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04/28/2011 - 9:49pm
Lester, Ellsbury lead Red Sox past O's

Jon Lester continued his stellar pitching in the season's first month, while Jacoby Ellsbury, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Carl Crawford all pitched in with important hits as the Red Sox finished off their nine-game road trip with a 6-2 win over the Orioles Thursday night at Camden Yards.

Lester lowered his ERA to 2.52, allowing just two runs on four hits over eight innings. The lefty, who threw 108 pitches, hasn't allowed more than three runs in any of his last five starts, with Thursday's outing serving as Lester's longest stint of the season.

Ellsbury paced the Red Sox' offense, coming away with his second straight three-hit night, raising his batting average to .264. The outfielder's biggest hit of the night game in the Sox' three-run eighth inning when he drove in two with a single to center. Ellsbury's RBI single came after Saltalamacchia broke open a one-run game with a bases-loaded, no-out single.

The Red Sox were able to take the lead...

04/28/2011 - 5:06pm
Ainge on Big Show: Shaq not ready yet

Celtics president Danny Ainge was a guest on The Big Show to break down the playoff series with Miami that starts on Sunday. As always, though, the first question was about Shaquille O'Neal and whether the center can return to the court.

"I wish I had an answer to that one," Ainge said. "He looks better today. There's progress. We're still hopeful that he'll be ready to play, but it's just taking longer to heal, or taking a while to heal. Shaq was determined to play Game 1 of the first playoff series and it's just not been that way. He could probably go out and something but I'm not sure he could help much." 

Asked if Shaq could play 12 minutes at this point, Ainge said, "Right now he could not give us 12 minutes. We want Shaq healthy. If Shaq could give us 12 minutes in the first game without jeopardizing the following game, he would probably be out there doing that, but he's not ready to do that yet." ...

04/28/2011 - 2:37pm
NFL to resume football operations

Football has returned, at least for now. The NFL issued a memo on Thursday that said teams can open their doors to their players for voluntary workouts, meetings with coaches and the distribution of playbooks as early as Friday morning. For now, all player moves are on hold, but the league promised that it would issue detailed procedures for free agency, trades and other roster moves soon.

James Quinn, the class counsel for the players in their antitrust suit against the NFL, argued that waiting for an appeal is not grounds for keeping league operations shut down.

"Unless and until such a [stay] request is granted, however, we believe the 2011 league year now has to begin," Quinn said in a memo to players and agents. "The clubs must open their facilities to allow players to work out, meet with coaches and otherwise perform their jobs; and the NFL and the clubs cannot collectively continue to refuse to deal with players....

04/28/2011 - 2:04pm
Thomas on M&M: Subban's act 'a travesty'
By: DJ Bean

Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas joined Mut & Merloni Thursday to discuss the B's Eastern Conference quarterfinals win over the Canadiens. In talking with Mike Mutnansky and Lou Merloni, Thomas said he does not respect the play of Habs defenseman P.K. Subban, who appeared to dive in an attempt to draw a penalty on Gregory Campbell with Montreal already on the power play late in the first period Wednesday. 

"I have respect for the Montreal Canadiens team and the way they played that series and the way that they battled, but to be completely honest, I don't have respect for actions like that," Thomas said. "That's a travesty to the game. That's not the way the game is supposed to be played. When I saw that happen in the first period, when he threw himself back on Campbell, it can be infuriating.

"If anything, it seems the refs let him get away with more, which I'm very surprised at. He's making the refs look not good on...

04/28/2011 - 1:00pm
Rivers: Celtics assumed they'd play Heat

Now that it's official, the Celtics can get down to business in preparing to play Miami in the playoffs. All season long the two teams figured they would meet eventually in the playoffs. "We assumed when they put this team together, if we want to put another banner up then we’ll probably have to go through them," Rivers before the team conducted practice on Thursday.  

While this is the Heat's first postseason since acquiring LeBron James and Chris Bosh, Rivers noted that they have actually been together longer than the current Celtics squad, which changed over a third of their roster at the trade deadline. "I think both teams are improved but we changed," Rivers said. "We had to take a step backward after the change and now we’re building back up. Yeah, I think we’re both better." 

On the Shaquille O'Neal front, Rivers said Shaq would do skeleton work on Thursday and hopefully practice on...

Audio On Demand

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