Carlos Lifts Sox Spirts

After all the horribly bad things that have happened to the Red Sox the last few weeks, there was a ray of light last night, as Manny Ramirez, Trot Nixon and Jason Varitek returned to the lineup, and native son Carlos Pena hit a walk off home run in the 10th inning to give the Red Sox a 3-2 win over the White Sox at Fenway Park.

Gordon Edes looks at the sweet relief Pena provided the Red Sox with his game winner. Jeff Horrigan has Pena turning dreams into reality. Stephen Krasner has reinforcements arriving for the Red Sox last night. David Heuschkel wonders if we saw the last magical moment of 2006 for the Red Sox last night at Fenway Park. David Borges has the old Red Sox walk-off magic returning to Fenway for one night.

Nick Cafardo has Pena living a backyard dream with his game winning homer last night. Tony Massarotti looks at Jonathan Papelbon, who holds a lot of the Red Sox future in his shoulder. The rookie closer is due to have an MRI today, which could show a rotator cuff or labrum tear. Lenny Megliola has the Sox all hanging out at The Last Chance saloon, hoping to still salvage the season. Alex Speier has a story on Manny returning to the Red Sox lineup last night, and showing while he was out that his is irreplaceable in the lineup. Rob Bradford says that the Red Sox kept and dealt away the wrong prospects.

Christopher L. Gasper has David Ortiz eager to return to the field, but awaiting final clearance from the doctors first. Michael Silverman has Big Papi expecting to play tonight. Horrigan has Papelbon not ready to give up on himself or the team’s chances of coming back this season. Horrigan looks at Julian Tavarez, who despite getting a standing ovation from the fans for his 6 2/3 innings of solid work, did not acknowledge the ovation because of boos he heard earlier in the year. Bill Ballou reports on the signing of first round pick Daniel Bard, who has some Worcester roots.

Gasper has a look at Jon Garland – the winningest pitcher in the American League since the start of the 2005 season. Cafardo has White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen expecting the most from his team every time they take the field.

Edes’s notebook has Julian Tavarez coming through with a very effective start last night for the Red Sox. Horrigan’s notebook reports that Curt Schilling could miss his next scheduled start on Saturday as well. Heuschkel’s notebook looks at Papelbon getting his MRI today instead of yesterday – with two different stories why. Borges’ notebook has more on Ortiz’s chances of playing tonight. Ballou’s notebook has more on Pena’s game winner.

Chad Finn offers up nine innings worth of thoughts on the Sox.

The Patriots are getting ready for their season opener Sunday at Gillette against the Bills. Wide Receiver remains a position generating a lot of discussion for the Patriots. Mike Reiss and Michael Felger each have a look at the players attempting to fill the positions, and how a couple of new guys, Doug Gabriel and Jonathan Smith are attempting to learn the ropes. Shalise Manza Young has Gabriel getting a crash course in the Patriots offense. Alan Greenberg has Gabriel eager to get started with his new club, but a bit puzzled as to why the Raiders traded him. Rich Garven and Michael Parente also each look at the Patriots new receivers getting their work in with their new club.

Greg Doyle on the Patriots Game Day page has an extensive look around the NFL. Check out past entries on the blog for commentary on the Patriots roster cuts, the practice squad, the Deion Branch situation and Ron Borges’ one-sided reporting. Albert Breer notes that the Patriots preparations for Buffalo could be difficult, as the Bills sport an entirely new coaching staff, system and roster. Dan Pires has a look at Rodney Harrison gearing up for his regular season return for the Patriots on Sunday. Breer has a look at Johnathan Sullivan, who had charges from earlier this summer against his dropped, and he also made the roster this week.

John Molori has a look at NBC’s Sunday Night Football production, which promises new innovations.

Reiss’ notebook has Harrison ready to take the field for real this Sunday against the Bills. Felger’s notebook has a look at the Patriots injury situation with Laurence Maroney, Ty Warren, Tedy Bruschi and Chad Jackson all unknown factors for this weekend. Young’s notebook has rookie Ryan O’Callaghan getting ready for his NFL debut Sunday. Garven’s notebook says that Deion Branch won’t be a distraction for the Patriots in their game preparation. Parente’s notebook looks at the ESPN report that has Maroney out for Sunday’s game.

NESN has Red Sox/White Sox at 7:00. TBS has Braves/Mets at 7:00.