Belichick talks resiliency and ball security

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Belichick talks resiliency and ball security

FOXBORO - Resiliency has been a hallmark of the Patriots' most successful teams.

Hell, even ones that weren't as successful - like the 2006 edition that lost in the AFC Championship - were remarkable in their ability to soldier on regardless of injury, shortcoming or game situation.

Funny thing is, resiliency often shows up most often in people who've gone through stuff. It builds up, like scar tissue. And maybe, just maybe, that's why the 2011 Patriots actually play better when their most desperate and lightly-regarded players are on the field. A) They don't play like they know it all. B) They have something to prove.

"I think its something you can always work on," said Bill Belichick. "Theres probably always room for improvement. Ive seen countless players, probably pretty much most all players, improve over the course of their careers. You just deal with different things and the more you deal with them, the more you learn to, hopefully, dont worry about what you cant control and focus on what you can do something about and when things arent going well, still be able to perform well; thats what mental toughness is."

A few other items from Belichick's Monday press conference:

Asked"what went into" Taylor Price's continued inactivity while Tiquan Underwood played at wideout, Belichick said, "What went into it was Tiquan played more than Taylor did."

Belichick indicated that Underwood's drop wasn't really as egregious as it appeared, saying, "It would have been a tough play. It could have been a little better executed all the way around. I thought he ran a good route. The ball was a little inside. He couldnt quite get it. Maybe he could have had it; I dont know. Could have been thrown better, probably could have been caught, but well keep working on it and hopefully get it the next time."

Asked about Tom Brady and ball security in the pocket, Belichick explained the improvement he's made. It is amazing. Brady had 36 regular-season fumbles in his first three seasons at quarterback. Belichick alluded to a 14-fumble season. It must have just felt that way. Brady had 12, 11 and 13 fumbles in his first three years.

"He works hard at it," said Belichick. "We do drills on it all the time. Its an awareness thing. Its breaking habits of quarterbacks in the pocket, taking a hand off the ball or dropping the ball or moving around and not keeping it right in the most protected position and still having it loaded and ready to throw."

Rodriguez continues strong stretch as Red Sox blank Seattle, 3-0

Rodriguez continues strong stretch as Red Sox blank Seattle, 3-0

BOSTON -- The Red Sox scored runs in bunches in tallying four consecutive victories. They leaned on pitching and defense to earn their latest.

Eduardo Rodriguez pitched six scoreless innings and the Red Sox took advantage of a sloppy performance by the Seattle Mariners for their season-high fifth straight win, 3-0 on Friday night.

It was the third win in a row for Rodriguez (4-1), who gave up just five hits and struck out four while throwing a season-high 112 pitches. Craig Kimbrel earned his 13th save.

"I just go out there and pitch," Rodriguez said. "I'm never really thinking about numbers. I just go out there and throw my pitches and do the best I can do."

That effort is producing one of the best stretches of his three-year career.

Rodriguez has pitched at least six innings in his last seven starts, going 4-0 in that span. He hasn't allowed a run in 10 innings and only 11 runs in his last 49 1/3 innings. His ERA is just 2.01 over that same period.

"He was amazing," Jackie Bradley Jr. said. "Put zeroes on the board all night long. And he made the big pitch when he needed to."

The only run support Rodriguez needed came in the second inning, when Hanley Ramirez scored on Josh Rutledge's RBI groundout. Boston added two more runs in the sixth, scoring on a wild pitch and passed ball.

Manager John Farrell said his 24-year-old pitcher is in a "very good place" right now.

"He was powerful tonight," he said. "It's just a matter of his abilities coming together. This has always been an extremely talented young guy. We've talked about his maturity, we've talked about his progression. It's been on display here for a good number of starts consecutively."

Yovani Gallardo (2-5) took the loss. He lasted 5 1/3 innings, gave up seven hits and was responsible for all three of Boston's runs.

"The whole night obviously wasn't consistent," he said.

Seattle has won just one of its last seven.

Meanwhile, Boston gave Rodriguez got lots of help defensively. Bradley had a pair of nice plays, getting an outfield assist in the second and running down another ball on the warning track in the sixth.

In addition to the pitching miscues, the Mariners had all kinds of issues in the wet conditions, committing two fielding errors.

The Red Sox left 11 runners on base, leaving the door open for the Mariners to get back in the game. But Seattle couldn't capitalize, going 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. The Mariners also left seven runners stranded.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: LHP James Paxton (strained left forearm) was slated to make a rehab start Friday night in Double-A Arkansas. He has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 5. He could be activated for a start at the end of the month against Colorado.

Red Sox: Infielder Marco Hernandez will be out the remainder of the season after undergoing stabilization surgery on his left shoulder on Friday. Hernandez was placed on the disabled list May 4 with a left shoulder misalignment. The 24-year-old hit .276 with two RBIs in 21 games. ... A night after he left the game with left knee pain, 2B Dustin Pedroia was held out Friday for what Farrell said was "precautionary reasons" because of the wet playing surface.

MISSING: OFFENSE

Mariners manager Scott Servais said they are doing everything they can to find production from an offense that has gone missing.

"Offensively, we struggled to put innings together. That's kind of been the story here for the last week or so, we just haven't gotten the line moving at all, for whatever reason," he said. "Guys are frustrated by it, we all are. We know we're better than that, offensively. It's not happening right now."

Seattle was held scoreless for the fourth time this season.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Rob Whalen (0-2, 4.09 ERA in Triple-A Tacoma) will be making his first major league start since last season with Atlanta. He will be 12th different starting pitcher the Mariners have used this season.

Red Sox: LHP Brian Johnson (1-0, 7.20 ERA) will be making his second major league start this year and third of his career.