Postgame, White Sox 10-7: On a night when Alfredo Aceves did not do himself any favors in trying to remain in the rotation, there was news on the two injured starters.
John Lackey actually threw more than expected in his rehab start at Triple-A because of how easy he was getting outs. Lackey allowed a run on a solo homer in 5 2/3 innings, striking out four and walking none.
It is all systems go for the right-hander to return to the rotation.
“They actually had to keep him out there because he was so efficient,” Terry Francona said. “He felt good. Solo homer, but didn’t walk anybody and threw all of his pitches. He’ll pitch for us Sunday.”
Daisuke Matsuzaka will be in Boston on Wednesday and will meet with team doctors at that time to map out a course going forward. There was “nothing new diagnostically” from Matsuzaka’s meeting with Dr. Lewis Yocum, according to Francona. We may know more about a very rough timetable for Matsuzaka’s return in the coming days.
The other man in the mix, Tim Wakefield, will pitch Wednesday afternoon opposite Gavin Floyd. It is a 1:35 p.m. start and we will be here bright and early to get you prepared.
Final, White Sox 10-7: If they played 13 innings or so, the Red Sox might have enough time. They add two more in the ninth, but that’s it, and will have to regroup in a hurry to get ready for the series finale Wednesday afternoon.
Adrian Gonzalez struck out with a man on second to end it.
Heading downstairs to see what the vibe is as Boston falls out of first place (for now…Yankees play later).
9:56 p.m.: You can never break up Josh Reddick and Drew Sutton in the lineup. They are RBI machines of late.
Reddick had a sacrifice fly and Sutton an RBI double on a ball that got the right fielder all kinds of messed up. Chris Sale is on to face Adrian Gonzalez with two outs and Sutton on second. 10-7 game.
Mid 9th, White Sox 10-5: Jed Lowrie, J.D. Drew and Jason Varitek are due up in the ninth. Without five runs, Boston will have its third three-game losing streak this season.
That doesn’t include the 0-6 start.
End 8th, White Sox 10-5: David Ortiz continues to rake, and continues to have no issues with lefties.
Ortiz just launched a three-run bomb to left to get the Red Sox within five. It is his 10th home run of the month and his 20th extra-base hit in May.
Dan Wheeler is on to work the ninth.
9:28 p.m.: A lot of talk about Josh Reddick getting loads of looks by interested teams. He’s certainly showing something in his little call-up here, which can’t hurt if the Red Sox are indeed interested in shopping him.
Reddick doubled off the center-field side of the Monster in the eighth and scored on Drew Sutton’s wall-ball single. Reddick is now 5-for-9 since his promotion.
Kevin Youkilis had another one of those to put runners at the corners with two outs and get the tying run to within six seats of the man who is on deck. That prompted Ozzie Guillen to go and get Phil Humber, who was very good once again. Chicago has something in this guy.
Will Ohman is on in relief to face David Ortiz.
Mid 8th, White Sox 10-1: Bobby Jenks was throwing plenty of strikes in his return to the mound, which is a good thing. He was all over the place in some of his final outings before his DL stint.
Some of those strikes were hit, including one by Brent Lillibridge that hit the very top of the Green Monster. Literally missed being a two-run homer by about two inches.
That put runners on the corners and Jenks survived, literally and figuratively, by catching a liner and doubling off Lillibridge.
End 7th, White Sox 10-1: Terry Francona, when asked whether he would bring Bobby Jenks into a low-pressure situation to start, joked that he would love to bring him into an 11-0 game, simply because it meant the Red Sox were leading 11-0.
Well, he got his wish. Kinda. It is a rout and there are 11 runs on the board, but 10 of them belong to the White Sox. Good time for Jenks to make his first appearance in 30 days.
Boston really needs this guy if this bullpen is going to be all that it can be. We’ll see what he has facing his former team for the first time.
9:03 p.m.: Down nine runs, Red Sox fans began the wave in the bottom of the sixth. As I watched it with disdain, it knocked out my internet.
After a reboot, I’m back with you. Didn’t miss much. The Red Sox went quietly in their half and now the White Sox do the same in the top of the seventh.
Defensive changes galore for both teams. Josh Reddick is in center, Mike Cameron in left and Drew Sutton at second.
Mid 6th, White Sox 10-1: Just one of those nights. First we have the Carl Crawford incident (good band name, for you budding musicians) in the fifth, and then the White Sox score two on one of the cheesiest singles you’ve ever seen.
With two men in scoring position and one out, Juan Pierre chopped one toward Adrian Gonzalez, who was forced to play in with a five-run deficit.
The ball bounced right over Gonzalez’s head to score two runs. Two more would come in on a whole bunch of other stuff, so it didn’t really matter. Let’s just put it this way. Scott Atchison will be eating some innings, whether he is effective or not. In the sixth, he wasn’t, even if Pierre’s hit that broke it open was nothing more than a chopper.
8:36 p.m.: A hit batter and a single does in Alfredo Aceves in the sixth. Scott Atchison inherits a pair of runners with no outs and the White Sox threatening to break this one open.
