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04/29/2012 - 1:07pm
Valentine: Shoppach, Beckett clicking

CHICAGO -- Prior to his team's series finale against the White Sox, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine wouldn't commit to catching Kelly Shoppach each time Josh Beckett takes the mound. Sunday would be the fourth straight game in which Beckett threw to Shoppach, during which time the righty has compiled a 2.57 ERA.

In Beckett's four starts throwing to Saltalamacchia over the past two seasons, the starter's ERA stands at 7.54, with the only pairing this season resulting in a 4 2/3-inning, seven-run loss in Detroit.

"I like all the pairings," said Valentine, who first jokingly explained the move was because Sunday was Shoppach's 32nd birthday. "The way it looks right now, it looks like our catchers and pitchers are working very well together. Matter of fact, I can’t think of a better caught game than Salty did yesterday. Worked in 21 changeups for Jon Lester. I haven’t seen that since I’ve been managing, had swings and...

04/29/2012 - 11:05am
Lineup: Shoppach catching Beckett

CHICAGO -- Kelly Shoppach will be catching Josh Beckett in the Red Sox' series finale against the White Sox Sunday. Right-hander Gavin Floyd goes for the hosts.

Neither Shoppach (1-for-8, 4 strikeouts) or Jarrod Saltalamacchia (2-for-11) have had much success against Floyd, but Beckett has been much more effective throwing to Shoppach. The Sox starter has a 2.57 in his three starts throwing to the right-handed hitter, while having totaled a 7.54 ERA in his four appearances with Saltalamacchia behind the plate.

The following is the Red Sox lineup:

Mike Aviles SS

Ryan Sweeney RF

Dustin Pedroia 2B

Adrian Gonzalez 1B

David Ortiz DH

Kevin Youkilis 3B

Cody Ross LF

Marlon Byrd CF

Kelly Shoppach C

For all the matchups click here....

04/28/2012 - 11:09pm
Cook allows three runs in latest outing

CHICAGO -- Making his fifth start of the Pawtucket Red Sox, Aaron Cook allowed three runs on five hits over 6 1/3 innings against the Columbus Clippers in Columbus, Ohio Saturday, striking out five and walking two. Cook, whose ERA stands at 1.89, threw 96 pitches (60 strikes).

According to one scout in attendance, Cook's fastball topped out at 91 mph, with the righty not displaying the kind of command he had possessed in previous starts. Of his 11 outs put in play, six were on flyouts with five coming on groundouts. It was the first time the sinkerballer has allowed more flyouts than groundouts this season.

It was likely the final start for Cook before his May 1 opt-out date, which will be when the pitcher can escape his current contract if he isn't promoted to the 25-man major league roster. If not brought up, the player has 24 hours from the start of the opt-out date to determine his course of action, with the team then getting 48 hours to make...

04/28/2012 - 9:54pm
Lester, Red Sox win pitchers duel

CHICAGO -- The Red Sox extended their win streak to six games, while reaching .500 for the first time this season, beating the White Sox 1-0, Saturday night at U.S. Cellular Field. It was the Sox' first 1-0 win since July 17, 2011 when they beat the Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Starring for the Red Sox was starting pitcher Jon Lester, who out-dueled Jake Peavy to earn his first win of 2011. Alfredo Aceves picked up the save with a scoreless ninth inning.

Lester turned in his best outing of the season, allowing no runs over seven innings while throwing a season-high 122 pitches. The lefty allowed five hits and a walk and struck out seven. He managed to get out of his biggest threat in the seventh inning, inducing an inning-ending grounder off the bat of Gordon Beckham with runners on first and third on his final pitch of the game.

The only run of the game came in the fourth inning when Adrian Gonzalez singled in Ryan Sweeney. Gonzalez now has...

04/28/2012 - 6:50pm
Patriots take Dennard, Ebert in 7th round

FOXBORO -- With their last two picks in the NFL draft on Saturday, the Patriots selected Nebraska cornerback Alfonzo Dennard with the 224th pick and Northwestern wide receiver Jeremy Ebert with the 235th pick, both seventh rounders.

Dennard was considered one of the better on-field talents at corner, but has caught up in several character questions. The 5-foot-10, 204-pounder out of Nebraska was arrested five days before the draft for suspicion of assaulting a police office. That came on the heels of a senior season where he was ejected from the 2012 Capital One Bowl for fighting with South Carolina wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. The 22-year-old Dennard had 31 total tackles and broke up six passes in the 2011 season, and had 91 career tackles, four career interceptions and four career quarterback hurries. He was All-Big Ten first team (2011) and was The Sporting News Preseason second-team All-America (2011).

As for Ebert, he's a 6-foot,...

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The 1972 Bruins

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