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08/31/2011 - 5:26pm
Francona: Won't 'hurry Beckett' in games

Red Sox manager Terry Francona said he isn't about to tell Wednesday's starting pitcher Josh Beckett to do something that will make him feel uncomfortable. Beckett was criticized by former Mets manager Bobby Valentine on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball during his start on Aug. 7 for taking as much as 45 seconds between pitches to deliver the baseball.  

"That's not going to make me lose sleep," Francona said of Valentine's critique. 

Francona acknowledged that major league baseball will occasionally inform teams when they believe pitchers are being too deliberate and slowing the pace of the game.

"They could," Francona said. "From our standpoint, we always want our pitchers to work quick, just because your defense is going to be better and the game flows better. But if I have my choice of him pitching slow and winning and getting a letter from the [MLB], that's what I'd go with rather than him hurry and get...

08/31/2011 - 3:25pm
Lineup: Beckett looks to beat Yankees again

Josh Beckett (11-5, 2.43) will attempt to beat the Yankees for the fourth time this season on Wednesday night at Fenway Park. Beckett has allowed just three earned runs in 27 innings pitched vs. the Yankees in 2011, striking out 30 batters against seven walks.

Beckett will be opposed by Philip Hughes (4-4, 6.46), who has struggled against the Sox this season, allowing nine hits and seven runs in 2.1 innings pitched. In his career Hughes has an ERA of 6.25 in 15 appearances vs. the Sox.

Dustin Pedroia will bat second in the Sox lineup for the first time since August 17. Pedroia had been in the cleanup position since August 18, but David Ortiz will take over that spot in the order on Wednesday. Ortiz has seven hits in 15 at-bats in his career against Hughes.

The Sox (82-52) stand a half-game ahead of the Yankees (81-52) in the AL East standings.

Lineup:

Ellsbury, CF

Pedroia, 2B

Gonzalez, 1B

Ortiz, DH

...

08/31/2011 - 3:13pm
Sox acquire indy leaguer Gathright

The Red Sox purchased the contract of outfielder Joey Gathright of the Yuma Scorpions and assigned him to Triple-A Pawtucket, according to a Sox team source. This will be Gathright's second stint with the Red Sox, following time with Boston at the end of the 2009 season.

The speedy Gathright played in 17 games for the Sox at the end of 2009, going 5-for-16 with one stolen base and appearing in one ALDS game. He has not played in the majors since that stretch. After spending 2010 playing for the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate and with the independent league Long Island Ducks, Gathright, now 30, hit .347 for Yuma after signing with them on June 10, walking 40 times and stealing 20 bases in 61 games.

For complete Red Sox coverage, visit weei.com/redsox.


08/31/2011 - 2:17pm
Chiarelli: 'Very unlikely' Savard plays again

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told the Boston Globe on Monday that Marc Savard -- still suffering the effects of post-concussion syndrome -- will not play in 2011-12 and that the career of the center is very much in jeopardy.

“Marc Savard won’t play this year,” Chiarelli told the Globe. “Nothing has changed in our monitoring. He’ll be examined and he’ll be declared unfit to play.”

Savard missed the rest of the 2010-11 season after suffering his second concussion in 10 months on January 22. Savrad's first concussion was a result of an elbow to Savard's head by Matt Cooke in March 2010. Earlier in August, Savard told TSN that he was still "suffering with a lot of daily issues" of post-concussion syndrome.

“Based on what I see, what I hear, what I read, and what I’...

08/31/2011 - 2:14pm
Papelbon on M&M: Contract talks can wait

Red Sox reliever Jonathan Papelbon stopped in for a chat with the Mut & Merloni show Wednesday afternoon from Fenway Park as part of the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon.

Papelbon has combined with Daniel Bard to give the Red Sox a formidable end-of-the bullpen duo, and the closer is looking forward to continuing it after this season, assuming he re-signs with the Sox.

"I think Daniel's come a long way since the first big league game he had here," Papelbon said. "It's been interesting to watch him develop, to fail, to succeed. He's handled himself awesome since he's been in the big leagues. It's been a pleasure to play with him. It's been an absolute joy.

"I think there's a lot of good things to come in the future. Depending on whether I can stay here or not, I think that we can put something very, very special together for a long, long time. Hopefully, we can do that. If not, oh, well, then we've got to move on....

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