Found April 16, 2012 on
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Tune into Sun Sports at 10:30 a.m. to watch the Tampa Bay Rays take on the Boston Red Sox.
Losing Jacoby Ellsbury to a potential long-term injury is hardly the way the Boston Red Sox wanted to begin their first series at Fenway Park, but they have a chance to conclude it feeling much better about themselves.
After a highly productive weekend at the plate, the Red Sox look for their first four-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays since 2006 in Monday morning's annual Patriots' Day game.
Boston (4-5) walked into Fenway on Friday with a 1-5 road record and promptly lost Ellsbury to a separated shoulder after taking a 4-1 lead in the fourth inning of the series opener, but the loss of the 2011 AL MVP runner-up hasn't hurt the lineup thus far.
The Red Sox won the series' first two games by a combined 25-7 margin, then used some extra-base hits to make it three in a row Sunday. David Ortiz continued his April tear by going 3 for 4 with two doubles while new leadoff man Mike Aviles homered for the second straight day in a 6-4 win.
"When you're playing a Tampa team that's touted to win 100 games in our division you must feel pretty good about it when you come out fighting like we did," manager Bobby Valentine said.
Boston last swept the Rays (4-5) in four games May 25-28, 2006, at Fenway - this is the fifth four-game set between the teams since - but should have a good chance to finish Tampa Bay off in this one if Ortiz keeps hitting. After batting .211 in the opening month over the past four seasons, Ortiz is hitting .444 thus far in 2012, and is 9 for 13 with five extra-base hits and eight RBIs in this series.
"Big Papi is locked in right now," Rays catcher Chris Gimenez told the Red Sox's official website. "Papi's locked in. We might as well walk him every time."
Ortiz will try to stay hot against James Shields (1-0, 5.54 ERA), against whom he's 15 for 46 (.326) lifetime with 12 of those hits - nine doubles and three homers - going for extra bases.
Right fielder Ryan Sweeney is 9 for 20 lifetime against Shields, including 3 for 3 with a homer in 2011.
Shields gave up six runs over five innings in his opening-day start against the Yankees, but bounced back by holding the potent Tigers to two runs over eight in a 4-2 win Wednesday.
Now, he'll take the mound at Fenway, where he's 1-9 with a 6.75 ERA in 10 starts.
"If I just execute my pitches and try to get the first out of every inning, I'll be good," Shields told the Rays' official website. "If you can get ahead of these guys and really be methodical with your pitches and put guys away early, I think you're going to be successful."
The Red Sox will give the ball to Daniel Bard (0-1, 9.00) hoping his second major league start goes a bit better than his first. The right-hander gave up five runs and eight hits over five innings Tuesday in a 7-3 loss at Toronto.
"He pitched good enough to win if we scored some runs," Valentine said. "Not quite the results we were looking for and I know he's a little disappointed but you take that 30 times a year, you're going to get a lot of wins out of it. I'd bet anything on that."
If Bard's relief appearances versus Tampa are any indication, he could be in line for a victory Monday. After giving up a solo homer to Evan Longoria in his first outing against the Rays in August 2009, he's only allowed one more run - and seven hits - in 17 appearances.
Tampa Bay has dropped four straight for the first time since opening last season with six consecutive losses.
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The Red Sox will be without Jacoby Ellsbury for the near future which means that it's time for others to step in the absence of the center fielder. It won't be easy to make up for the loss, and you can't really ever replace a player like Ellsbury, but the Sox do have a few players who may be able to help make sure the absence isn't too great. That's where this...
After a sluggish start to the season (3-5), the last thing the Boston Red Sox needed was a severe injury to one of its best players. Jacoby Ellsbury hit the 15-day disabled list on Saturday, but could miss up to eight weeks after he dislocated his shoulder trying to break up a double play on Friday. Bobby Valentine would not give a timetable for the outfielder's return. Remember...
Boston Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury is expected to miss at least six weeks with a right shoulder injury.
The Boston Globe, citing a baseball source, said Ellsbury suffered a dislocated or partially dislocated shoulder in Friday's home opener against Tampa Bay.
Ellsbury was hurt while attempting to break up a double play and Rays second baseman Reid Brignac landed...
Boston Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday because of a partially dislocated right shoulder.Preliminary reports suggest he could miss four to six weeks with the injury.Ellsbury left Friday's game against
Tampa Bay after sliding into second base
in the bottom of the fourth inning trying to break up a double play. Rays second...
The Red Sox were dealt a blow during their home opener on Friday, as Jacoby Ellsbury was injured while sliding into second base. The team announced that an MRI was performed on Ellsbury, and it showed findings consistent with a subluxed shoulder. It's still unclear how long exactly the speedy outfielder will be out of action, but he will be placed on the 15-day disabled list...
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It was a grimace reminiscent of when Ellsbury broke five ribs in an April 11, 2010, collision with then-teammate Adrian Beltre. Ellsbury missed all but 18 games that season, and without their leadoff-hitting...
Ellsbury's shoulder injury will likely keep him sidelined for a minimum of six weeks (Tlumacki/ Boston Globe)
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Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, the best position player in the American League last year, likely will miss at least six weeks after suffering a subluxation of his right shoulder.
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The Red Sox didn't miss a beat offensively in their first game without Jacoby Ellsbury, and they'll look to spoil Rays...
One of the downsides of the Jacoby Ellsbury (other than the obvious losing-an-MVP-caliber-center-fielder piece of it) was that the Sox had to designate two young players for assignment. One was Michael Bowden, a once promising pitcher who flamed out as a below-average reliever in Boston. The other was Luis Exposito, a catcher some of us hoped would take the reigns from Jason Varitek...
Here's a running list of injury updates around the Major Leagues:
– Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury dislocated his shoulder yesterday and will be out for at least six weeks according to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com. Alex Speier of WEEI.com says that if his shoulder does not respond to rest and rehabilitation he could require season-ending surgery.
– David Freese was scratched...
The way Mike Aviles hit as Jacoby Ellsbury's replacement in the lineup, the Red Sox didn't have to worry about the leadoff spot.
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David Ortiz drove in five runs and hit one of Boston's five home runs as the Red Sox pounded the Tampa Bay Rays for the second straight day, 13-5 on Saturday, a day after Ellsbury...