Red Sox

Pomeranz relieved at tests showing 'mild strain'

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File photo

Pomeranz relieved at tests showing 'mild strain'

Red Sox left-hander Drew Pomeranz, who complained of forearm tightness after his first spring training start on Friday, was relieved to tell reporters in Fort Myers that tests showed a "small, mild flexor strain."

"I don’t see missing myself too much time," Pomeranz said Saturday. "Today, I just came in and got a little treatment after the MRI. But then I’ll come in tomorrow and figure out what the plan is."

Actually, manager Alex Cora said after the Sox' 5-3 loss to the Yankees at JetBlue Park that Pomeranz will be reevaluated on Tuesday. "At this time we feel pretty confident he's going to be fine," Cora said. 

Pomeranz, 29, who went 17-6 with a 3.32 ERA in his first full season with the Red Sox in 2017, went through a similar situation at spring training last year when he missed time after he had a sore triceps in his first start. He began last season on the disabled list but was able to make his first start seven games into the season on April 11.

Two other Red Sox starters, Eduardo Rodriguez and Steven Wright, both coming off knee surgeries, aren't expected to be ready for Opening Day.  

"It's pretty similar to some of those [times last year]," Pomeranz said. "It's more precautionary than anything."  

Pomeranz chalked it up to his mechanics being off in his 17-pitch outing. 

"I’ve been feeling good, a little too good honestly, it worries me sometimes. But no, I’d been feeling good up to that point it’s just one of those things," he said "It’s early. My mechanics are a little off but I think it was a mechanical thing more than anything which is easy for me. A lot of times when I feel stuff like last year, I can go in the video room and point to why I’m feeling that."

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Red Sox offense quiet again in 4-1 loss to Twins

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USA TODAY Sports Photo

Red Sox offense quiet again in 4-1 loss to Twins

MINNEAPOLIS - Robbie Grossman and Max Kepler homered to back an effective start by Lance Lynn as the Minnesota Twins beat the Boston Red Sox 4-1 on Wednesday night.

Grossman led off the bottom of the first with a solo home run and Kepler added a two-run shot off Boston starter David Price (8-5). Brian Dozier added a pair of doubles to help Minnesota win for the fourth time in five games.

Lynn (5-5) again struggled with command, issuing five walks, but he surrendered just one unearned run and three hits in five innings.

Four relievers combined for four scoreless innings with Fernando Rodney securing his 16th save in 19 chances.

Price allowed the three runs on seven hits and a walk. He had given up just one home run in his previous five starts and seven total in 14 starts this season coming into Wednesday.

The Red Sox were 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position and are 2 for 22 in the first two games of the series. They've stranded 18 baserunners in the two games and lost for the fourth time in five games.

Lynn has had an uncharacteristic wild season in his first year with the Twins. He walked at least five batters for the fifth time in 14 starts. But the veteran right-hander has limited the damage and allowed less than three runs in five of his last six starts.

Boston's lone run scored in the second as Lynn couldn't catch first baseman Logan Morrison's high throw to first for the final out of the inning, allowing Mitch Moreland to score from second base.

Drellich: Every move Red Sox, Yankees make has new meaning

Drellich: Every move Red Sox, Yankees make has new meaning

The Red Sox-Yankees rivalry has a newfound sense of urgency. A feeling that every move counts and will count, be it at the trade deadline in a month and a half, or when Alex Cora determines his second baseman on a nightly basis.

It's not because these franchises hate each other, because of their steep history. It's because they actually have to best the other, or suffer an unwelcome consequence.

Unlike the early 2000s, both teams cannot enter the playoffs on equal footing. A second-place finish in the American League East will sting. Participating in the Wild Card game for the right to move on to the five-game Division Series will be a stomach-turning experience for one of these two teams.

The upshot presently: even as the Sox and Yanks play teams that are uninspiring, and there are plenty such clubs, there is reason for fans and players alike to stay intently focused. (In the midst of a 162-game season, there will be lapses for everyone.) There is reason to care, in fact, if the ideal lineup or pinch-hit decision is made by Alex Cora, at every juncture. There is reason to care about whether Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has sufficiently helped rebuild the farm system, because it’s a matter of depth options now and via trade.

The Sox can have the best record in the majors in June, or be one win off the pace-setters, and the smallest of details will still matter. “They’re great,” doesn’t cut it. “Is this move optimal to beat the Yankees, the team that can relegate the Sox to a one-game playoff scenario?” is the question to be answered

As trade season arrives, the concept of the marginal win is out the window for both clubs. Or it should be. In divisions where one team is clearly superior, the need to add by trade isn’t always so clear. What’s the difference between 93 wins and 95 wins if you’re heading to the Division Series either way? Is the slight upgrade worth whatever you’re giving up?

The playoffs are always a crapshoot. But the Sox and Yanks are playing to avoid the biggest crapshoot of all in the Wild Card.

Passion between fan bases in the regular season wasn’t lacking 15 years ago. It was greater, obviously. But for different reasons. Second place in the division was usually a matter of bragging rights, rather than actual reward or worthiness. 

We’ve returned to a world where the Sox and Yanks are clearly better than virtually everyone. Were the rest of the AL stronger this year, the Wild Card could be a blessing for the Sox or the Yanks — a chance to make a postseason run that did not previously exist when there were four playoff teams instead of five. 

But the present landscape shows three powerhouses, and two of them happen to be classic rivals in the East. What they do before October means more now than it used to.

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