Boston Bats Bolster Beckett

The Red Sox bounced back from a tough loss in Seattle on Sunday by bashing three home run in support of Josh Beckett in a 7-3 win last night against the Oakland A’s. Alex Gonzalez, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz all went deep, while Beckett recorded his league leading 13th victory.

Jeff Horrigan looks at the Red Sox getting a little retribution against the A’s. Gordon Edes reports on Manny rewarding his manager’s defense of him on Sunday with his bounce-back play last night. Sean McAdam opens his game story noting that the Red Sox have hit more home runs on the road than at home this season. David Heuschkel starts his narrative off with the same information.

Amalie Benjamin looks at a solid outing for Beckett, who got roughed up by the A’s the last time he faced them. Karen Guregian also looks at Beckett, who didn’t watch any of the film from his last start against Oakland while preparing for this one. Horrigan says that despite holding onto first place, the Red Sox still have a lot of problems and question marks. McAdam looks at Trot Nixon, who is at a loss to explain his power outage.

Benjamin also reports on David Wells pitching a simulated game yesterday, and looking pretty sharp (and competitive) doing it. Guregian talks to Curt Schilling, who remains adamant that he will retire after next season. She also has a sidebar with Schilling laughing at the Mike Lowell for Jake Peavy trade rumor from last week.

Edes’ notebook has Trot Nixon frustrated with his lack of power numbers and dealing with his name involved in trade rumors. Edes also has some astounding numbers showing just how consistent Manny Ramirez really is. Horrigan’s notebook has more on Wells’ simulated game. McAdam’s notebook says that Kason Gabbard will be skipped in the rotation this week with the off day on Thursday. Heuschkel’s notebook looks at the struggling Coco Crisp, who aims to stay positive.

The Two Cents and a Schilling blog offered some strong commentary on the whole NESN “Out of market” issue from last week. Baseball Prospectus also addressed this issue in detail, though you’ll need a subscription to read the full article.

John Tomase previews the Patriots Offense, a unit led by quarterback Tom Brady. Tomase notes that while the roster is seemingly thin at wide receiver, Brady has no shortage of weapons to use on offense. Mike Reiss looks at Logan Mankins, who will be ready to go come Friday, just as he was for all 16 regular season games last year, one of only three first round picks to start each game last season. Michael Parente has a preview of the defensive line, which might be the deepest position on the team. Ron Borges says that Deion Branch hasn’t decided for sure whether he will be a holdout come Friday, but as of last night he was leaning in that direction. Borges also looks at the five players placed on the PUP list, including Rodney Harrison. Albert Breer reports on the Patriots coming to terms with more rookies, leaving only first round pick Laurence Maroney unsigned at the moment. Reiss also previews the Inside Linebackers in his blog today.

In the latest edition of the BSMW Full Court Press, Jon Duke takes a look at Danny Ainge’s offseason thus far and offers some perspective.

Bob Hohler wraps up his three part “$neaker War” series with the final installment this morning.

Mike Shalin talks to ACC coaches, who all agree that the Boston College football team belongs in their conference. Shalin’s notebook looks at a change in the Bowl selection process, and notes that Billy Flutie might be given a shot to play as a freshman.

For reasons not entirely clear, ESPN has Fired Harold Reynolds. Reynolds was one of the best parts of the Baseball Tonight program and seemed a fixture at the network, even calling the Little League World Series games each summer. ESPN won’t comment, and it appears Reynolds is not welcome around Bristol any longer. (The Big Lead)

NESN has Red Sox/A’s at 10:00.