AP Photo/Ben Margot
RED SOX- David Ortiz belted career homer #400 on Wednesday's game against the Oakland A's, but that was almost an afterthought as a couple of former Red Sox helped Oakland complete a sweep of Boston on Independence Day.
Former Red Sox outfielder [now playing 1B for the A's- NANESB!] Brandon Moss started the scoring for Oakland after hitting a solo homer off of Boston starter Aaron Cook in the bottom of the 2nd inning, although career blast #400 for DH David Ortiz came in the top of the 4th to tie the contest up at 1-1.
D. Ross Cameron/Contra Costa TimesThe Red Sox briefly took the lead in the top of the 6th to make it 2-1 on a 2-out Adrian Gonzalez RBI single, but A's recent acquisition Brandon Inge tied things up at 2-2 with an RBI double with two away in the bottom of the 6th. Cook then gave up a leadoff triple to former Boston outfielder Coco Crisp before coming home on a Jemile Weeks RBI single to make it 3-2.
After taking the lead, the Oakland bullpen didn't allow a single Boston batter to reach base, preserving the 3-2 win and completing the sweep of the Red Sox on the 4th of July. Moss, who wasn't even called up from Oakland's AAA affiliate in Sacramento until June, went 6-8 with 5 RBIs and two homers against his former team.
The Red Sox return to Fenway on Friday night to face the New York Yankees. Josh Beckett [4-7; 4.06 ERA] will get the start against Hideki Kuroda [8-7; 3.17 ERA] with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 ET. Viewers in New England and New York will have their choice of NESN, the YES network or the MLB network broadcast.
OTHER RED SOX NEWS- The Yankees claimed former Red Sox outfielder Darnell McDonald off of waivers after the Red Sox released him. McDonald was batting .214 in 99 plate appearence for Boston this season.
An unheralded pickup from Cincinnati, McDonald caught the attention of Red Sox nation in 2010 with a torrid .270 batting average, speed and some clutch RBIs his first year with Boston. Since then, his offensive production has tapered off although he still retained much of his speed.
The move was seen as being made to make room in the outfield in anticipation of Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford returning to the Red Sox lineup. Both Crawford and Ellsbury arepresently rehabbing with the AA Portland Sea Dogs- Crawford went 2-4 with an RBI while Ellsbury went 1-5 in Portland's 4th of July road game against the New Hampshire Fishercats- Toronto's AA affiliate.
ELSEWHERE IN MLB- Atlanta Braves 3B was added to the 2012 All Star Game roster ealier this week as a replacement for the Dodger's Matt Kemp. Earlier this season, Jones had announced that he would retire from baseball after the 2012 season. With most of the All-Star starters selected over the weekend, a final spot on the AL and NL rosters was still up for grabs with online fan voting.
Previously, the online voting in the NL was a contest between Jones, teammate Michael Bourn, Arizona's Aaron Hill, St Louis' David Freese and the Nationals Bryce Harper. Freese was eventually named the winner of the fan voting on Firday, with Rangers starter Yu Darvish taking the final AL slot and bringing the total number of Rangers in next week's All Star game in Kansas City to 8.
Phoenix Suns Point Guard Steve Nash went to the Los Angeles Lakers in a sign-and-trade deal on the 4th of July, agreeing to a 3-year $27 million contract in exchange for the Suns getting four draft picks. There had been sign and trade talks with the NY Knicks and Nash reportedly declined a 3-year $36 million deal from the Toronto Raptors last week.
Meanwhile, the AP is reporting that the NY Knicks guard and restricted free agent Jeremy Lin had accepted a 4-year $28.8 million offer sheet from the Houston Rockets, although the Rockets haven't yet made any official announcement as of Friday afternoon.