Red Sox

Tuesday's Red Sox-Orioles lineup: Showdown for first place

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Tuesday's Red Sox-Orioles lineup: Showdown for first place

BOSTON -- Showdown for first place. Beginning of a 10-game homestand. And their ace, David Price, on the mound.

As regular-season games go, Tuesday night's is -- at the very least -- interesting for the Red Sox.

The Sox and their opponent, the Orioles, are tied for the top in the A.L. East, and, since it's a three-game series, one of them will have sole possession of the lead when the O's leave town. These sort of games are why Boston signed Price, and he gets the chance to justify his historic contract tonight.

The lineups:

ORIOLES:
Adam Jones CF
Joey Rickard RF
Manny Machado SS
Chris Davis 1B
Mark Trumbo DH
Matt Wieters C
Jonathan Schoop 2B
Nolan Reimold LF
Ryan Flaherty 3B
---
Chris Tillman P

RED SOX:
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Chris Young LF
Travis Shaw 3B
Christian Vazquez C
---
David Price P

Jordan Brand unveils cool Mookie Betts ad ahead of AL MVP announcement

Jordan Brand unveils cool Mookie Betts ad ahead of AL MVP announcement

Mookie Betts' talent can't be contained in his 5-foot-9, 180-pound frame.

The Boston Red Sox outfielder is considered the front-runner to win the American League MVP award after a fantastic 2018 campaign. Betts has blossomed into a superstar despite concerns about his diminutive stature, and ahead of Thursday night's MVP announcement, Jordan Brand played off this theme by releasing a pretty awesome ad that includes photos from the 26-year-old's earlier days.

The 30-second spot also features commentary from Betts' parents, Diana and Willie, who discuss how their son consistently defied expectations on the athletic fields. (Also, is it just us, or does Betts look the same now as he did in high school?)

Betts, who has a sponsorship with Jordan Brand, is competing with Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez for the AL MVP award. If he wins, he'll become the first Red Sox MVP since Dustin Pedroia earned the honors in 2008.

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Alex Cora insists he had "no leverage" in Red Sox contract extension talks

Alex Cora insists he had "no leverage" in Red Sox contract extension talks

That Alex Cora and the Boston Red Sox agreed to terms on a new contract extension Wednesday hardly is a surprise. Winning a franchise-record 108 games and a World Series title in your first year as manager should earn you a raise.

What may be surprising, though, is that Cora didn't try to parlay his wild 2018 success into a higher paycheck. According to the Red Sox manager, ownership actually came to him with the idea.

"They talked about it right after we won,” Cora told Boston.com's Nicole Yang on Wednesday night at TD Garden, where he took in the Boston Celtics' game against the Chicago Bulls. “I actually had no leverage because I signed what I signed, and I was happy with it.

"But I’m glad that they came up to me and talked about it. What John and Linda (Henry), Tom (Werner), Sam (Kennedy) and Dave (Dombrowski) did — my family, we appreciate that."

Cora's new contract runs through 2021 with a team option for 2022 and reportedly includes a raise, although financial terms were not disclosed. The Red Sox skipper made just $800,000 last season, tied for the lowest salary in the majors among non-interim managers.

Cora, who finished second in the American League Manager of the Year voting behind the Oakland Athletics' Bob Melvin, certainly is deserving of the salary bump after becoming just the fifth first-year MLB manager to win the World Series. It sounds like neither side needed much convincing to get a new deal done, either.

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NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE