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07/21/2012 - 10:26pm
Sinking feeling: Cook falters in Sox loss

Edwin Encarnacion and J.P. Arencibia hit mammoth home runs over the Green Monster as the Blue Jays scored seven unanswered runs to erase an early three-run deficit and beat the Red Sox, 7-3, Saturday night at Fenway. The loss spoiled the celebratory mood from a 30-minute ceremony before the game as the Red Sox honored catcher Jason Varitek on "Thanks Tek" night. 

After taking 3-of-4 from the AL Central-leading White Sox, the Red Sox have stumbled and lost the first two to Toronto, putting them back at 48-47 on the season, just a half-game ahead of the cellar-dwelling Jays in the AL East.

As he did on May 26, when the Red Sox paid tribute to Carlton Fisk, Jarrod Saltalamacchia connected for a three-run homer. However, this three-run blow came at the beginning of the game as his blast off Carlos Villanueva (5-0) gave Aaron Cook and the Red Sox a 3-0 lead in the second. His 18th homer of the season is the most by any catcher in the...

07/21/2012 - 8:55pm
Tek: 'How do you thank an entire nation?'

In a 30-minute pregame ceremony, Jason Varitek was thanked for his contributions to the Red Sox franchise, the only major league team he ever played for. Among the reminders of what Varitek helped bring to Boston were the two World Series trophies on a table in front of the Red Sox dugout. Friends, family and former teammates were all on hand.

After a 20-minute presentation, including video tributes from Nomar Garciaparra, Derek Lowe and Bronson Arroyo, Varitek returned the favor.

"How do you thank an entire [Red Sox] nation for my entire career?" Varitek asked rhetorically, before adding, "This has been not quite as hard as walking away from playing in April."

Toward the end of his understated but heartfelt speech, he turned to all sections of Fenway and said "thank you" - similar to the tribute during spring training at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers.

Varitek's parents were there, as were his wife and four...

07/21/2012 - 6:27pm
Valentine, Sox looking into Beckett routine

At this point, the Red Sox are willing to investigate and try anything to fix the first-inning troubles of Josh Beckett.

On Saturday, Bobby Valentine said he has never seen a pitcher have a break between his pregame warmups and the first pitch like Beckett does.

"Josh warms up earlier than anyone in the history of baseball," Valentine said. "Now, the question would be, should he warm up later? Maybe. But this is a dog that is hard to teach a new trick to. He's been very successful warming up as early as he warms up, but I've never seen anyone have the break he has in between the time he warms up and the time he goes out there."

In his 16 starts, Beckett has a 10.69 ERA in the first inning. Valentine said pitching coach Bob McClure is working closely with Beckett to look at every possible adjustment. Valentine was then asked if Beckett and the team is considering having him start warming up earlier.

“He’...

07/21/2012 - 6:00pm
Aviles out with turf toe

Red Sox shortstop Mike Aviles will get Saturday night off as he battles turf toe. Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said he suffered the injury Friday night when he was running the bases. 

"Mike hit the base and has a little bit of a turf toe," Valentine said. "Those things can get worse. So, he's off his feet today for most of the day. If I need him, probably, pinch-hit possibly."

Starting for Aviles at short will be Pedro Ciriaco. Aviles is batting .261 with 10 homers and 48 RBIs in 92 games for the Red Sox this season. Entering Saturday, he had started all but six games for the Red Sox at short this season, playing in 88 of the 92 games overall. 

Jacoby Ellsbury also got the night off from the starting lineup as Daniel Nava started his first game in right field for the Red Sox, while Ryan Sweeney starts in center. 

"It's kind of a planned day," Valentine said of the Ellsbury respite.

...
07/21/2012 - 5:57pm
Agent: Stiemsma inks offer sheet w/Wolves

Greg Stiemsma has signed an offer sheet with the Timberwolves, his agent Mike Naditch said. Stiemsma is a restricted free agent but the Celtics can only match up to the amount of the bi-annual exception.

In 55 games with the Celtics last year, Stiemsma averaged 2.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 14 minutes a game.

For complete Celtics coverage, visit weei.com/celtics.


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