BOSTON — When the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl, it guaranteed a double celebration at Fenway Park.

After the Red Sox were finished honoring past world championships and handing out 2018 World Series rings, it was time for the Patriots.

About two dozen Patriots emerged from behind the banners draping the Green Monster, carrying their six Vince Lombardi trophies. Neither head coach Bill Belichick nor quarterback Tom Brady were among them.

After lining the trophies behind the mound, cornerback Stephon Gilmore, receiver Julian Edelman and retired tight end Rob Gronkowski stepped up to throw out ceremonial first pitches.

Gilmore threw his pitch to Jackie Bradley Jr. The two attended the University of South Carolina at the same time.

ACCEPTING THE AWARD FOR …: Not every player due a World Series ring was at Fenway Park. Among the absent were four guys who were in Buffalo playing for the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox – Sandy Leon, Bobby Poyner, Sam Travis and Tony Renda.

Renda is an example of fortunate timing. Cut by Arizona last spring, he signed with Boston as a minor league free agent last April 30 and was assigned to Portland. Eventually promoted to Triple-A, Renda got a major league call-up Aug. 4 and was a pinch-runner on Aug. 5, scoring the winning run in extra innings. He did not get into another game and was sent down to Pawtucket on Aug. 8.

Infielder Tzu-Wei Lin was optioned to Pawtucket on Tuesday to make room for Dustin Pedroia but got to hang around to collect his ring.

Six absent players are with different organizations – Joe Kelly (Dodgers), Ian Kinsler (Angels), Drew Pomeranz (Giants), Hanley Ramirez (Indians), Jalen Beeks (Rays) and Robby Scott (Diamondbacks, in Triple-A). Dan Butler retired and is Arizona’s bullpen coach. Justin Haley and William Cuevas are pitching in Korea.

Craig Kimbrel is still a free agent. Kimbrel, according to the Red Sox, was invited to the ring ceremony but declined (free agent Brandon Phillips did attend).

PRIDE OF PUERTO RICO: Tuesday marked the first time two major league managers from Puerto Rico opposed each other. Alex Cora is in his second year with the Red Sox. Charlie Montoyo took over the Blue Jays this season.

“I’m very proud of Charlie. His path to the majors was a lot different than mine,” Cora said.

Montoya played 10 years in the minors (with four major league at-bats) and managed in the minors for two more decades. Cora had a 14-year major league career and never coached in the minors.

Cora appreciated the historic meeting.

“At one point, before I got hired, we had no Puerto Rican managers,” he said. “All of a sudden we have three out of 30.”

Nationals Manager Dave Martinez, a native of New York, was born to Puerto Rican parents.

BRIAN JOHNSON received good news when his sore left elbow was examined: He will not need surgery. He went on the injured list Sunday because of inflammation, and the Red Sox braced for the worst.

“At one point, we thought it was the end of his season, and that’s not the case,” said Cora, who added that the medical staff will devise a plan to deal with the inflammation “and we’ll go from there.”

FORMER SEA DOGS and Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz is coming to Fenway, but not to pitch yet. Buchholz, 34, is joining the Blue Jays rotation and is scheduled to start Saturday against the Rays. Buchholz signed as a free agent with the Jays before the season. He has been on the injured list because of a strained elbow. … The strangest play on Tuesday came when Marcus Walden struck out Alen Hanson on a ball in the dirt. The ball bounced off the catcher’s shin guard to Walden, who tagged Hanson out.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-7411 or:

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Twitter: ClearTheBases


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