No more Mr. Nice Guy for Green

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No more Mr. Nice Guy for Green

MILWAUKEE After Boston's 96-92 win over Milwaukee, Jeff Green sat in his locker stall, sharing a few laughs with teammate Courtney Lee.

There he was, the seemingly always-jovial Jeff Green.

It was in a sense a Jekyll-and-Hyde moment because the happy-go-lucky Jeff Green in the locker room was an absolute monster on the floor just a few minutes prior to that for Boston.

And nobody seemed to relish this fiesty, bad-boy side of Green more than Kevin Garnett.

"Jeff's a really, really nice guy," Garnett said. "Some nights, you just gotta be an asshole."

And the turning point for Green seemed to be an attempted dunk early in the fourth quarter in which he was fouled on the play.

"After the dunk he was aggressive; he was greedy Jeff," said a visibly excited Garnett.

Not only was the 12 points scored by Green a season-high, but it came on a night in which he played with the greatest amount of aggression we've seen from him this season.

Green said his strong play was fueled in large part by the Celtics defense getting multiple stops which allowed the C's to get out in transition.

"I just have to stay aggressive," Green said. "As long as I'm aggressive, that's all that matters. I'm not going to get every call, I'm not going to make every shot. But as long as I stay aggressive, I'll be good."

Green's strong performance on Saturday served as both a reminder of his immense potential in addition to the fact that he's still working his way back into shape - both physically and mentally - after a long layoff.

"I think we forget Jeff sat out a whole year last year," said C's coach Doc Rivers. "And just because he played well in the preseason, it's going to take him time, it's going to take him time to get comfortable."

But the Green on display Saturday was indeed a welcomed sight for Rivers.

"When he plays like that," Rivers said. "We're a better team. He made defensive plays, he got rebounds, committed some hard fouls ... a lot of good things."

And although Green has maintained his confidence has been unaffected by his struggles leading up to Saturday, teammates and coaches are quick to point out how a performance like Saturday's can do nothing but help him going forward.

"That's just what he needed to get his confidence," said Paul Pierce. "Sometimes when a player is struggling a bit, he just needs to see a couple baskets go in the hole, couple guys high-five him, encourage him; that can get you going sometimes."

Quotes, notes and stars: Buchholz in 'attack mode'

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Quotes, notes and stars: Buchholz in 'attack mode'

CHICAGO -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 5-2 win over the White Sox:

 

QUOTES

"I think the most encouraging thing was after a couple of hard-hit balls early on, he was still in attack mode.'' - John Farrell on Clay Buchholz.

"The biggest thing centers around his fastball. First inning, he might have been up a little bit. But after that, he was down in the zone and the curveball was a good compliment to that.'' - Farrell.

"Man, I tell you what -- he does it in such big moments.'' - Farrell on David Ortiz.

"If you could paint a picture, I think tonight would be just about what everybody would want to do.'' - Buchholz on his outing.

"I think everybody would be lying if they said they didn't see your numbers; you see them every day. (Being) 0-3 with a six-something (ERA) is obviously not where you want to be.'' - Buchholz.

"Hopefully, this is the start of something good coming out of him.'' - Ortiz on Buchholz.

"You feel like the luckiest man on planet earth - finally hitting the ball where no one's at!'' - Ortiz on beating the shift with a single through the shortstop hole in the seventh

 

NOTES

* When the Red Sox homer, they're 11-6.

* Clay Buchholz's win was his first since last July 10.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

* Mookie Betts has scored at least one run in 10 of his last 14 games.

* David Ortiz is now one homer from tying Carl Yastrzemski for second-most homers in franchise history at 452.

* Ortiz tied Gary Sheffield for 25th place all-time in homers with 509.

 

STARS

1) Clay Buchholz

After five straight poor outings, Buchholz turned in a gem, giving up two runs in the first, then nothing else for the next six innings.

2) David Ortiz

As he so often does, Ortiz delivered when the Red Sox needed him most, clocking a two-run homer in the fifth to turn a one-run deficit into a two-run lead.

3) Jose Abreu

The White Sox slugger belted a two-run homer in the first to give him five RBI in the two games in this series.

 

First impressions: Buchholz 'passes test' in 5-2 win over White Sox

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First impressions: Buchholz 'passes test' in 5-2 win over White Sox

CHICAGO - First impressions from the Red Sox' 5-2 win over the White Sox.

If this was some sort of must-win proposition for Clay Buchholz, he passed his test.

Buchholz found himself behind 2-0 just three batters in when he allowed a two-run homer to Jose Abreu, but he righted himself nicely after that.

Buchholz pitched seven innings and didn't allow another run. In fact, Buchholz only yielded two more hits after the first - both singles.

John Farrell said he wanted to see Buchholz attack the strike zone with his fastball, pitch with a quicker tempo and not rely so much on his secondary stuff. To varying degrees, Buchholz accomplished all three and finished strong - retiring the last 10 hitters in a row and 16 of the last 17.

 

Josh Rutledge had a nice night off the bench.

Rutledge was a last-minute addition to the lineup when Hanley Ramirez was scratched with the flu and Travis Shaw was shifted from third base to first base.

Rutledge reached base three times with two singles and a walk. One of the singles drove in the fourth run, scoring Chris Young with an important insurance run.

 

David Ortiz broke out of his U.S. Cellular slump in a big way.

Coming into the game, Ortiz was hitless here in his last 19 at-bats and when he hit into a double play in the first and flied to center in the third, that stretched to 0-for-21. Since the start of 2014, those first two at-bats made Ortiz 1-for-26.

But in the fifth, Ortiz hammered a pitch from Carlos Rodon into the seats in right for a two-run homer, giving the Red Sox their first lead of the series.

For all the talk about Ortiz's difficulty hitting lefties, he's now third among lefty batters in homers off lefthanded pitchers since last July 2.

 

The home run power continues to be in short supply beyond Ortiz.

Last season, the Red Sox didn't have anyone hit 20 homers other than the (then) 39-year-old Ortiz.

Might the same thing happen again this year?

Ortiz hit his sixth homer last night, again leading the club. Mookie Betts is the only other hitter on the Sox with more than three homers -- and he hasn't hit one in his last 58 at-bats, dating back a week and a half.