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09/30/2012 - 3:58pm
Sox lose 90th, O's close on playoffs

BALTIMORE -- The Red Sox reached a dreaded milestone, attaining the 90-loss plateau for the first time since 1966 with a 6-3 defeat in Baltimore. While the Sox dropped to 69-90, the Orioles waited to see if the Rangers could close out their 4-3 ninth-inning advantage over the Angels; a Texas win would give Baltimore its first postseason berth since 1997. 

The damage was done early by the Orioles against Red Sox starter Zach Stewart. Nate McLouth led off the bottom of the first with a homer to left-center, and Baltimore tacked on two more runs before the first frame was done. Stewart gave up two more runs in the third (one on a J.J. Hardy solo homer, another on Jim Thome's second RBI single of the game) to put his team in a 5-0 hole. 

Stewart, acquired from the White Sox in the trade that sent Kevin Youkilis to Chicago, was pulled having permitted five runs in just 2 2/3 innings. In two starts for the Sox, Stewart allowed 14 runs and four...

09/30/2012 - 11:40am
Tennant inactive, Spiller, Jackson active

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Newly-signed offensive lineman Matt Tennant was the seventh and final inactive player declared by the Patriots for Sunday's game against the Bills in Western New York. The 25-year-old Tennant was signed on Saturday after the Patriots left starting left guard Logan Mankins at home with a hip injury. 

Tennant is the only healthy Patriots player inactive for the game as Aaron Hernandez (ankle), Justin Francis (ankle), Brandon Deaderick (ankle), Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring), Mankins (hip) and Julian Edelman (left hand) were all ruled out between Friday and Saturday. 

For the Bills, both running backs Fred Jackson (knee) and C.J. Spiller (shoulder) are active and expected to play. Jackson hasn't played since Week 1 against the Jets while Spiller sprained a joint in his right shoulder last Sunday. Spiller was initially ruled out of the game by coach Chan Gailey but returned to practice on Thursday and was cleared to play by...

09/30/2012 - 10:39am
Report: Jackson, Spiller will play for Bills

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Running back Fred Jackson will return from a two-week absence and play today against the Patriots at Ralph Wilson Stadium, according to a Buffalo News report by Tim Graham. Jackson has missed the last two weeks with a knee injury. 

Meanwhile, Graham also reports that fellow Bills running back C.J. Spiller (shoulder) will likely also play after suffering an injury in the first quarter last week in Cleveland. 

For more from the team of Chris Price and Mike Petraglia on the scene with the Patriots in Western New York, visit the Patriots team page at weei.com/patriots and the blog It Is What It Is


09/30/2012 - 8:10am
Ellsbury: 'Numbers will be there' with ABs

Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury returned to the lineup on Saturday night after having been out since Sept. 20 due to an unspecified injury. Ellsbury, who went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts and a single, declined to offer any insight into what had sidelined him for the stretch.

"Nothing real exciting to report on. ... Just something that I needed to sit out a few days and be back ready to go the rest of this stretch for the last four games," he said. "It's just good to be back." 

Ellsbury said that the injury "wasn't a big deal" and that he and the team's medical staff knew that he would play again before the end of the season. 

In 71 games this year, Ellsbury is hitting .277 with a .320 OBP, .381 slugging mark and .701 OPS, all of those marks representing career lows for any season in which he had at least 100 plate appearances. After last season's 30/30 performance earned him MVP runner-up status,...

09/29/2012 - 9:54pm
Nearly 90: Sox, Doubront fall short vs. O's

BALTIMORE -- Though Felix Doubront delivered a strong punctuation mark to his first full season in a big league rotation, a solo homer in the bottom of the seventh inning by rookie Manny Machado against the Red Sox left-hander allowed the Orioles to claim a 4-3 victory. 

Doubront gave up a two-run homer to Chris Davis as well as Machado's solo homer in the seventh, saddling the left-hander with the loss on a night when he proved dominant at times. Doubront logged seven innings and permitted four runs (three earned) while striking out 10 and walking just one.

Doubront finished the year with four straight quality starts, including back-to-back seven-inning outings in which he reached double digits in strikeouts. He ended the year with 167 strikeouts in 161 innings, becoming the first Red Sox pitcher ever to strike out more than a batter an inning in a season at age 24 or younger (minimum 150 innings). 

However, Doubront took the loss...

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