Boston, Massachusetts

Sunday, July 15th - Friday, July 20th

So, another trip to Beantown for us (like you have to twist our arm to do that!), this time around so that Jill could take a couple of week long summer classes at Northeastern. Mike and I tagged along and crammed as much sports into a week as humanly possible.

Set out on Sunday afternoon, making the trek from Binghamton to Albany. Stopped at Fleet Feet there so Jill could find some knuckle lights for an upcoming 24 hour ultra, then grabbed some lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. From there, we made the drive to Lowell and our first new ballpark of the week. The Lowell Spinners and Staten Island Yankees were playing, and since it was kind of on our way to the hotel we stopped for part of the game.

We left the game in/around the seventh (as usual) and drove to the hotel - the Comfort Inn Woburn. Good location in regards to Boston, near enough to both the T station(s) and Boston itself.

The ballpark food didn't cut it as far as dinner went, so after settling in the room we went up the street a bit to Polcari's for some dinner.

On Monday morning, I took Jill to the Oak Grove Station which is at the end of the Orange Line on the MBTA. This was a routine we would continue everyday throughout the week. Mike and I were off to explore after that, our first stop being the Sam Adam's Brewery where we did a tour and got free beer! (Mike had root beer). Left the car near the brewery (since parking was free there) and took the T to Faneuil Hall where we walked around and grabbed some lunch at Ned Devine's Irish Pub. Walked to the Omni Parker House for some Boston Creme Pie for dessert, then grabbed the T back to the car. We had thoughts of going back to the hotel and then coming back in to pick up Jill, but Boston traffic had other ideas for us and the time we would have spent chillin' at the hotel was spent sitting in traffic, so instead we just went to Northeastern and waited for her to be done with her classes.

Monday evening we went to the Boyleston Street area and had dinner at Atlantic Fish, made a stop at Ben and Jerry's, then drove back to Woburn and called it a night.

Tuesday was tour Fenway day for Mike and I. Instead of driving in this time (I was trying to avoid the outrageous parking fees in Boston) we drove to the Wellington Station on the Orange Line and took the train from there. Toured Fenway - nice to be able to grab some more pics, but not one of the best stadium tours we've been on - and afterwards walked down to McGreevy's for a bite to eat. Wandered through some of the shopping in the Prudential Center before taking the train back to the car, and back to the hotel to relax for a bit.

Tuesday evening we drove back in to pick up Jill and from there - on a whim almost - decided to drive up to Lynn, Massachusetts for a collegiate wood bat summer league game. As we got to the stadium, there was a gentleman on the PA whose voice sounded familiar to both Jill and I but we couldn't place it. That is, until we saw him on the field doing one of the promotions - and it was none other than Bill Terlecky! Bill was the GM with the B-Mets for quite a while, and had the biggest impact on improving attendance. As we looked around at the promos and such we realized that much of what the team in Lynn was doing was similar to Binghamton, and it can all be credited to Bill's efforts. We stood and talked with him for a bit on our way out (he remembered us from his time in Bingo), and it quickly became a place we would go back to again in the future.

At Bill's suggestion, we made our way to Rolly's Tavern on the Square in downtown Lynn for a bite to eat. Good food, good suggestion. Back to the hotel afterwards.

Wednesday morning would be the beginning of a crazy couple of sports days for Mike and I. Two days in which we would see a Red Sox team play at the Double A, Triple A, and Major League level, as well as a MLL game. That's a crazy lot of sports, even for us!

After dropping Jill off at the train station, I went back to the hotel, got Mike moving, and we headed north - to Portland, Maine. Our first game would be our first visit to Portland and Hadlock Field. The Portland SeaDogs and Reading Phillies were playing in a noontime affair. (write up for the stadium and game can be found in our blog).

Around about the seventh inning, Mike and I headed south back to Boston. We parked the car in the Gainesborough Garage at Northeastern, and met Jill. The sky's opened up at this point and it POURED. So much so, we went to the bookstore and purchased some rain appropriate gear. We waited out the rain, for the most part, between one of the academic buildings and then the garage itself before making a rather wet walk from Northeastern to Fenway for the Boston Red Sox game against the Chicago White Sox. Jill's class bought group seats for the game, and even though Mike and I had seats elsewhere there were enough extras so we could sit with the group. Post game, we stopped at Tasty Burger for a, well, tasty burger (and chicken sammy). After that, we walked back through The Fens to the car, and then made the drive home.

