James Shields couldn't record an out in the sixth inning as the Red Sox hit him hard and often in an 8-5 Sox victory following an interleague road trip. David Ortiz launched a three-run shot off of Shields in the fifth, his 17th homer of the year, and Bill Hall added round-tripper of his own against Andy Sonnanstine in the seventh.
Ortiz led the Sox with three RBI in the game, with Hall and Varitek each contributing two. Adrian Beltre had a 4-for-4 night with two doubles and scored twice. Kevin Youkilis and J.D. Drew were the only Red Sox starters to not get a hit, though Drew reached base twice due to Shields walking and hitting him. All Sox starters scored at least one run with the exception of Daniel Nava and Varitek. Carl Crawford went 4-for-5 with a double, a run, and a stolen base for the Rays in the loss and Willy Aybar had a pinch-hit homer off Hideki Okajima in the eighth.
John Lackey came within an...
Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said that outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury is making steady progress in his return to baseball activities while rehabbing the hairline fracture of a rib at Athletes' Performance in Arizona. There is still no timetable for the outfielder to return, but Epstein did suggest that the 26-year-old is gettting "closer and closer" to the sort of intensive activities that will serve as a prelude to baseball activities.
"He’s making progress every day. His symptoms are subsiding slowly but surely. I think that’s a really important element of this because he can’t start baseball activities until the symptoms are much less than when they last saw him. He’s making progress," said Epstein. "There’s no definitive timetable on it, but I think we’re getting closer and closer to the time that we’ll see him ramp up his physical activities, then get to baseball...
Gustavo Molina, the 28-year-old catcher the Red Sox activated after putting Victor Martinez on the 15-day disabled list with a broken finger, said he is ready to catch Tim Wakefield in the knuckleballer's next start, Friday night. Molina caught Wakefield's side session in the Red Sox' bullpen Tuesday afternoon, having also experienced catching Wakefield in "a few" side sessions during spring training.
"It's kind of a challenge," Molina said. "I'll be ready for the next start."
Molina does have prior experience catching a knuckleball, having caught Charlie Haeger for two seasons in the minor leagues while in the Chicago White Sox' organization.
For more from Molina on catching Wakefield see the Full Count Blog by clicking here.
With both Victor Martinez and Dustin Pedroia on the disabled list, Jason Varitek and Bill Hall will be in the starting lineup for the Red Sox at catcher and second base, respectively.
The Red Sox lineup against the Rays and starter James Shields is below. For matchup information, click here.
SP -- lackey
Red Sox catcher Victor Martinez will be placed on the 15-day disabled list prior to the start of Tuesday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Martinez experienced a slight displacement to the bone on the tip of his left thumb when he was hit by a pair of foul tips in his glove hand on Sunday against the Giants.
While the Sox had been holding out some hope that they might be able to avoid a DL stint for Martinez, the upcoming schedule represented a best case scenario for doing so. Thanks to two off days this week and the forthcoming All-Star break, Martinez will miss only 11 games.
With Martinez sidelined, catcher Gustavo Molina is at Fenway Park, up from Triple-A. The catcher was in the Red Sox bullpen on Tuesday afternoon to work with various pitchers for their side sessions.
For more Red Sox news, visit the Red Sox team page.
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Chris and comedian Mike Mulloy recap the final Raw before the Rumble and preview the Rumble itself.
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