Frank Lays a Hurtin’

The Red Sox couldn’t finish off the sweep of the A’s, dropping the series finale 5-1 yesterday afternoon in Oakland. After pounding out 18 hits the previous night, the Red Sox were held to four hits yesterday.

Gordon Edes looks at Frank Thomas putting a hurt on the Sox with two homers in the win for the A’s. Jeff Horrigan notes that for the third time in four starts the fifth inning was the undoing of Kyle Snyder. Sean McAdam reports on the Red Sox managing only a feeble attack in their loss yesterday. David Heuschkel notes that other than two pitches to Thomas, Snyder had a decent outing for the Red Sox.

You knew this was coming…Lenny Megliola invites Roger Clemens to come back to the Red Sox since the Astros seem intent on wasting each one of his starts. Karen Guregian insists that Theo Epstein needs to “step up” and deliver a starting pitcher to the Sox before Monday’s trade deadline.

Amalie Benjamin has Doug Mirabelli having hard time coming up with anything that Kyle Snyder did wrong in his start yesterday. Guregian also has a look at Jermaine Van Buren, who pitched a scoreless seventh inning yesterday, including a strikeout of Thomas. Horrigan reports on Kason Gabbard getting sent back down to Pawtucket after yesterday’s game.

Check the Bay Area Sports Pages for Oakland/San Francisco coverage.

Edes’ notebook takes a peek at the 2007 schedule for the Red Sox, which includes four trips to the West coast. Horrigan’s notebook has Keith Foulke heading to Lowell and then Pawtucket this weekend for a couple rehab outings. McAdam’s notebook reports that Foulke could return to the Red Sox as soon as Monday. Heuschkel’s notebook looks at the frustrations of Foulke, who might consider retirement at the end of the year should this latest comeback not go well.

John Tomase has a very good article this morning on the two tight end offense, something that could be a prime weapon for the Patriots this coming season. The Herald also gets Pat Kirwan to describe how this offense can cause problems for an defense. Jerome Solomon offers up his camp preview, taking a position-by-position look at what we can expect in the next five weeks. Michel Parente examines the defensive backs in his latest camp preview.

Tom E Curran says that the only person exploiting Deion Branch is his agent, who he says is giving the Patriots wide receiver bad advice. Tomase’s notebook has Branch’s agent not backing off his stance, and insisting Branch will not be in camp. Dan Pires also reports on Branch. Larry Phung reports on Rosevelt Colvin working to raise money for Easter Seals.

Alan Greenberg has an AFC preview, wondering if Dante Culpepper is enough for the Dolphins to overtake the Patriots in the East. Eric McHugh has 10 questions and answers about the AFC as well.

Mark Murphy reports on the Celtics signing undrafted free agent Kevin Pittsnogle. Shira Springer also has a brief report on the signing.

Michael Vega talks to former BC star Troy Bell, who prepares to make his boxing debut while waiting for his NBA career to take off. Kevin Gray chronicles what it is like to step in the box against 63 year old Tommy John. I think Bob Halloran is attempting to answer his critics, but I can’t be sure.

Check the New York Sports Pages to keep up with the Yankees and other NY sports.

John Molori’s Media Blitz catches up with the very first voice of the Red Sox on NESN, Kent Derdivanis. David Scott reports that Nancy Marrapese-Burrell is off the Bruins beat, switching roles with Fluto Shinzawa.

ESPN has Cardinals/Cubs at 8:00. The Red Sox are off today.

Manny, Trot Bash A’s

The Red Sox made it two in a row over the Oakland A’s as they thumped Ken Macha’s club 13-5 last night, giving Curt Schilling his 13th win, which ties him with Josh Beckett for the league lead. Manny Ramirez and Trot Nixon homered in the win for the Sox.

Sean McAdam looks at the Red Sox making an all out assault on Oakland pitching last night. David Heuschkel reports on Manny and Trot Nixon leading the attack. Jeff Horrigan looks at Manny once again coming up big for the Red Sox in the win, and notes the huge difference between Manny of now and Manny of last year’s trade deadline. Gordon Edes reports on the Sox pounding out a season high 18 hits in support of Schilling.

Gerry Callahan says that the A-Rod near-deal of the winter of 2003 is the greatest non-trade in Red Sox history. Callahan notes how Manny handles the pressure of playing in Boston just fine, has more home runs and RBI than A-Rod since the non-trade and Jon Lester is 5-0. All this while A-Rod is getting booed nightly in New York.

Karen Guregian has the Sox hoping that David Wells is able to be the trading deadline pitching pickup they need to plug into their rotation. Amalie Benjamin has Trot Nixon hoping that his home run last night will provide a spark to his power hitting. The right fielder feels he needs to be a little more angry in the batter’s box. Garry Brown says that if history is any indicator, we can expect that Theo Epstein will make some sort of deal before the trading deadline on Monday. Jon Couture says that the Red Sox need more than simply pitching in the trade market. He also looks at what the other contending clubs’ needs are.

Guregian also talks to Wily Mo Pena, who really hopes to stay in Boston and get the chance to show the fans what he can do. Benjamin has Mike Timlin teaching visualization to the young Red Sox pitchers, something he learned from Jamie Moyer. Guregian also reports on Curt Schilling joining Beckett in the 13 win club.

Check out the coverage of the game from the Oakland/San Francisco area on the Bay Area Sports Pages.

Horrigan’s notebook reports on Wells getting very close to being activated and put into the rotation. Edes’s notebook has more on Wells, who appears to be headed for the rotation as soon as next week. McAdam’s notebook looks at how Manny Delcarmen has been a godsend for the Red Sox bullpen. Heuschkel’s notebook has more on Wells closing in on a return.

Steve Bailey reports on Aramark Corp fingerprinting every employee who works at Fenway Park.

Chad Finn examines a number of topics in the headlines as of late.

Ron Borges reports that Deion Branch will not report to Patriots training camp on Friday and will be a hold out, despite the $14,000-per-day fine. Alan Greenberg says that things will be a lot different for the Patriots this training camp, with no championship to defend, no winning streak to extend and having to deal with the loss of several key players. John Tomase takes a position-by-position look at the defense. Mike Reiss takes a look at the cornerback position for the Patriots. Michael Parente says that Monty Beisel needs to take a giant step forward in his second year with the Patriots. Eric McHugh steps up with 10 questions and answers about the NFC heading into training camps.

Stephen Harris and Nancy Marrapese-Burrell report on Peter Chiarelli starting to fill out the front office and coaching staff of his new administration. Kirk Luedeke of the New England Hockey Journal reports that the Bruins have come to terms on a new one year contract for defenseman Milan Jurcina.

Mike Fine hopes that the Celtics do not trade for Allen Iverson. examines a report that the Celtics have given a two-year deal to former West Virginia big man Kevin Pittsnogle. Peter May reports on the US national team wrapping up their first week of practice yesterday.

Check out the New York Sports Pages to keep up with the Yankees and more coverage on Harold Reynolds’ dismissal from ESPN.

NESN has Red Sox/A’s at 3:30. ESPN has Yankees/Rangers at 8:00.

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.