AP Photo/Winslow TownsonRED SOX- The Red Sox wrapped up their interleague series with San Diego with a 4th of July day game on Thursday. Having won the first two, Boston was looking for the sweep against the Padres and things were looking good early when Ellsbury and Victorino opened up the bottom half of the first with back to back base hits. Pedroia brought them home with a 2-RBI double to left, but Big Papi grounded out and Mike Napoli hit into a double play to end the early threat.
Brandon Snyder added to Boston's lead with 1-out a solo homer in the bottom of the second. Rookie Red Sox starter Allen Webster struggled mightily in the top of the third after starting off with a walk to former teammate Pedro Ciriaco, hitting Logan Forsyth with a pitch followed by a single to Will Venable. However, he managed to get out of the jam with two fly balls- which included a Chase Headly sac fly to bring home the Padres' first run of the game- and ended the inning by getting DH Mark Kotsay to ground out.
Webster would have a much easier 4th inning, getting the first two batters he faced to fly out before getting ciriaco to ground out to short. In the bottom half of the frame, Mike Napoli led off the inning with a single before Gomes and Snyder lined out. Ryan Lavarnway singled with two away and that brought up Iglesias who belted a long fly ball that ultimately ended up rattling around the right field corner by the Pesky Pole and was ruled a ground rule double. Iglesias and the runners on base initially thought that was a triple and both Lavarnway and Napoli crossed the plate, but after the umps conferred, it was ruled a ground-rule double and one of the runs was taken off the board with Iglesias at second and Lavarnway at third instead of in the dugout, making it 4-1 before Victorino flied out to end the inning.
San Diego's Jesus Guzman smacked a two out RBI single to cut the Red Sox lead in half in the top of the fifth. In the bottom of the frame, the Red Sox chased Stults off the bump and looked as though they were poised to chase themselves out of a scoring opportunity. Pedroia led off the inning with a single, and after getting Big Papi to fly out to center the Padres pulled Stults for reliever Tyson Ross. Pedroia was immediately gunned down after attempting to steal second to make it two out and nobody on for the Sox in a 2-run ballgame, but Napoli would hit a booming fly ball that would one hop off the wall in deep center and ricochet into the Red Sox bullpen for a ground rule double. Napoli would then come home on Gomes' single to make it 5-2 before Snyder struck out to end the inning.
In the top of the 6th, Webster would allow a 1-out single before getting Ciriaco to ground into a double play and end the inning. The Red Sox would then chase Ross off the mound with a 2-out bases loaded single from Big Papi to make it 7-2 Boston, and the Sox would add to that with a leadoff solo homer from Jacoby Ellsbury in the top of the 8th inning to go on and win by an 8-2 final.
Webster would go six complete innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits while walking four and striking out four in his first big league win. Dustin Pedroia went 2-4 with two RBI's while Ellsbury and Snyder each had solo homers for the Sox. Jesus Guzman led San Diego's bats by going 3-3 with an RBI. The Boston win- coupled with a Pittsburgh Pirates loss on the 4th of July- gives the Red Sox a record of 54-34, best in the majors. The Independence Day win is also Boston's 8th win in their last nine games.
While the Padres move on to the nation's capital to play the Nationals, the Red Sox will travel to the west coast for a weekend series against the Angels in Orange County. Felix Doubront [4-3; 4.22 ERA] is scheduled to get the start against the Halo's CJ Wilson [8-5; 3.63 ERA]. First pitch is scheduled for 10:05 ET, 7:05 PT and the game will be televised on NESN.
BOSTON BRUINS- The Bruins opened up the first day of what was expected to be a busy free agency period by sending Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverly and prospect Ryan Button to Dallas for Loui Eriksson and prospects Joe Morrow, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser.
The Bruins have also lost Nathan Horton to free agency after the Columbus Blue Jackets signed the 6"2' RW to a 7 year deal worth more than $37 million. Horton still requires some shoulder surgery this offseason, and the earliest he's expected to return would be December.
And in a continuation of the Jarome Iginla saga, the Bruins reached a one year $7 million deal with the RW. Reports from the regular season had Iginla going to Boston at the trade deadline, but the Calgary winger reportedly invoked his contract's no-trade clause and opted to go to Pittsburgh at the last moment. The snub took on even greater significance when the Bruins and Penguins met in the Eastern Conference finals- Milan Lucic was quoted as saying Iginla's snub 'lit a fire' under the Bruins in their four game sweep of the Pens.