Breslow 'more confident' this time around

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Breslow 'more confident' this time around

BOSTON The last time Craig Breslow wore a Red Sox uniform he was a 25-year-old lefty attempting to establish himself as a big league ballplayer.
He shuttled back-and-forth from Boston to Pawtucket during the 2006 season and put up a respectable 3.75 ERA in 13 games spanning 12 innings for Boston.
Breslow stayed with the Red Sox organization through the 2007 season and then was waived by both the Sox and the Cleveland Indians within a week during the final week of March in 2008.
Fast forward six years and stints with the Minnesota Twins, Oakland As and Arizona Diamondbacks: Breslow is returning to Boston as an established reliever that has appeared in 60 plus games in each of the last three seasons. In 2010, Breslow appeared in 75 games for the As and actually racked up five saves for Oakland. The lefty wont be dropped into that role in Boston, obviously.
But Breslows place in the bullpen might just allow the Red Sox to move hard-throwing lefty Franklin Morales back into the starting rotation that looked like a natural fit for him.
Its exciting for me. I appreciate the time that I was away, but this is home for me. I want to help the guys. The last time I was here filling in while I was shuffling back and forth between Triple-A. Now Im more confident, more seasoned and more better-prepared for the situations I might find, said Breslow. Hopefully I can contribute as another left-hander out of the bullpen. I can do matchups or pitch multiple innings at a time.
Ive always fought the notion that Im strictly a left-on-left guy and my splits have always been pretty even in my career. If its eating innings or matching up, I feel like I can do both of those.
This season Breslow is actually holding right-handed hitters to a .226 batting average and lefties to a .243 batting average in a similar number of at bats against him.
More importantly hes aware of the constant pressure and potential reward that comes along with wearing the home whites at Fenway. Thats a must for a reliever that can sometimes live and die with that nights results.
For better or for worse this is Boston. