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06/08/2012 - 10:37pm
Sox designate Byrd to clear Daisuke spot

According to a major league source, Red Sox outfielder Marlon Byrd will be designated for assignment prior to Saturday's game in order to clear a roster spot for Daisuke Matsuzaka, who will be activated to start the contest against the Nationals. Byrd met with manager Bobby Valentine and members of the Red Sox front office following Friday night's 7-4 loss to the Nationals, in which Byrd went 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter.

The Sox acquired Byrd from the Cubs in exchange for Michael Bowden and a player to be named (eventually Hunter Cervenka) in the wake of Jacoby Ellsbury's shoulder subluxation in mid-April, with Chicago picking up almost all of the outfielder's salary.

In 34 games for thh Sox, Byrd hit .270 with a .286 OBP and .320 slugging percentage, recording a pair of doubles and a home run. Though he was acquired at a time when the Sox had a desperate shortage for outfielders, the team has since seen Daniel Nava emerge as an everyday option and...

06/08/2012 - 9:26pm
Phenoms lead Nationals past Sox

Stephen Strasburg became the youngest visiting player since at least 1918 to record 13 strikeouts at Fenway, while Bryce Harper joined a very short list of 19-year-olds to homer as visitors in Boston, as the Nationals claimed a 7-4 victory over the Red Sox.

Strasburg featured a fastball that clocked as high as 100 mph on a night when he allowed two runs on four hits and two walks in six innings. Though he was running out of gas while working towards a career-high 119 pitches, he managed to find enough in the tank to strike out Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Kevin Youkilis with the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth to smother the Sox' efforts to rally back into the game.

The Nats had opened the game up with six runs in the third and fourth innings, thanks in no small part to Harper's heroics. The 19-year-old delivered a double as part of a three-run raly in the third and then rocketed a two-run homer over the Triangle in right-center in the...

06/08/2012 - 4:40pm
Doc: No major adjustments on LeBron

The Celtics won't tweak much on their defense against LeBron James in Game 7 after he scored 45 points in Game 6, but they will try to play their defense better. That was the focus from coach coach Doc Rivers on a conference call with reporters, Friday afternoon.

"We’re not going to do much. We do what we do. Defensively for the most part we have to do it better. I thought, obviously, LeBron had a great game. I thought there were things we should have done better in the game, with the way we were playing him. And we didn't do that. That's the first thing we have to correct. Then if we have to do something else, we'll do it."

As for the criticism that James has taken over the years, Rivers once again defended the superstar.

"He’s a great player all right? I don’t know what else he can do," Rivers said. "He does the right thing. When he does the makes the right pass and a guy misses a shot he’...

06/08/2012 - 4:20pm
Daisuke: Return 'represents a new start'

In a statement through the team, Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka said that his return to a big league mound -- 365 days after undergoing Tommy John surgery last June 10 -- will be "emotional."

"Saturday's game will be a special game. It represents a new start for me," said Matsuzaka, who will be facing the Nationals. "It is going to be a very emotional day, but I have to remain calm and treat it like any other start I have had throughout my career."

Matsuzaka has a 3.65 ERA, 30 strikeouts and nine walks in 37 innings over the course of eight minor league rehab appearances. He'd been strong after receiving a cortisone shot in late-May, allowing one run in 10 1/3 innings before getting touched up in a 1 1/3 inning, 40-pitch tuneup earlier this week.

Matsuzaka, 31, is 49-30 with a 4.25 ERA in his Red Sox career, having gone 3-3 with a 5.30 ERA before blowing out last season.

For complete Red Sox coverage...

06/08/2012 - 11:27am
Report: Pats, Gronk agree on new deal

The Patriots and Rob Gronkowski have reached an agreement on a six-year, $54 million extension, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The tight end, a second-round pick out of Arizona in 2010, has set numerous records at his position last year, including 1,327 yards and 18 total touchdowns (17 receiving, one rushing) on 90 receptions. The 6-foot-6, 265-pound Gronkowski had been scheduled to make a base salary of $540,000 in 2012 and $575,000 in 2013, plus minimal workout bonuses, in the final two years of his rookie deal.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.


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