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08/08/2012 - 10:01am
Lineup: Beckett returns in series finale

The Red Sox (55-56) look to win their three-game series with the Rangers (64-45) on Wednesday at Fenway Park. This will be the final game of a 10-game homestand for the Sox (4-5 to date), who will begin a 10-game road trip in Cleveland on Thursday. The Rangers have won five of seven overall vs. the Sox this season, including Tuesday's 6-3 win over Jon Lester.

Josh Beckett (5-9, 4.54) makes his first start since July 31 for the Sox. Beckett left that start vs. the Tigers in the third inning -- to boos from the Fenway Park crowd --  with a back injury and missed a start. Beckett has faced the Rangers twice this season, posting a 4.50 ERA in 14 innings pitched. He'll be opposed by Matt Harrison (13-6, 3.17), who hasn't faced the Sox this season.

LINEUP:

Ellsbury, CF

Crawford, LF

Pedroia, 2B

Gonzalez, 1B

Ross, RF

Middlebrooks, 3B

Lavarnway, DH

Shoppach, C

Ciriaco, SS

...

08/08/2012 - 9:33am
Valentine: 'I think we're a playoff team'

Bobby Valentine was a guest of the Dennis & Callahan Show on Wednesday, a day after the Red Sox lost 6-3 to the Rangers. The Sox find themselves at 55-56 on the season, nine games behind the Yankees in the AL East and 4.5 games behind in the wild card chase. Valentine was asked if the 111 games this season -- plus the 7-20 finish last September -- are an indication that this might simply be a .500 team.

"No, I don't think so," Valentine said. "I think we're a playoff team and I think we're going to be there before the season is over."

John Dennis suggested that 89 wins could be the number needed to get that second wild card. That would mean a 34-17 finish would have to happen for the Sox. Does Valentine think that is a reasonable expectation for this team?  

"Yeah, of course," Valentine said. "Of course we can do better than that. I don't think that's so optimistic, I think if we stay...

08/08/2012 - 7:01am
Needham's Raisman wins gold, bronze

Needham’s Aly Raisman already had one gold medal from the team all-around event last week, and she added another two after winning gold in the floor exercise and a somewhat controversial bronze on the balance beam on Tuesday. The two competitions were her final events of the London Olympics.

Raisman was initially given a score of 14.966 on the beam, a score that was fourth overall. But the score was protested by Raisman's coach, Mihai Brestyan, and the judges raised her score to 15.066, which lifted her to third place and knocked Romania's Catalina Ponor down to fourth. 

“I felt like I had nothing to lose,” Raisman said. “It was going to be my last memory for London, so I just wanted to make it count and enjoy it.

“It was definitely the best floor routine that I’ve ever done. To have it be at the Olympic Games, in the finals, is just really amazing and just a dream come true. That’s what you...

08/08/2012 - 6:52am
Mashup: Penn Sate tweaks uniforms

In an effort to move forward from the Jerry Sandusky sexual assault scandal, Penn State University is tweaking its football uniforms. The new look will feature a blue ribbon, to show support for victims of child abuse, and players' names on the back of the jersey to laud their loyalty to the program in the face of a four-year bowl ban. 

"We want our fans to know and recognize these young men," coach Bill O'Brien said in a statement. "They have stuck together during tough times, and I commend them for the leadership they have shown. Moving forward, I'm deeply committed to honoring Penn State's traditions, while building a bright future for our football program." 

Read more about this story and more at Wednesday's Morning Mashup at the Out of Bounds blog.


08/07/2012 - 9:31pm
Red Sox can't keep pace with Rangers

The Red Sox dropped back below .500, dropping a 6-3 decision to the Rangers Tuesday night at Fenway Park.

Taking the loss for the Sox was starter Jon Lester, who allowed four runs over 6 2/3 innings. The lefty, who left the game having given up three runs, finished his first five innings having surrendered just two hits. Texas managed to do most of its damage in the sixth and seventh innings, scoring two runs in each frame.

After falling behind 4-0, the Red Sox finally answered against Texas starter Ryan Dempster with a two-out, pinch-hit, three-run homer from Will Middlebrooks. Red Sox reliever Mark Melancon, however, would give one of the runs right back in the eighth inning courtesy an Ian Kinsler RBI single off the left field wall.

It was the second time this season Dempster had befuddled the Red Sox, having pitched seven shutout innings as a member of the Cubs June 15. This time around the righty got through 6 2/3 innings without giving...

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