Morning Sports Update

Red Sox reportedly among teams to make contact with free agent pitcher Kodai Senga

The Red Sox and Yankees could end up competing to sign Senga along with a few other teams.

Kodai Senga
Japan's Koudai Senga pitching during the sixth inning of the gold medal baseball game against the United States at the 2020 Summer Olympics. AP Photo/Matt Slocum

The Bruins defeated the Lightning 5-3 on Monday, taking the team’s record to 17-2-0 on the season. Boston will face the Panthers in Florida on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Also on Monday, the Celtics saw a nine-game winning streak end in a 121-107 defeat to the Bulls.

In international news, the United States drew 1-1 against Wales in each team’s group stage opener of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Tim Weah scored for the U.S., while LAFC forward Gareth Bale’s penalty kick leveled the game in the second half.

The US will play England on Friday (2 p.m. ET) in the next group stage game.

The Red Sox and Kodai Senga: Of the many offseason priorities for the Red Sox, fixing the team’s starting rotation is high on the list. Boston ranked near the bottom of the league (4.53) in team ERA in 2022.

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One notable possibility is 29-year-old Kodai Senga, a Japanese free agent. Senga, a right-hander who throws in the mid to upper 90s and also possesses a curveball and forkball (arguably his best pitch), went 11-6 with a 1.89 ERA in 2022 as a member of the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in the Nippon Professional League. He notched 159 strikeouts in 148 innings.

On Monday, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported that both the Red Sox and Yankees have “made contact” with representatives of Senga.

Senga, Morosi noted, “is not attached to posting fees or draft pick compensation, which has broadened his marketplace.”

Senga is among several starting pitchers the Red Sox have reportedly shown interest in amid what could be a busy offseason.

Trivia: Patrice Bergeron notched his 1,000th career point on Monday. Can you name the other three Bruins in team history to achieve the feat?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: Bobby Orr is not one of the answers.

More from Boston.com:

David Pastrnak stared down a fan who gave him the finger: After scoring to put the Bruins up 5-1 against the Lightning on Monday, Pastrnak celebrated his goal but was face to face with a Tampa Bay fan making a gesture. Pastrnak held his stare as the fan lowered his hand.

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“That was pretty funny,” Pastrnak said after the game to Boston Hockey Now’s Joe Haggerty. “You could tell he felt bad about it because he pulled it right back down pretty quick.”

On this day: It’s officially 10 years since the iconic “butt fumble,” when Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez ran into his own lineman, fumbled the ball, and the Patriots scored thanks to Steve Gregory’s 32-yard return.

It was instantly seized upon as a stunningly, memorably poor play from the Jets. The moment not only went viral, but remained number one on ESPN’s “Not Top 10” for 40 straight weeks, eventually having to be retired at the start of the following NFL season.

To make matters worse for New York — a seemingly impossible task after Sanchez’s fumble — the Jets fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Julian Edelman grabbed it out of midair before running it back for another touchdown. In the span of less than 10 seconds, the Patriots had scored two fumble return touchdowns to double the lead to 28-0.

A 56-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Edelman later in the quarter capped a remarkable 35-point second quarter en route to a 49-19 Thanksgiving Day rout.

Daily highlight: In a stunning upset earlier on Tuesday, Saudi Arabia upset Argentina 2-1 in the World Cup. Salem Al-Dawsari scored the deciding goal on a nicely placed shot to the far post.

Trivia answer: Ray Bourque (1,506), Johnny Bucyk (1,339) and Phil Esposito (1,012)

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