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Ellsbury out, Salty in.

Byline: Bill Ballou

TWINS 6, RED SOX 4

FENWAY PARK, BOSTON

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E

Minnesota 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 4 6 12 0

Boston 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 4 6 3

Winning pitcher: Burnett (4-3). Losing pitcher: Aceves (2-7). Att: 37,914.

Jacoby Ellsbury was in the original starting lineup, then was scratched in a favor of Ryan Kalish a couple of hours before the game. Ellsbury has a "very little leg situation," Valentine said, and wanted to play through it but that idea was vetoed by the manager.

Which raises the question - if Ellsbury wanted to play through it, why did he bother saying anything?

Jarrod Saltalamacchia's ear infection was better, so he returned to action as the DH after having sat out the two previous games.

Trio of miscues

The Sox committed three errors, officially, although one was unfair. Clay Buchholz made two errant pickoff attempts and Kelly Shoppach was charged with an error on Ben Revere's dribbler near the plate in the fifth. Shoppach hit Revere with his throw to first, but the replay clearly showed that Revere was running in fair territory down the last 45 feet of the baseline and should have been called out.

Boston pitchers have been charged with nine errors this season and Buchholz leads with three.

Punto no longer MIA

Nick Punto was released from the utility man protection program and played in a game for the first time since July 22. He took over at third base from Will Middlebrooks, who needed a day off, according to Valentine.

Middlebrooks is 1 for 12 in his last three games.

The manager praised the rookie's defensive progress, saying, "He's done a lot of early work before the games, and has had more time, more experience, making him a really improved third baseman, particularly on his backhand."

Middlebrooks has been charged with nine errors in 68 games. Seven of them came in his first 43 games. He has only two in his last 25.

Beckett gets starting date

Josh Beckett won't be going on the disabled list after all, it seems. His back has improved enough so that he has been slotted to pitch here on Wednesday, the final game of the homestand. That will give him a seven-day break between starts.

Franklin Morales is today's fill-in for Beckett. It will be his sixth start of 2012, and first since July 13. Morales has performed equally well as a starter and a reliever to date. He is 2-1 with a 3.42 ERA out of the rotation and 0-1, 3.23 out of the bullpen.

Valentine was asked if he minds not having had anyone who qualifies as an "ace" in the rotation this year and said, "That means nothing to me. My ace is the guy pitching that day. You just pitch every five days.

"But it's great conversation."

Doubront still good enough

Valentine does not seem concerned about Felix Doubront, who has had control problems for much of the year and blew a 5-1 lead on Friday night.

"We want to look at a perfect, finished product in a guy who's doing an outstanding job," the manager said. "I'm not looking for perfection, and I've seen a great deal of excellence. I love the excellence I've seen and I think we can build on that."

Diamond Dust

One night after nearly hitting for the cycle in the seventh spot, Carl Crawford was back batting second in the order and didn't seem to mind the change as he blasted a double off the wall his first time up. ... Valentine rode his bicycle in the Pan-Mass Challenge in the morning, hitting the road at about 7 a.m. before it got too hot. After he arrived at Fenway, the manager spent more than the usual amount of time outside his office, since it had no air conditioning. ... The Sox and Twins play at 1:35 this afternoon for the last time this season. Nick Blackburn, who is 4-6 with a 7.43 ERA, will start for Minnesota. ... Aside from the fact that he is progressing, there is still no word on when David Ortiz will return. ... Sgt. First Class Daryl Williamson of Leominster was recognized as one of the night's Walk-Off Heroes. ... Going into the night, Adrian Gonzalez had walked in four straight games after a streak in which he did not draw a walk in 29 in a row and Red Sox batters had grounded into 11 double plays in the previous six games.

Box score

Minnesota AB R H BI BB SO Avg.

Span cf 4 1 0 0 1 1 .288

Revere rf 5 1 3 0 0 0 .323

Mauer 1b 4 1 1 3 1 0 .320

Morneau dh 4 0 2 1 0 0 .272

Doumit c 4 0 1 0 0 0 .285

Mastroianni lf 3 0 1 0 0 1 .272

a-Willingham ph-lf 1 0 0 0 0 0 .263

Dozier ss 4 0 1 0 0 2 .240

A.Casilla 2b 3 1 1 0 1 0 .225

J.Carroll 3b 4 2 2 1 0 0 .246

Totals 36 6 12 5 3 4

Boston AB R H BI BB SO Avg.

Kalish cf 2 1 0 0 1 1 .206

b-Ciriaco ph 1 1 1 1 0 0 .338

Ellsbury cf 0 0 0 0 0 0 .259

C.Crawford lf 4 0 1 1 0 1 .254

Pedroia 2b 3 1 0 0 0 0 .262

Ad.Gonzalez 1b 4 0 1 0 0 1 .301

C.Ross rf 4 0 1 1 0 0 .264

Saltalamacchia dh 3 0 1 0 1 1 .234

Aviles ss 4 1 1 1 0 0 .255

Shoppach c 3 0 0 0 0 3 .258

c-Lavarnway ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .111

Punto 3b 3 0 0 0 0 1 .204

d-Middlebrooks ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .289

Totals 33 4 6 4 2 8

a-grounded into a fielder's choice for Mastroianni in the 8th. b-homered for Kalish in the 8th. c-flied out for Shoppach in the 9th. d-popped out for Punto in the 9th.

E-Shoppach (4), Buchholz 2 (3). LOB-Minnesota 7, Boston 5. 2B-Mastroianni (3), A.Casilla (12), C.Crawford (2). HR-Mauer (7), off Aceves; Aviles (11), off De Vries; Ciriaco (1), off Perkins. RBIs-Mauer 3 (53), Morneau (50), J.Carroll (32), Ciriaco (11), C.Crawford (9), C.Ross (52), Aviles (52). SB-Revere (26), Pedroia (7). SF-Morneau.

Runners left in scoring position-Minnesota 5 (J.Carroll 2, Dozier, Mauer, Willingham); Boston 2 (C.Ross, Saltalamacchia). RISP-Minnesota 4 for 12; Boston 1 for 6.

GIDP-Doumit, A.Casilla.

DP-Boston 2 (Pedroia, Aviles, Ad.Gonzalez), (Ad.Gonzalez, Aviles, Ad.Gonzalez).

Minnesota IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA

De Vries 7 4 2 2 2 5 109 3.81

Perkins 2/3 1 2 2 0 2 13 3.17

Al.Burnett W, 4-3 1/3 1 0 0 0 1 8 2.81

Burton S, 5-7 1 0 0 0 0 0 9 2.25

Boston IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA

Buchholz 7 7 1 0 1 3 103 4.48

A.Miller 0 1 1 1 2 0 15 3.25

Aceves L, 2-7 BS, 6-28 12/3 4 4 4 0 1 34 4.37

Breslow 1/3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.00

A.Miller pitched to 3 batters in the 8th.

Inherited runners-scored-Al.Burnett 1-1, Aceves 3-1. HBP-by Perkins (Pedroia). WP-Al.Burnett, Aceves.

Umpires-Home, David Rackley; First, Wally Bell; Second, Mike Winters; Third, Mark Wegner.

T-3:22.

NAME: BOSTON RED SOX

ART: PHOTO

CUTLINE: Boston's Mike Aviles, right, celebrates his solo homer with Kelly Shoppach in the second inning.

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Title Annotation:SPORTS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Geographic Code:1U4MN
Date:Aug 5, 2012
Words:1309
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