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09/11/2011 - 5:16pm
Beckett to throw side on Monday

Red Sox starter Josh Beckett is scheduled to throw a side session at Fenway Park during his team's off-day on Monday, according to reports out of St. Petersburg. If that goes without issue, then the right-hander could return later in the week. Manager Terry Francona told reporters that a target date of Thursday "might be a little ambitious," though he did not rule out the possibility, and said that Beckett's return date will become clearer based on how he handles his throwing session on Monday.

The Red Sox rotation has been reeling without Beckett, who suffered an ankle sprain in the fourth inning on Sept. 5. In six subsequent games, Sox starters have combined to go 1-3 with a 6.75 ERA while averaging just 4 2/3 innings per start. In fact, on Sunday, the Sox completed their first five-game streak in which no starter lasted more than five innings since September 2001.

Beckett is 12-5 with a 2.49 ERA this season.

Francona also...

09/11/2011 - 5:09pm
Ortiz: 'Hell yeah, it's time to panic, but ...'

DH David Ortiz and other members of the team were blunt in their description of the Red Sox' poor play during both a 1-6 road trip and during a three-game sweep at the hands of the Rays over the weekend. With their lead down to 3 1/2 games in the wild card against a Rays team that is riding white hot pitching back into contention, the team acknowledges that a trip to the postseason is not a certainty.

Dustin Pedroia said that the Sox need to play better or face the specter of going home. Ortiz, meanwhile, sounded alarm bells about the team's play.

"If we keep on playing like that, we’ll be at home in October. ... At this point you panic. Hell yeah, you've got to panic at this point," the slugger told reporters in St. Petersburg. "But you're not going to do anything panicking but playing better. Of course you're freaked out. You go on this road trip 1-6, it's not good. We've got [the Rays] breathing down our necks and we're not...

09/11/2011 - 4:09pm
Sox' slide continues as Rays finish sweep

The Red Sox' hold on the playoffs continues to become less secure. The team lost its fifth straight game, this one a 9-1 loss to the Rays, as its lead in the wild card race slipped to 3 1/2 games. The development is somewhat startling, given that the Sox opened their road trip with an eight-game lead over Tampa Bay.

The game was decided in many ways in the bottom of the first inning. Jon Lester, who had allowed no more than one earned run in his prior five starts, labored through 43 pitches, as the Rays plated three runs. That, in turn, led to Lester's exit from the game after just four innings and 111 pitches, with the Rays up 4-1. The Sox bullpen then took little time to suck any remaining drama out of the game, with Michael Bowden permitting three baserunners and recording one out and Matt Albers giving up a grand slam to B.J. Upton to turn the contest into a rout.

James Shields once again had his way with the Sox lineup. The right-hander...

09/11/2011 - 9:20am
Aviles gets start at third against Shields

With the Red Sox holding a 4 1/2-game lead in the Wild Card race over the Rays, the Sox will send out Jon Lester to face off with Tampa Bay starter James Shields. The Sox will start Mike Aviles at third base in the place of Kevin Youkilis and Jed Lowrie. Aviles is 1-for-5 in his career against the Rays' starter, while Lowrie is 1-for-9.

Shields is 1-2 with a 3.52 ERA in three starts against the Red Sox this season, allowing three runs over eight innings in his last appearance against the Sox (August 16). On June 14 Shields pitched a complete game shutout vs. Boston, while also taking a loss on July 16 after giving up six runs over six innings. 

The following is the Red Sox' lineup:

Jacoby Ellsbury CF

Dustin Pedroia 2B

Adrian Gonzalez 1B

David Ortiz DH

Josh Reddick RF

Carl Crawford LF

Jason Varitek C

Marco Scutaro SS

Mike Aviles 3B

For more Red Sox news, go to the team page...

09/10/2011 - 10:26pm
Longoria's single sinks Red Sox in extras

Evan Longoria rifled a single into center field off Red Sox reliever Daniel Bard with one out in the 11th inning, scoring Desmond Jennings and giving the Rays a 6-5 win over the Sox Saturday night at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. The loss cuts the Red Sox Wild Card lead over the Rays to 4 1/2 games, while handing Terry Francona's team their eighth loss in its last 10 games.

Jennings had led off the 11th -- Bard's first inning -- with a triple into the right-center field gap which neither Jacoby Ellsbury or Darnell McDonald could reach.

The extra-inning hit ruined a dramatic comeback for the Red Sox, who tied the game in the ninth inning against Tampa Bay closer Kyle Farnsworth with one-out, back-to-back homers from Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jacoby Ellsbury. It was just the fourth and fifth homers against Farnsworth this season.

It was the second time the Sox had comeback after Adrian Gonzalez's two-run homer in the fifth inning...

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