A very busy Saturday for links today as the Red Sox win a thriller at home, and the Patriots get their preseason schedule off on the right foot. A few Bruins articles are also in the mix.

The Red Sox defeated the White Sox 9-8 in a wild ride at Fenway Park. David Ortiz was the offensive hero hitting a pair of home runs and driving in six runs. Chris Snow says that it was a good night for owner John W Henry’s fantasy team. Jeff Horrigan, as he said on the postgame show on UPN38, says that if this was an October preview, then David Ortiz was certainly right at home as he is Mr October. Steven Krasner writes that a lot of things happened last night, but it was still the David Ortiz show. David Heuschkel observes that Ortiz helped the Red Sox overcome a shaky start from David Wells and a rough finish from Curt Schilling. David Borges reports that Wells pitched last night despite feeling ill. Ron Chimelis notes Ortiz’s dramatic improvement in hitting against lefties. Joe Haggerty looks at Boston taking round one against the White Sox. Ortiz owns a .306 batting average against them this year. Art Davidson completes the game wrapups with his account for the Metrowest Daily News.

Gordon Edes looks at how Ortiz had enlisted three lefthanded friends to throw to him in the offseason, and he credits them with his improvement in that area. Shalise Manza Young has a look at Curt Schilling’s rough outing last night, giving up three runs with two out in the ninth. Alex Speier has his Sox Beat column and today it focuses as much on the White Sox as the Red. Speier looks at how Mark Buehrle learned a lot from David Wells. Rich Thompson looks at Wells’ displeasure at being taken out last night. Horrigan has a report on Trot Nixon’s recovery. Howard Bryant (subscription only) writes that this White Sox club is for real, they are tough and battle back as they showed last night, they’re not “all hat and no cattle”. Ron Indrisano looks at the outing for White Sox starter Mark Buehrle.

Mike Fine addresses concerns that people might be raising over the 2005 Red Sox, who currently hold a five game lead in the division. Kelsie Smith talks to Jason Varitek, who says that Curt Schilling is still confident, despite being touched up in the ninth inning last night. Smith also has a piece on Gabe Kapler. Indrisano has a look at former Red Sox pitcher and current White Sox closer Dustin Hermanson, who is finally healthy and showing what he can do. Thompson also has a brief bit on the Chicago closer. Steve Britt isn’t impressed with Theo Epstein’s recent moves and wonders if the Red Sox GM is losing his touch.

Krasner’s notebook looks at David Wells’ illness and how he didn’t even have the energy to protest his removal from the game. Heuschkel’s notebook says that Trot Nixon is feeling better, so much so that they have to sit on him in the clubhouse to hold him back from doing more. Borges’ notebook also looks at how the Red Sox have to keep Nixon from pushing the envelope. Snow’s notebook also looks at Nixon’s recovery, and considers possible candidates for a start on Tuesday. Chimelis’ notebook has still more on Nixon. Horrigan’s notebook says that Schilling’s shaky ninth doesn’t worry his teammates.

Patriots

Jerome Solomon looks at Matt Cassel and the Patriots opening up the preseason with a 23-13 win over the Bengals. After the strong play of Cassel last night, Michael Felger says farewell to Rohan Davey. (Hey, the Bears might be looking for a QB, no?) Tom E Curran says that there is clearly something amiss with Tom Brady’s arm, despite the QB’s statements to the contrary. However Brady wasn’t missed last night as Cassel stole the show. Mike Reiss says that Cassel was clearly the biggest winner last night and has 10 other quick-hit observations from the game.

Ron Borges writes that last night’s exhibition only showed that perhaps the Patriots should give Roman Phifer a call. Adam Kilgore looks at the first game for first round pick Logan Mankins. Mark Curnutte of the Cincinnati Enquirer says that it was a night of mixed results for the Bengals. Kilgore talks to Bengals fans about their experience rooting for the club. Dave Doyle says that Pete Carroll got a raw deal here in New England.

Felger’s notebook has Brady saying that he feels great. Curran’s notebook has more on the debut of Cassel and of Logan Mankins. Solomon’s notebook says that the Patriots did well in playing together despite having so many regulars out. Curnutte’s notebook for the Bengals says turnovers and penalties again did in Marvin Lewis’ squad.

Fluto Shinzawa has Joe Thornton talking about how much he loves Boston and wants to stay here. Steve Conroy says that Thornton’s deal is a small step towards big things for the Bruins. Douglas Flynn looks at how defenseman Jiri Slegr’s signing with the Bruins spurred on Thornton to get his deal done with the club. Conroy also reports on the signing of Jiri Slegr.

As always, you can get another perspective on things by checking out the New York Sports News page and the Bay Area Sports page.

I missed this yesterday, but Globe sports editor Joe Sullivan has posted his first edition of his mailbag, entitled Ask the Editor. Not a whole lot of substance there.

FOX has Mets/Dodgers at 4:00. NESN has Red Sox/White Sox at 7:00. CBS has the third round of the PGA Championship at 2:00.

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