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09/05/2011 - 12:46pm
Lineup: Ortiz, Youkilis exchange places

TORONTO -- For the first time this season, Kevin Youkilis will hit behind David Ortiz in the batting order with the DH sliding up into the cleanup spot in the Red Sox' series opener against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre Monday. This will be the eighth game Ortiz has hit in the No. 4 spot, having totaled a .296 batting average with four home runs in his previous seven appearances in the lineup's position this season. Youkilis has hit fifth five times in '11, managing a .235 average with one homer.

"I just think maybe some balance. We're going to have lefties back to back somewhere. I just think with Youk protecting David, as opposed to the other way around, and then we have a lefty behind Youk, maybe it will help us. Maybe it won't," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "If the guys swing it like they can, we're OK. I would just rather do it know than wait until the playoffs to see what it looks like."

Here is the rest of the...

09/05/2011 - 12:37pm
Waters: 'This is as good at it gets'

FOXBORO -- Brian Waters had his first day with his new team on Monday in Foxboro as the 34-year-old offensive guard lockered next to Logan Mankins and was assigned Tedy Bruschi's old No. 54.

The offensive lineman, released on July 28 after 11 seasons in Kansas City, could step in and start on the Patriots' offensive line after right guard Dan Connolly suffered an ankle injury in the third preseason game against the Lions. 

Asked why he chose to wait out for an offer from the Patriots a week before the regular season, Waters didn't hesitate in answering. "Why not? This is as good as it gets." 

Waters is a two-time All-Pro tackle, who played almost exclusively at left guard, the position held by Mankins in New England. Waters said he would have no problem switching over to right guard for the Patriots. twice and invited to the Pro Bowl five times. In 2003, he was a part of a 13-3 Chiefs team, and the next season, he...

09/05/2011 - 12:25pm
Pats set practice squad: Ventrone, 3 OLs

FOXBORO -- The Patriots have announced their eight-man practice squad, a unit that includes first year players linebacker Markell Carter and defensive lineman Aaron Lavarias. 

Also on the list are safety Ross Ventrone, running back Eric Kettani, offensive linemen Nick McDonald, Matt Kopa and Thomas Welch and wide receiver Kerry Taylor. 

For more, visit the Patriots team page at weei.com/patriots and the blog It Is What It Is


09/05/2011 - 11:50am
Sox call up Spears, Weiland, Lavarnway

The Red Sox will add a trio of players from Triple-A Pawtucket prior to the start of Monday's game in Toronto, recalling right-hander Kyle Weiland and catcher Ryan Lavarnway (both of whom were already on the 40-man roster and had been optioned back down to the PawSox earlier this year) and selecting utility man Nate Spears. In order to clear a roster spot for Spears, Drew Sutton will be designated for assignment.

Lavarnway was optioned to the minors for the minimum 10 days in late-August, at a time when the Sox needed to add pitching help (first Scott Atchison, then Michael Bowden) during a stretch of three games in little more than 24 hours. The 24-year-old made his presence felt in Pawtucket, hitting a three-run homer on Saturday night to help the PawSox rally to a victory that clinched a postseason berth. In seven big league games, Lavarnway hit .304 with a .407 OBP, .391 slugging mark and .799 OPS in August. In the minors this year, between...

09/05/2011 - 11:32am
Bedard to skip next start due to knee

TORONTO -- Red Sox manager Terry Francona said before his team's game with the Blue Jays Monday that Erik Bedard would skip his next scheduled start (Friday) due to persisting pain in his left knee. The move was classified by both Francona and Bedard as precautionary, with the ailment -- which he missed a month due to while with Seattle earlier this season -- getting progressively worse during his start Saturday in which he allowed three runs over six innings but averaged just 89 mph on his fastball.

"It's been sore. I think he's been dealing with it," said Francona of Bedard. "I think it's gotten a little more sore the last couple of innings the last game. I checked with him after the fifth inning because it looked like he was using a lot of arm. He was doing so well. He stayed out for the sixth and I just think after the game he started talking the trainers … the idea is to not have him limp through the last three or four starts...

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