End 5th, White Sox 6-1: Let’s be honest. You just don’t win on nights when plays like the one in which Carl Crawford was just involved occur.
After Crawford singled to begin the fifth, he broke for second on the first pitch to Jed Lowrie. But Lowrie flew to center, so Crawford had to get back.
The problem is, Crawford slid into second, took a tiny step toward third and then raced back to first. He has to touch second before going to first if he proceeds beyond the bag, which he did not. Good call out there, and a good job by the White Sox to immediately touch second.
Not much of an argument from the Red Sox. Mistake for Crawford, who ended a slide of 13 at-bats without a hit.
Mid 5th, White Sox 6-1: With Scott Atchison up for the second time, Alfredo Aceves had a leash about as long as the one I had on my dog today when all he wanted to do was eat chicken bones scattered at an intersection we were crossing.
For those of you not getting the analogy, I was not giving my dog much slack, and Aceves didn’t have much after a one-out walk in the fifth. But a 4-6-3 double play on a ball that had Dustin Pedroia perfectly positioned right up the middle gets the Red Sox through five. They need to get something going on offense, but it might not come until Phil Humber is gone.
End 4th, White Sox 6-1: Adrian Gonzalez sliced a one-out double down the left-field line in the fourth. That is his 17th double of the year. Only two players in the AL entered the night with more.
Alfredo Aceves is at 63 pitches as he takes the mound to begin the fifth.
Mid 4th, White Sox 6-1: Two more hard hits off Alfredo Aceves, with a sacrifice bunt thrown in, gives the visitors another run.
Alfredo Aceves will probably be good for another inning, but the first sign of trouble will do him in. Wait, didn’t I say that last inning? You get the picture. Not his night, and the Red Sox are just hoping to spare the pen a bit with a quick turnaround tomorrow.
End 3rd, White Sox 5-1: Everyone from Jacoby Ellsbury to J.D. Drew not only didn’t reach base, none of them made good contact.
Jason Varitek needed just one pitch from Phil Humber to go the other route. Varitek hammered the first offering from the White Sox righty for a solo shot to right, his second of the year.
Varitek has a hit in nine straight starts and has hit safely in eight games overall. He is 9-for-26 (.346) in that span.
Mid 3rd, White Sox 5-0: The push to have Alfredo Aceves remain in the rotation over Tim Wakefield, which seems to be a pretty even split, is taking a hit tonight.
Aceves gave up a pair of doubles to begin the third. Unlike many of the hits in the second, these were stung a bit.
Scott Atchison was already up and warming in the pen. He has taken a seat, but another threat in the fourth will have him warming in a hurry.
End 2nd, White Sox 4-0: Phil Humber entered with a 2.16 ERA over a string of six quality starts. Opponents hit .164 in that stretch.
Those numbers are still trending down after two quick frames here at Fenway. David Ortiz is a strikeout victim in the second.
Mid 2nd, White Sox 4-0: Seven pitches in the first inning by Alfredo Aceves. Twenty-nine in the second.
It went a little like this: walk, single, flyout (great sliding catch by J.D. Drew), single, Jed Lowrie error (his eighth!), groundout, single.
Not many of the balls were tattooed, but just happened to find holes. Two of the runs were unearned.
The Lowrie play was a strange one. With the bases loaded, one out and already one run in, Brent Morel grounded one to Lowrie’s backhand. Lowrie had no play at first and very difficult ones at second and third. I think the play would’ve been to third because his momentum was going that way, but Lowrie flubbed it anyway. The ball clanged off his glove and everyone was safe.
Alexei Ramirez grounded a two-run single up the middle with two outs, making the error hurt that much more.
End 1st, 0-0: To clarify my prior note on Phil Humber, he is well-known for his first-round draft status. Just hasn’t put it all together yet, so the casual fan won’t know much about him.
But Humbers has been on a roll of late and could be turning into that guy the Mets had envisioned when they took him third overall in 2004. Humber struck out Adrian Gonzalez to finish off a 1-2-3 first.
Speaking of the draft, we will hear from the Red Sox brain trust on Wednesday afternoon. Look for their take on this year’s draft, the team’s needs and the preparation for the process in a story around gametime tomorrow.
Mid 1st, 0-0: That was about as economical as it comes. Alfredo Aceves retires the side on just seven pitches, six of which were strikes.
Phil Humber is not a household name, but he’s been dealing of late. Let’s see what he has.
7:10 p.m.: Like Jon Lester last night, Alfredo Aceves strikes out Juan Pierre on three pitches. We are under way.
6:35 p.m.: Last night, it was just more of the same.
The White Sox have really had Boston’s number of late. They have taken five straight here at Fenway and 11 of the last 13 meetings overall.
Chicago’s three-game sweep here last September just about did in the Red Sox, although your boys made a slight run later in the month to keep things moderately interesting.
You may recall the finale of that series. After the opener was rained out, the Pale Hose took both ends of a doubleheader on Sept. 4, both by a 3-1 margin. That dropped Boston 10 games out in the American League East and 7 1/2 back of the wild card-leading Tampa Bay Rays. The finale had a must-win feel to it.
