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06/25/2009 - 4:39pm
Pre-Game Notes: Smoltz Activated, Brown Returned to Triple-A

In order to clear a major-league roster spot for John Smoltz, who will start tonight's game against the Washington Nationals, the Red Sox optioned catcher Dusty Brown back down to Triple-A Pawtucket. Brown saw just one inning of work during his first taste of the majors, replacing Jason Varitek behind the plate for the ninth inning on Tuesday.

While shortstop Jed Lowrie is still a bit sore after having been hit by a pitch on the knee during his rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday, manager Terry Francona said that he would be fine. He'll probably return to the lineup on Saturday.


06/25/2009 - 3:48pm
Youkilis out, Ortiz batting cleanup behind Smoltz

With Kevin Youkilis getting a day off as the Red Sox rotate rests for their corner infielders while playing under National League rules, David Ortiz will get nudged up in the batting order to hit cleanup in the Red Sox lineup. Of course, the No. 9 hitter -- John Smoltz -- is the name that will garner the most attention today.
 
RED SOX
 
Pedroia, 2B
Drew, RF
Bay, LF
Ortiz, 1B
Lowell, 3B
Varitek, C
Ellsbury, CF
Green, SS
Smoltz, SP
 
NATIONALS
 
Guzman, SS
Johnson, 1B
Zimmerman, 3B
Dunn, LF
Willingham, RF
Bard, C
Harris, CF
Hernandez, 2B
Zimmerman, SP


06/25/2009 - 2:13pm
Red Sox Prospects Kelly, Tazawa Named to All-Star Futures Game

Red Sox minor-league pitchers Casey Kelly and Junichi Tazawa were named to the rosters of the XM All-Star Futures Game, which will take place during the All-Star festivities in St. Louis.

Kelly, the Sox' first-round draft pick in 2008, is nearing the end of his season as a pitcher (he will spend the final months of the season playing shortstop). He has been dominant on the mound at two levels this year, going 6-1 with a 1.12 ERA for Single-A Greenville of the South Atlantic League, and 1-2 with a 2.51 ERA in five starts since a promotion to Single-A Salem of the Carolina League. He will be on the roster of the U.S. team

Tazawa, whom the Sox signed as a Japanese amateur this winter, is 7-4 with a 2.92 ERA for Double-A Portland. Tazawa will pitch for the World Team in the Futures Game.


06/25/2009 - 11:45am
ESPN names Pats team of the decade

It was a clean sweep for the Patriots Thursday morning: ESPN.com named them the team of the decade, Tom Brady as the all-decade MVP and Bill Belichick as its all-decade coach. The honors were bestowed with consultation from NFL general managers, coaches, scouts and players. “You have to recognize championships because, ultimately, that’s what we’re playing for,” Belichick said when informed of ESPN.com’s selections. For more Patriots' updates, check out our football blog, "It Is What It Is."
 


06/25/2009 - 8:31am
Lowell not ruling out shot

 
Mike Lowell, who has gotten four of the last five days off, said that if not for the inter-league-mandated rotation between Kevin Youkilis, Ortiz, and himself, he would have expected to play Wednesday night. But the third baseman also reiterated that the stiffness that first cropped up last Thursday in his surgically-repaired right hip hasn't completely subsided.
 
Lowell has been reaffirmed by the Red Sox' doctors (he continues to play phone tag with the physician, Dr. Bryan Kelly, who performed his surgery) that the setback isn't out of the ordinary in regards to the progression of coming through such a procedure. But Lowell still is hoping that the next few days offer more encouraging results, otherwise there is the possibility he might implement a cortisone shot into the equation.
 
"Obviously I've had a few days off after I got a little stiff, but I'm looking to see if I can get to the point before I felt...

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