For future reference - the walk from Northeastern to Fenway wasn't bad at all, the parking was $18.00, but that's less than what you'll pay near the ballpark, and there was no traffic post game by the time we got back to the car.

Thursday, sports day two. Mike and I drove south this time for a return trip to McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket. It was a camp day (as was Portland the day before) so the place was packed! Not only the stands, but the parking lot as well. One good thing that came from this? We figured out that there is free parking on the side streets adjacent to McCoy - bonus! Watched part of the game from our seats - until the guy in front of me yammered on about the positive aspects of beer from a metal can for 15 minutes - then we moved to the standing room area in left field.

Made our way back to Boston after about the sixth inning, driving to Harvard University so we could buy some tix for the lacrosse game that night as well as wander around the campus. From there, drove to Northeastern and waited for Jill to be done with her evening reception, and then made our way back to Harvard Stadium.

The Boston Cannons - and their star Paul Rabil - were taking on the Denver Outlaws. Really cool, old stadium; good game; one interesting aspect - everytime the Cannons scored a guy in one endzone would fire off a miniature cannon - man was that thing loud!

We took Jill back up to the main Harvard campus after the game, grabbed some Pinkberry and sat in Harvard Square before wandering around the main Harvard campus again - very, very nice campus. Back to the hotel afterwards.

Friday was get away day. Jill was off to class in the morning, Mike and I packed up the room and headed into Boston. We had lunch with Jill and got to see her classroom before heading over to the TD Garden. Mike and I toured the Garden - with a less than enthusiastic tour guide - and then walked over to Faneuil Hall. From there, we just took the trains back to Northeastern - good timing since Jill was just finishing up when we got there. Hopped in the car and began making our way back to Binghamton. We stopped in Springfield, Mass for some dinner on our way through. As always, Jill finds the great food spots and this was no different - Theodors Blues Booze and BBQ was just what we were looking for! With a good meal in us, we made the rest of the drive back to Binghamton.

Portland Sea Dogs 12, Reading Phillies 0

Portland, Maine- Jeremy Kehrt tossed five perfect innings and Jeremy Hazelbaker launched two home runs as the Sea Dogs defeated the Reading Phillies 12-0 Wednesday afternoon at Hadlock Field before a crowd of 6,180. The Sea Dogs improve to 42-56 on the season completing a 5-2 homestand taking two of the three games from the Reading Phillies (49-47). Sea Dogs' pitchers combined on a two hit shutout Wednesday and have now thrown 20 consecutive shutout innings. Kehrt (4-3) fired five perfect frames throwing 59 pitches, 39 for strikes recording five strikeouts and lowering his ERA to 4.71.

Chris Balcom-Miller picked up right where Kehrt left off in relief of the Portland starter continuing the perfect game through six innings. In the seventh D'Arby Myers broke-up the perfect game with an infield single but was quickly erased when Caser Hernandez grounded into a double-play. Balcom-Miller tossed two innings of scoreless relief giving up just one hit and striking out three. Aaron Kurcz closed out the final two frames for the Sea Dogs to complete the shutout. Sea Dogs' pitchers faced just one batter over the minimum.

On the offensive side, Jeremy Hazelbaker went 3-for-4 with two home runs, a walk, four runs scored and five RBI. Before being retired on a foul pop-up to first base in the seventh, Hazelbaker had reached base in 11 consecutive plate appearances.

Trevor May (7-7) walked Jackie Bradley Jr. to lead-off the game and Hazelbaker followed by launching a two run homer to give the Sea Dogs a quick 2-0 lead.

A Bradley walk and a Hazelbaker single put two runners on for Marquez Smith in the fifth inning when he swatted a May offering just inside the left field foul pole for a three run home and a 6-0 Sea Dogs lead.