The Red Sox took an early 2-1 lead and later reclaimed a one-run advantage on a two-run homer by Victor Martinez in the seventh. When they tacked on another run in the eighth, it gave Jonathan Papelbon two runs with which to work.
Papelbon actually got the first out and had two outs with a runner on second before the roof caved in. An RBI double cut Boston’s lead to 5-4 and Ramon Castro tied it with an RBI single. Papelbon then walked a man before being relieved by Dustin Richardson, who walked another to load the bases.
Enter Robert Coello (yes, these were the Richardson and Coello days for a battered bullpen). He proceeded to walk the first two men he faced, pushing across the go-ahead run and another and turning an angry Fenway crowd into something that was hard to describe.
A blown save by Papelbon and then three straight walks by Triple-A callups. It was extremely ugly, and just part of Chicago’s recent dominance in this series.
5:56 p.m.: As mentioned earlier, the immediate future of Alfredo Aceves and Tim Wakefield remains up in the air.
Many have felt that Aceves is a better fit in the bullpen because of the many ways Terry Francona can use him, but it’s no sure thing. However, if he wants to continue to start beyond tonight, it might help to take care of this lineup:
Juan Pierre, LF
Alexei Ramirez, SS
Carlos Quentin, RF
Paul Konerko, 1B
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Alex Rios, CF
Adam Dunn, DH
Gordon Beckham, 2B
Brent Morel, 3B
The crew is just 5-for-22 (.227) against Aceves. Two of those hits belong to A.J. Pierzynski and two to Alex Rios.
4:22 p.m.: Just after watching a few of the pitchers wrap up their batting practice in advance of more interleague play next month, we heard from Terry Francona, who had several updates.
Francona said he remains undecided on the rotation once John Lackey returns Sunday. The Sox will pitch Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and Josh Beckett in Yankee Stadium next week.
The next time either Alfredo Aceves or Tim Wakefield is needed would be Friday in the series opener in Toronto. No real need to make a concrete call right now. The next two days, which will see Aceves and Wakefield pitch, could help make the decision, but Francona said he may actually mix and match the two going forward depending on the needs in the bullpen.
“We may have the luxury of mixing and matching,” he said. “We’ll try to do whatever is in our advantage.”
In other pitching news, Daisuke Matsuzaka saw Dr. Yocum today. The team was hoping for help with the timetable on Matsuzaka as much as anything. Yocum can give them a clearer map for his recovery, in all likelihood.
Matsuzaka will rejoin the team Wednesday.
Also, we mentioned the return of Bobby Jenks. We will have more on him in a bit (he spoke as well), but from Francona’s view there was never an issue with velocity. The biceps strain caused a major problem with command. That seems to have been rectified and Jenks said he is 100 percent.
Francona said he would love to bring Jenks into an 11-0 game to begin with, but will not shy away from using him in a late-game pressure cooker, citing his veteran status. Jenks has been through the wars and Francona will not baby him.
Finally, Franklin Morales received a pretty good report on an MRI. Structurally, he is very good, and could resume throwing as early as today.
In non-pitching news, Marco Scutaro continues to make progress. He has been cleared to resume all baseball activities and could be playing rehab games “as early as this weekend,” Francona said.Ba
Back in a bit with more.
3:17 p.m.: Indeed, Jed Lowrie is good to go. For now. There can always be changes if his shoulder tightens up, but I’m watching him swing the bat and he appears just fine.
Here is the lineup with Lowrie hitting seventh:
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
David Ortiz, DH
Carl Crawford, LF
Jed Lowrie, SS
J.D. Drew, RF
Jason Varitek, C
3:05 p.m.: Greetings from Fenway Park, where Jed Lowrie is one of a quartet of guys taking early batting practice.
Terry Francona told WEEI’s The Big Show moments ago he expects to have Lowrie in the lineup. Presumably, this hitting session will confirm that he is good to go. Jason Varitek will be behind the plate.
Francona also confirmed that Bobby Jenks will be activated from the 15-day disabled list, as expected. Michael Bowden will be sent back down.
We should have the lineups in a moment.
Also, a reminder. John Lackey will throw four innings or so in a rehab start tonight in Pawtucket. Darnell McDonald will also appear for the PawSox as he works his way back from a quad injury, Francona told the station.
8 a.m.: Alfredo Aceves has been one of the nice surprises for the Red Sox this season. He will look to post another solid start when he goes Tuesday night against the Chicago White Sox.
Filling in the past two weeks as a replacement starter, Aceves has allowed just two runs in 11 innings. He yielded only five hits in six frames in a rout of Detroit on Thursday, improving to 16-1 in his career.
With John Lackey prepared to return to the rotation this weekend, this could be the last start for Aceves before he moves back to the bullpen. Tim Wakefield, the other option to leave the rotation, pitches Wednesday.
In a late swap, Phil Humber will pitch for Chicago instead of Gavin Floyd, who threw 15 pitches in a relief appearance over the weekend in Toronto. Floyd will go Wednesday instead.
Humber has posted six straight quality starts.
First pitch for this one is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.