Brad Lidge throws 24 pitches in extended spring game

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Phillies reliever Brad Lidge hasn’t pitched in a game this season because of a right posterior rotator cuff strain that he suffered near the end of March.

The right-hander took a big step forward Saturday, tossing 24 pitches in a game at extended spring training and reporting no issues with his shoulder. This according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.

Lidge will make another appearance at extended spring training on Tuesday and could progress to a minor league rehab assignment by late next week if everything continues to go smoothly.

His goal right now is to return to the Phillies’ bullpen by the end of June.

Ryan Madson has been handling save situations with Lidge sidelined and boasts 10 saves in 10 opportunities. If Madson continues performing well, he should retain ninth inning duties even when Lidge returns.

Red Sox Triple-A team to ban people named Tyler and Austin from stadium on May 5 and 6 as part of promotion

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The Pawtucket Red Sox, obviously the Triple-A affiliate of the Red Sox, have come up with an interesting promotion for the weekend of May 5 and 6, when they host the Yankees’ Triple-A team from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

This, of course, references last week’s benches-clearing fracas between the Red Sox and Yankees that involved Joe Kelly and Tyler Austin. Kelly slid hard into second base, which upset Brock Holt. The benches emptied as the two jawed at each other, but no punches were thrown. Later in the game, Kelly threw at Austin and the benches emptied again. Punches were thrown this time and both players were given suspensions.

The major league Red Sox visit the Yankees May 8-10. As far as we’re aware, people named Joe or Kelly are allowed to attend.