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04/17/2011 - 1:51pm
Francona: Lowrie too hot to sit

Red Sox manager Terry Francona was aware that neither Jed Lowrie (0-for-5) nor Marco Scutaro (1-for-5) has a track record of significant success against Blue Jays starter Jesse Litsch. His decision about who to start, however, was straightforward.

"Jed is so hot right now, I don’t know how you keep him out of the lineup," said Francona.

He opted to hit Lowrie sixth in the batting order in an effort to separate left-handers David Ortiz and J.D. Drew in the lineup. With Lowrie between Ortiz and Drew, Francona was hopeful that it would give the Blue Jays some pause before bringing in a left-handed reliever.

Francona will be featuring his 12th lineup in 14 games this year. He acknowledged that he is still searching for the right alchemy to get his offense going, but he is hopeful that greater stability to the batting order will come. 

If we had one or two lineups, everything was going right. I don't know if that...

04/17/2011 - 10:07am
Crawford back in leadoff spot

After a day off on Saturday, left fielder Carl Crawford is back in the lineup and hitting leadoff against the Blue Jays on Sunday. He has enjoyed success against his opponent, Blue Jays starter Jesse Litsch, having gone 5-for-10 in his career with a homer against the right-hander.

Jed Lowrie remains in the lineup, moving down to the sixth spot in the batting order. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who had Saturday off, is also back in the lineup and batting eighth.

RED SOX LINEUP

Crawford, LF
Pedroia, 2B
Gonzalez, 1B
Youkilis, 3B
Ortiz, DH
Lowrie, SS
Drew, RF
Saltalamacchia, C
Ellsbury, CF

Lester, SP


04/17/2011 - 12:10am
Thomas: 'Proof will be in pudding' Monday

After posting the best regular-season save percentage in NHL history, Tim Thomas is having a nightmarish playoff series against the Canadiens. He allowed three goals on Saturday night, two of which came after he allowed bad rebounds in front of the net. But after Saturday's 3-1 loss, Thomas said there is still time to salvage the series and his season with a great performance on Monday night in Game 3 at the Bell Centre, with the Bruins trailing the Eastern quarterfinal series, 2-0. 

"The proof will be in the pudding," Thomas said, adding he's not worried about the team's confidence. "I’m so focused on just trying to do what my job is that I’m not really thinking about that."

Asked if the hostile crowd in Montreal will be hard to handle, Thomas said the Bruins can use it to their advantage if they can score early in Game 3. 

"Well, there’s a lot of energy," Thomas said. "If you...

04/16/2011 - 11:04pm
Julien defends 'courageous' Chara
By: DJ Bean

After the Bruins' 3-1 loss to the Canadiens in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals Saturday, coach Claude Julien defended B's captain Zdeno Chara, who did not play due to dehydration. The 6-foot-9 blueliner, who played in 81 regular-season games, went out for warmups but was not able to overcome the issues that had hospitalized him Friday. 

"He came off the ice and he was sweaty, he was dizzy. There was no way in the world we could have used him tonight and played him. Absolutely no way," Julien said. "The doctors said the same thing. I spoke to him, and even attempting to come was courageous on his part, but there was absolutely no way that he could have played tonight. It's unfortunate. We missed him, but certainly he did the best he could to even try. To be honest with you, it wasn't even close."

As for Chara's status for Monday's Game 3, Julien said the team will "see how these next two days go,"...

04/16/2011 - 9:46pm
Sick to their stomachs: B's fall in 2-0 hole

Playing without their ill captain, the Bruins were dealt a devastating blow in their Stanley Cup playoff hopes as they dropped Game 2 to the Canadiens, 3-1, Saturday night at TD Garden. Zdeno Chara skated for pregame warmups but couldn't overcome the effects of dehydration that hosptialized him 24 hours earlier.

Just 43 seconds into the game - and only minutes after the Bruins found out Chara was unavailable - Mike Cammalleri put a shot past Tim Thomas for a 1-0 lead. A disasterous start got even worse less than two minutes later when Mathieu Darche scored six seconds after Dennis Seidenberg was whistled for interference. Thomas gave up a loose rebound that Johnny Boychuk was unable to clear away and Darche found an open net on Thomas' right side. 

The Bruins finally showed life in the second. Less than three minutes after Thomas made a crucial save on Tomas Plenkanec, Patrice Bergergon redirected a perfect centering pass from Brad Marchand...

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