Hazelbaker struck again in the sixth inning, hitting an opposite field three run shot off Ryan Duke over the Maine Monster for a 9-0 lead. The home run was his 13th of the season and ties him with Reynaldo Rodriguez for the team lead. Marquez Smith tripled and scored when Peter Hissey reached on an error by shortstop Troy Hanzawa.

Zach Gentile added a RBI double in the seventh and Jackie Bradley Jr. picked-up an RBI with a sacrifice fly.

The Sea Dogs hit the road for a four-game weekend series with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays) starting off with a 7:05 PM contest Thursday night. Right-handed pitcher Stolmy Pimentel (3-4, 5.37) will get the start for the Sea Dogs. He will be opposed by New Hampshire righty Chad Jenkins (4-9, 5.55). All of the action can be heard live on 95.5/ 95.9 FM WPEI. The Sea Dogs return to Hadlock Field for a three game series against the Trenton Thunder (Yankees) July 23-25.

Boston Red Sox 10, Chicago White Sox 1

BOSTON -- The Red Sox are reaping the benefits of the outfield they've been waiting for all year.

Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, left fielder Carl Crawford and right fielder Cody Ross started together for just the second time this season on Wednesday. The trio sparked a 10-1 win over the White Sox at Fenway Park.

Ross delivered the biggest blows of the evening, a pair of three-run homers over the Green Monster. It was his third multi-home run game of the year and the 10th of his career. He nearly had a third homer in the sixth inning but just missed and settled for a double.

"I thought I got it, I got a little excited, definitely, to say the least," said Ross, who had a season-high six RBIs.

Ellsbury doubled to lead off the first against Pedro Hernandez, making his Major League debut, and had three hits with three runs. In three games playing alongside Crawford, the two have set the table for the Red Sox from the top of the lineup.

In six games since returning from a separated shoulder on Friday, Ellsbury is hitting .407 (11-for-27) with three doubles and five runs from the leadoff spot.

Crawford continued to produce in just his third game of the year. He singled and scored in the third inning on Ross' first bomb. Since returning from elbow surgery on Monday, Crawford is 5-for-10 with six runs and three steals.

"Just having Jacoby and Carl back has been huge for us," Ross said. "They're getting on base and creating havoc on the basepaths. It's just nice to be able to have them table set."

Playing without slugger David Ortiz for the second straight game, the Red Sox pounded out 14 hits and scored in double digits for the 13th time this year.

"We had a good day at the plate, a lot of guys," Crawford said. "We know we have to pick up the slack with Papi being out. It was good to see."

With Crawford back in the fold, the Red Sox are 2-1 to open a seven-game homestand. Clay Buchholz is scheduled to start in the series finale vs. Chicago on Thursday.

As the outfield begins to take shape, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez has rediscovered his power. He lifted an opposite-field homer into the Monster Seats in the fourth inning following Ross' second jack. It was the fifth time this year Boston has hit back-to-back homers. Gonzalez added an RBI single in the first and a two-run single in the sixth for a four-RBI night.

Gonzalez has hit safely in 22 of his last 23 games, with the lone exception July 8 vs. the Yankees when he left the game with flu-like symptoms after one at-bat. Over that span, Gonzalez is hitting .404 (38-for-94) with three homers and 19 RBIs.

"He's driving runs in, he's using the whole field, he's hitting all pitches, fouling off the tough ones," manager Bobby Valentine said. "He looks like the real Adrian Gonzalez right at the right time."

Backed by solid run support, Red Sox starter Felix Doubront shut down the White Sox over six strong innings. The left-hander allowed one run on four hits, striking out two against three walks for his 10th win.

He joins Jon Lester as the second Boston pitcher 24 years old or younger to reach double-digit wins in a season since Roger Clemens went 20-9 in 1987 at age 24.

"Since I came to Spring Training I've been working so hard to be here and be in this spot," Doubront said. "I'm just working to get more wins."

The Red Sox got what they expected from Doubront, who improved to 5-0 with a 2.76 ERA following a Boston loss.

Doubront gave up his only run in the first inning, following a 14-minute rain delay at the start of the game. Boston starters have allowed at least one run in the first inning at Fenway Park in 10 straight games for a total of 24 runs. But he settled in as the game progressed and held Chicago scoreless over his final five frames.

"He got better after he got that big lead and that's what you're supposed to do," said White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, who singled to drive in that first-inning run. "He's got good stuff. His ball moves, nothing's really straight, he's got some weapons up there. You give a guy like that a big lead, that's the way it goes."

Ross' 10 total bases tied Will Middlebrooks for the most in a game for a Red Sox player this season. Middlebrooks did it on May 7 at Kansas City. Fenway Park certainly suits Ross, who has 10 homers and 31 RBIs at home compared to five homers and 16 RBIs on the road.

"The way my swing has developed over time I had a good feeling that this would be a good spot for me," said Ross, in his first year with Boston. "My swing path will create that lift that will allow me to hit a lot of fly balls and this is a great place to hit for a right-handed pull hitter."

Pawtucket Red Sox 4, Syracuse Chiefs 3

PawSox won the final game against Syracuse 4-3 Thursday afternoon at McCoy Stadium. J.C. Linares went 2 for 4 with two homeruns and Jon Hee had two hits for the PawSox.

PawSox starter, Zach Stewart gave up a leadoff homerun to Corey Brown and the Chiefs took the lead 1-0. In the bottom of the first, the PawSox collected three back to back singles to load the bases with no outs. Andy LaRoche had a 2-run RBI double (9) which scored Scott Podesednik and Che-Hsaun Lin to take the lead 2-1. The Chiefs retired the next three batters. J.C. Linares added to the PawSox lead with a solo homerun (3) in the third inning and made the score 3-1. Syracuse tied the score 3-3 after a 2-run homerun by Koyie Hill. Linares hit his second homerun (4) of the game in the eighth inning to give the PawSox the lead 4-3.

Daniel Bard earned the win for the PawSox. He gave up one hit and one walk in one inning. Erik Arnesen took the loss for Syracuse after giving up one hit and one run in two innings.

After today the PawSox will play 12 of their next 14 games on the road from July 20-August 2. They visit Louisville next for a 4- game series. Brandon Duckworth (8-2, 3.35) faces Pedro Villarreal (3-6, 3.73).

Denver Outlaws 17, Boston Cannons 13

July 19, 2012 - Boston, MA - The Boston Cannons dropped their second straight game in a 17-13 loss to the Denver Outlaws tonight in front of 7,743 fans at Harvard Stadium. Outlaws goalie Jesse Schwartzman was named Bud Light Player of the Game for his 17 saves, while Brendan Mundorf scored four goals and added three assists in the victory.Ari Sussman had three goals and an assist for the Cannons.

While Chris Bocklet struck first for the Outlaws, the teams traded goals in a low-scoring first quarter, including one each from Cannons attackmen Matt Poskay and Sussman, to end the quarter knotted at 2-2.

Midfielder Pat Heim scored in the first 40 seconds of the second quarter to give the Cannons their only lead of the game. Jordan McBride and Jeremy Sieverts each scored a pair of goals for Denver, including a two-pointer for Sieverts. Poskay scored his second of the night to become one of just eight MLL players to reach 200 career goals. Mike Stone added another but the Cannons entered halftime down 8-5.

Boston came out stronger in the second half, matching the Outlaws with five goals in the third quarter. Ryan Boyle scored a pair while Paul Rabil netted his first goal since the Cannons played the Hamilton Nationals on July 7 and defensive midfielder JJ Morrissey scored his second goal of the season.

Rabil scored an unassisted goal a minute and a half into the fourth quarter to cut the Denver lead to 13-11. After trading goals, Outlaws rookie Mark Matthews scored back-to-back to give the Outlaws a five-goal lead with 1:43 in the game. Kevin Buchanan scored with 40 seconds on the clock but the Cannons were unable to get any closer.

Now at 6-5 on the season, the Cannons remain in fourth place in the league trailing the Chesapeake Bayhawks (8-2), Outlaws (8-3), and the Long Island Lizards (6-4). The Cannons return to Harvard Stadium Saturday, July 28 at 2pm to face the first-place Bayhawks.

Trip Notes:

Our seats for the Lowell Spinners game were Section 102, Row M, Seats 1-2-3.

Our seats for the Boston Red Sox game were Section 39, Row 36, Seats 1-2-3.