Red Sox

Notes: Ellsbury downplays success

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Notes: Ellsbury downplays success

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com

DETROIT Jacoby Ellsburys speed led to the Sox' first run. His power gave them their second run, as they beat the Tigers, 6-3, Friday night.

He led off the game with a single to right, taking second on his league-leading 18th stolen base of the season. He went to third on Adrian Gonzalezs groundout, and scored on Rick Porcellos wild pitch.

He led off the third with his sixth home run of the season, to tie the game. It was his second home run in as many games. Ellsbury went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI, raising his average to .299. He is slugging .463 with a .365 on-base percentage.

I think hes a good player, manager Terry Francona said. He's good. Like always, we're thrilled when anybody hits a home run. But whatever he does powerwise is great but we don't want to talk about it. Hes a strong kid and those will come when he takes enough good swings. When he gets on base and disrupts the game that's whats important. Those home runs are going to come though.

After missing all but 18 games last season because of fractured ribs, Ellsbury is low-key about his solid start this season.

I go out there and try to help my team win every single night and prepare to play every day, he said. So its been nice to see and how well weve been playing as of late.

His teammates appreciate what he does, though.

Hes a great player, said Dustin Pedroia. We knew. We expect this of him. He can do anything. He hits homers. He steals bases. He plays great defense. Hes a special player man.

"Hes very important, said Tim Wakefield, who got the win Friday. He's our starting centerfielder. He provides not only offense but speed and defense. He's an all-around great player and he was missed last year."

Bobby Jenks pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit with one strikeout, in his rehab outing in Pawtucket Friday night. "Good velocity. Everything felt good. Bicep felt real good. Threw two-seamers and four-seamers and changeup. Sounded like everything positive, Francona said.

Jenks is expected to pitch an inning Sunday, with the possibility of being activated during the week.

J.D. Drew, who has been sidelined for the past three games with a hamstring strain, had said before the game he was optimistic about playing Sunday. But with left-hander Andy Oliver starting for the Tigers, Francona said Drew would likely not be in the starting lineup.

Carl Crawford went 1-for-3 with a two-run homer in the five-run third inning. In his last nine games, he is batting .429 (15-for-35) with 11 runs scored, and 11 RBI.

David Ortiz went 0-for-4, ending his eight-game hitting streak.

Adrian Gonzalez went 2-for-5 extending his hit streak to eight games.

Right-hander John Lackey, on the disabled listsince May 12 with an elbow strain, continues to progress. Fridayafternoon, he threw two innings of a simulated game, with about 40pitches.

Lackey, threw all his pitches, saying he thought hiscommand was pretty good while his velocity was close to what itshould be.

It was pretty good, he said. I felt like I waslocating my fastball pretty good today. Working on tightening up mycutter a little bit. Its gotten a little bit loose. Thats one of themain things I was working on.

I was pretty close to letting it go. Ill probably be a little sore tomorrow but it feels fine today.

Lackeyis scheduled to make a rehab start, with about 70 pitches, Tuesday inPawtucket. If everything goes well in that game, he should be ready tobe activated.

I think thats what we're thinking right now, hesaid. But definitely have to see how I feel after the real game. Idont see why I shouldnt be ready.

Shortstop Marco Scutaro hit off a tee for the thirdconsecutive day, as he makes his way back from the DL (since May 8)with a left oblique strain. He said he hasnt felt any pain in hisside, and could advance to hitting in the cage on Sunday.

Itsthe first time in his career hes been on the DL. How is he handlingit? Im bored, he said. Actually, I was bored a couple of weeks ago.

Talking about the collision at home plate that left Giants catcherBuster Posey injured and likely out for the season, Francona recalled asimilar play from his own career: Mike Scioscia got me once. He hurtme. We were facing Fernando Valenzuela, so the lefties played. BryanLittle led off with a double. I hit a ball to right center. They end upgiving me a double. They threw Bryan out at the plate. Scioscia chargedhim and just knocked him back towards third. I was standing on secondlaughing. Andre Dawson hits a base hit. The same thing happened tome. Neither one of us even got to the dirt. I slid, but he attacked me.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Report: Hanley Ramirez not under federal investigation

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File Photo

Report: Hanley Ramirez not under federal investigation

Contrary to Friday's report, Hanley Ramirez is not and never was under federal and state investigation. According to the Boston Globe, a friend of Ramirez dropped his name in an attempt to avoid an arrest.

Here are the details from The Globe's report:

The man claimed that the box contained books, and that Ramirez’s mother “had shipped the box to him in New York to hand-deliver to his friend (Ramirez) in Boston,” according to the affidavit.

In an attempt to back up his story, the man called Ramirez via FaceTime on his cell phone, then handed it to the trooper. The trooper asked Ramirez if he was aware that his friend was en route to visit him and was delivering a box from his mother. Ramirez said he “was not aware,” according to the affidavit. The trooper asked if he could open the box and Ramirez agreed.

The box contained a gift bag, with two kilograms of fentanyl inside, the affidavit says.

The man was arrested on drug trafficking charges and “immediately began stating that his friend (Ramirez) was not involved at all, and that the box wasn’t for him,” the affidavit says.

The man’s attorney, who asked that he not be named because of concerns it would help identify his client, said “his use of Mr. Ramirez’s name was an ill-thought-out attempt to evade further police scrutiny.”

Alex Cora and the Red Sox were adamant when Friday's report by ABC's Michelle McPhee came out that they were unaware of any investigation involving Ramirez.

Ramirez's agent, Adam Katz, released a statement on the matter per USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale:

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Sale strikes out 13, Red Sox beat Mariners, 5-0

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USA TODAY Sports Photo

Sale strikes out 13, Red Sox beat Mariners, 5-0

BOSTON - Chris Sale struck out 13 over seven dazzling innings, Mitch Moreland hit a two-run homer and the Boston Red Sox won the weekend and season series over the Seattle Mariners with a 5-0 victory on Sunday afternoon.

Sale (7-4) gave up four hits, walked one and ended his day by striking out Mike Zunino swinging on a 100-mph fastball. Joe Kelly and Matt Barnes each pitched an inning to complete the four-hit shutout.

Mostly mixing an overpowering fastball in the mid-to-upper 90s with a sharp-breaking slider in the low 80s, the lanky Sale was working quickly and dominant from the start.

He struck out 10 of the first 16 batters he faced, including the side in order in the fifth - the last two swinging on 99 mph fastballs.

Jackie Bradley Jr. had three singles and Rafael Devers added an RBI double for Boston, which struggled offensively in a loss Saturday after putting up 14 runs and 20 hits in the series opener.

The Mariners have lost six of seven games and fell to 1-5 on their 10-game East Coast trip.

Marco Gonzales (7-5) gave up five runs on seven hits in six innings, striking out six without a walk.

The Red Sox broke ahead 3-0 in the fifth on the double by Devers, and sacrifice flies by Sandy Leon and Mookie Betts after Xander Bogaerts doubled leading off and Eduardo Nunez singled.

Moreland's homer into the center-field batter's eye made it 5-0 an inning later.

Gonzales was sharp early, spotting a fastball that broke into the low 90s along with a changeup, curveball and cutter. He had the hitters off-balance, causing a lot of weak or early swings until they began waiting on pitches. He had all six Ks through the first four innings.

Nelson Cruz had a two-out triple in the fourth, but was stranded when Ryon Healy struck out on a slider in the dirt.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE