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04/30/2012 - 10:34pm
Surging: Buchholz, 4 HRs, power Sox win

David Ortiz launched a pair of home runs while Mike Aviles and Darnell McDonald also went deep in support of Clay Buchholz as the Red Sox overwhelmed the hapless Athletics, 11-6, Monday night at Fenway in the opener of a three-game series. For Ortiz, it was the 36th multi-homer game with the Red Sox, moving him past Jim Rice for second on the club's all-time list. He trails only Ted Williams (37) in Red Sox history. The Red Sox won their seventh in eight tries to move again to the .500 mark at 11-11 on the season.

Buchholz (3-1) was sharp for the first six innings. He had five strikeouts and needed just 72 pitches. He allowed only one run. But then, Buchholz lost it quickly in the seventh. He labored through 27 pitches and his night ended on a sour note when he shook off catcher Kelly Shoppach three times and left a curveball over the plate that former Red Sox right fielder Josh Reddick hit to right for a three-run homer. Buchholz was pulled by Bobby...

04/30/2012 - 6:05pm
UPDATED: Youkilis scratched before game

UPDATED: For the second straight day, Kevin Youkilis was scratched from the Red Sox lineup shortly before the start of a game. While a reason was not specified, Youkilis was scratched prior to a game against the White Sox on Sunday afternoon due to a stiff back. He had been slated to bat cleanup and play third; in his absence, Cody Ross was bumped up to the cleanup spot and Nick Punto will play third base and bat ninth.

With the Athletics featuring left-hander Tom Milone on the mound, Kelly Shoppach will catch for the second straight day. Shoppach is 2-for-12 against lefties this year, but in his career, he hits southpaws at a .271/.371/.530/.902 clip. Ryan Sweeney is out of the lineup against Milone, with Ross moving to right and Darnell McDonald getting a start in left.

Shoppach will be catching Clay Buchholz for the second time this season. The first pairing of the two came in the third game of the year, when Buchholz permitted seven runs in...

04/30/2012 - 5:41pm
Bobby V: Cook is a reliever if promoted

With a May 1 deadline looming on a major league option, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said Monday that if the Red Sox decide to promote righthander Aaron Cook, he will begin in the team's bullpen. Valentine said he met with general manager Ben Cherington earlier in the day Monday to discuss a possible landing spot for him on the big league 25-man roster. 

"Ben was in this afternoon," Valentine said. "We talked again on that. I'm sure he has all his ducks in order and again, I don't know exactly when, why, how, these deadlines and all that. Everyone's opinion has been shared."

If the Red Sox select him, Cook will receive $1.5 million. If they don't he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Valentine made it clear that if the team promotes him by Tuesday, he will come out of the bullpen, despite going 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in five starts for Pawtucket this April. 

"I haven't talked to him so I can't speak for...

04/30/2012 - 5:05pm
NBA suspends Rondo for Game 2

ATLANTA -- The NBA suspended Celtics' point guard Rajon Rondo for Game 2 of their series with the Hawks after he bumped referee Marc Davis late in Game 1 on Sunday night. Rondo said after the game that the bump wasn't intentional, but the league didn't see it that way. A one-game suspension for making contact with an official is automatic under NBA rules, provided the contact was intentional.

"Obviously from a competitive standpoint, we are disappointed with the league's decision to suspend Rondo," Doc Rivers said in a statement issued by the team. "He plays a valuable part in our team's success. We accept the punishment and will use it as a tool for our players."

The Celtics seemed resigned to that fate when they practiced on Monday at Georgia Tech.

"They ran into each other. There’s no doubt about it," Rivers said before practice. "I thought it was a bump and the league is going to do what they have...

04/30/2012 - 2:37pm
Doc on Allen: 'I don't see it right now'

ATLANTA -- Regardless of whether Rajon Rondo is suspended by the NBA for his actions late in Game 1, the Celtics won't force Ray Allen back into the lineup before he's ready.

"It’s nothing we can do about it," Rivers said before the team went through practice at Georgia Tech. "If Ray’s not ready, he’s not ready. It’s one thing I won’t do. I will never do it. I don’t ever put a guy out if he ain’t ready. I just won’t put him on the floor. If Ray told me he could play tomorrow and Eddie [Lacerte] said he didn’t think he could play, Ray would not play. That’s just the way it is. He said he felt a little better, but I don’t see it right now."

Allen was on the practice court with his teammates, but he missed nine straight games to close the regular season and sat out a playoff game for the first time in his career with bone spurs in his ankle. Allen has said that he...

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