Middlebrooks hitting second


Middlebrooks hitting second

BOSTON -- Will Middlebrooks made his Major League debut on Wednesday. He went 2-for-3 with a double, while hitting eighth. That was good enough for a bump in the lineup.

With lefty Ryan Sweeney not in the Red Sox lineup on Friday night against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park, Middlebrooks has been promoted to hitting second in Bobby Valentine's batting order against Orioles left-hander Bruce Chen, and will once again play at third base.

"I asked if he ever hit second before, and he said, 'No.' I asked him, 'What are you going to do different?' He said, 'Nothing.' Which is the right answer," said Valentine before Friday's game.

"I asked him, 'What do you think?' And he said, 'Let's go for it.' So, he'll get his at-bats, and we'll see how that looks here in this grouping . . . I liked his at-bats the other day, and to give him another at-bat, it might be a good thing. We'll see."

Adrian Gonzalez bats third and Dustin Pedroia is in the cleanup spot. Valentine said the change in the lineup isn't about a single player's benefit.

"It never has anything to do with one guy," said Valentine. "I think Adrian's going to get hot. And I liked what they looked like together. I didn't want to get too crazy about things. We're going to face four left-handers in the next six games. So, I'd like to see if something looks good."

Game notes: Patriots tie Browns for second-longest streak of .500-or-better seasons


Game notes: Patriots tie Browns for second-longest streak of .500-or-better seasons

Notes from the Patriots' 33-8 victory over the Raiders in Mexico City . . . 

-- New England is now 8-2 and is guaranteed to have a .500 or better record for the 17th consecutive season, tying the 1957-73 Browns for the second-longest streak in NFL history. The record is 21, held by the 1965-85 Cowboys. The Pats last had a losing season in 2000, when they were 5-11 in Bill Belichick's first season in New England.


-- The Patriots have now won 13 straight road games, setting a franchise record. They remain in second place on the NFL all-time list, behind the 18 straight road games won by the 1988-90 49ers.

-- Tom Brady completed 30 of 37 passes (81.1 percent) for 339 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 131.9 passer rating. Brady has 82 career games with at least 300 passing yards and is the only player in NFL history to record a 300-yard passing game in three different countries (United States, United Kingdom and Mexico). Brady is also the first player to have a game with at least three passing touchdowns in three different countries.

-- The Pats are now 3-0 in international games, and have outscored their opponents by a combined 113-22 score in those games. 

-- Stephen Gostkowski scored 15 points on four field goals and three PATs and moved into the top 20 on the all-time NFL scoring list.

-- Gostkowski set a franchise record for longest field goal, 62 yards, in the light air of Mexico City.