going to try to get him at least three at-bats as a DH. He looked really good taking his ground balls today –– moving around, bounce in his step," manager Bobby Valentine said. "So, he'll start tomorrow and get him enough –- whatever it's going to take to have him to say that he feels good. He'll good from DH to playing the field."

Youkilis has been out since April 28 with a back strain. He is hitting .219 with a .292 OBP, .344 slugging mark and .635 OPS in 18 games.

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


05/15/2012 - 1:39pm
Doubront hit in head by fly ball

Red Sox left-handed pitcher Felix Doubront was hit in the head by a fly ball prior to Tuesday's game against the Mariners. The ball, hit by a fungo bat, struck the 24-year-old in the right side of the head, causing him to fall to the ground. 

"I'm fine," Doubront said after the incident. Following his fall, he got up under his own power and walked off the field. 

Doubront's next scheduled start is Thursday in Tampa. He has won his last two starts and is 3-1 on the season with a 4.46 ERA.

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


05/15/2012 - 1:31pm
Welker signs franchise tender

One day after telling WEEI that he had "9 1/2 million" reasons not to miss any regular-season games because of his contract situation, Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker signed his franchise tender.

Welker tweeted the news at 1:31 p.m.: I signed my tender today. I love the game and I love my teammates! Hopefully doing the right thing gets the right results. #leapoffaith.

Welker, who was assigned the franchise tag in February, will now be operating on a one-year deal worth roughly $9.5 million. The 31-year-old, who joined New England prior to the start of the 2007 season, caught 122 passes for 1,569 yards last year.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
 


05/15/2012 - 12:36pm
Lineup: Sweeney leading off, Salty moved up
By: DJ Bean

After getting Monday night off, Ryan Sweeney is back in center field and leading off for the Red Sox as they go for their fifth straight victory. The Sox will send Josh Beckett to the mound while Seattle will counter with Blake Beavan.

Beckett is looking to bounce back from a disasterous outing, as he allowed seven earned runs and two homers over 2 1/3 inning last Thursday against the Indians. His earned run average sits at 5.97 entering Tuesday's contest. 

Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia is batting sixth, the highest he has been slotted in the order this season. He is comming off a five RBI performance on Sunday against the Indians. The Red Sox' lineup is as follows: 

1. Ryan Sweeney, CF

2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B

3. David Ortiz, DH 

4. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B

5. Will Middlebrooks, 3B

6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C

7. Cody Ross, RF

8. Daniel Nava, LF

9. Mike Aviles, SS

SP --...

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