(Sports Network) - With the possibility of a blockbuster trade completely
altering the look of the Boston Red Sox, the team attempts to focus on the
task at hand as it entertains the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park on
Reports began to surface on Friday that the Red Sox were negotiating with the
Los Angeles Dodgers in a massive move that could send Adrian Gonzalez, Josh
Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto to the West Coast. For Boston, the
transaction is more than likely meant to provide the club with some financial
flexibility moving forward, seeing as how they are essentially out of the
playoff race as they sit 13 1/2 games out of contention in the American League
If the deal comes to fruition, the Red Sox would likely be receiving right-
handed pitchers Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa as well as first baseman
James Loney among other players.
While there is certainly plenty of potential wheeling-and-dealing taking place
off the field for the Red Sox, between the foul lines the team finally managed
to snap a four-game slide yesterday with a 4-3 victory over Kansas City. Pedro
Ciriaco and David Ortiz both knocked in a pair of runs for Boston, while Mauro
Gomez filled in at first base for Gonzalez, who was a late scratch.
"That was one of the signs that something was going down," said Ortiz, who was
activated from the disabled list before the game. "When you get to be taken
out of the lineup it's for protection. But there's nothing done yet, we've got
to wait until [Saturday]."
Boston starter Jon Lester picked up his eighth win of the campaign as he
allowed three runs on six hits and four walks, striking out six over seven
innings of work. Andrew Bailey came in during the eighth inning and threw a
total of just 15 pitches to register his first save of the season.
Lester, who is 3-0 with a 3.12 ERA in the month of August, is finally seeing
his season begin to turn around.
"Now I'm just winning, and winning cures everything," Lester said. "I've been
feeling good with the adjustments we've made and how we've made adjustments as
far as my pitch selection and coming after guys. I feel like I was headed in
the right direction five, six starts ago. I've got to keep plugging away."
As for the Royals, a team which is 14 games under .500 yet somehow still in
third place in the AL Central, starter Bruce Chen gave up three earned runs on
eight hits through six innings, fanning five, be he failed to factor into the
decision. Instead it was Kelvin Herrera who was handed the loss, his second of
the season, as he permitted one run on two hits and recorded just a single out
after coming in for Chen.
Eric Hosmer delivered his 12th home run of the season for Kansas City, a solo
shot, while Alex Gordon added a pair of hits and knocked in a run as well.
Seeking his third win in as many decisions, Jeremy Guthrie heads to the mound
for the Royals this evening. The right-hander has been beaten up quite a bit
this season and is currently seven games under .500 even though his last three
outings have been rather strong.
Since winning two in a row against the likes of Chicago and Oakland, Guthrie
appeared against the same White Sox club on Sunday and allowed just a pair of
runs on two hits and a walk, yet neither runs were earned so his ERA actually
dropped as he failed to record the decision in what turned into a 5-2 home win
for the club. Guthrie struck out five in 7 2/3 innings of action.
A product of Stanford, Guthrie is making his 20th all-time appearance against
Boston but has just a 3-8 mark to go with a 4.50 ERA in previous outings.
As for the Red Sox, Beckett still could pitch for the hosts this evening,
although it appears as though that possibility is becoming less and less
The Texas native has won just one of his last 13 appearances and in the last
three games he has surrendered a total of seven home runs in just over 16
innings of action. The right-hander was last in action on Sunday when he gave
up four runs on seven hits and three walks, striking out six over six innings
in a 4-1 setback at New York.
The second overall pick in the 1999 draft by the Florida Marlins, Beckett has
a career mark of 7-1 with a 2.58 ERA against the Royals.
With the victory last night the Red Sox have knotted the season series with
Kansas City at two games apiece.
The Sports Network