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04/03/2011 - 5:39pm
Shaq returns to Celtics on limited plan

After more than two months and 27 games, Shaquille O'Neal is finally ready to get back on the court and will play for the Celtics against the Pistons on Sunday. Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Shaq will play three or four of the team's seven remaining games, although the C's haven't yet formulated a plan for when he will play. Jermaine O'Neal will get the start, which will allow Glen Davis to go back to his sixth man role and also have some continuity with the starting lineup. Rivers said Shaq will play 7-8 minutes in each half. 

Shaq hasn't practiced with the team, but the team thought it was time. "You’re not going to see a whole bunch of him," Rivers said. "Not the best way to do this, obviously, but we don’t have a choice." 

For more Celtics news, visit the team page at weei.com/celtics.

 

 


04/03/2011 - 4:50pm
Rangers complete sweep of Sox

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers dropped the Red Sox by a 5-1 decision  Sunday, completing a series sweep in a three-game set that saw Texas outscore Boston by a 26-11 total.

Texas starter Matt Harrison got the win for the Rangers, giving up just a single run over seven innings. Harrison allowed his only run in the seventh inning, giving up an RBI single to Carl Crawford. But Harrison managed to pitch his way out of a jam in that seventh inning, striking out Jacoby Ellsbury with two outs and the bases loaded.

Clay Buchholz took the loss, allowing four runs (all on solo homers, the four homers is the second-most allowed by Buchholz in a start) and five hits in 6.1 innings. The Rangers hit 11 home runs in the three-game series, against just three for the Sox.

Crawford -- 0-for-7 with four strikeouts in his first two games with the Sox -- was moved to the seventh spot in the lineup on Sunday. Crawford responded to the shift with a...

04/03/2011 - 1:00pm
Francona: Crawford 'trying too hard'

ARLINGTON, Texas — After seeing the Red Sox outscored by the Rangers, 21-10, manager Terry Francona made some tweaks to the lineup against Texas and left-hander Matt Harrison on Sunday.

Most notably, after Carl Crawford spent the spring batting either second or third, and hit third in each of the first two games, Francona opted to lower the left fielder to the No. 7 spot in the batting order.

Crawford is 0-for-7 with a walk and four strikeouts in his first two games with the Sox. He has yet to hit a single ball out of the infield. Francona suggested that the outfielder, who must deal with the scrutiny that comes with a seven-year, $142 million deal that he signed in the offseason, is clearly pressing. By moving him down in the batting order, Francona is hopeful that it will permit the three-time All-Star to breathe.

“Looking at him, it’s kind of obvious he’s trying too hard. Especially with a lefty today, just let him...

04/03/2011 - 11:21am
Crawford batting seventh vs. Harrison

ARLINGTON, Texas -- With left-hander Matt Harrison on the mound for the Rangers, the Red Sox will have Carl Crawford hit seventh in the lineup on Sunday. In his first two contests as a member of the Sox, Crawford has yet to hit a ball out of the infield, going 0-for-7 with four strikeouts.

The Sox have also made a couple of lineup substitutions against Harrison. Jed Lowrie will get his first start of the year at shortstop in place of Marco Scutaro, while Darnell McDonald will start in right field, with J.D. Drew getting the day off.

The lineup:

Ellsbury, CF
Pedroia, 2B
Gonzalez, 1B
Youkilis, 3B
Ortiz, DH
Lowrie, SS
Crawford, LF
Saltalamacchia, C
McDonald, RF

Buchholz, SP

For complete matchup information, click here. For complete Red Sox coverage, visit...

04/02/2011 - 11:34pm
Red Sox, Lackey ripped by Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Red Sox dropped a 12-5 decision to the Rangers Saturday night, in large part because of the rough outing turned in by starter John Lackey. The Sox' righty experienced a horrific outing in his 2011 debut, giving up nine runs on 10 hits in just 3 2/3 innings.

The biggest blow against Lackey came from former Sox third baseman Adrian Beltre, who broke the game open in the fourth inning with a grand slam. The homer, which was one of four for Texas on the night, keyed a six-run frame for the hosts.

Texas starter Colby Lewis got the win for the Rangers, giving up three runs over six innings. The Red Sox had jumped out to a 2-1 lead over Lewis and the Rangers in the second inning thanks to David Ortiz' second home run in as many games, this one a two-run job which drove in Adrian Gonzalez (3-for-5).

Red Sox reliever Dan Wheeler also struggled after coming on in relief for Lackey, giving up home runs to both Nelson Cruz and...

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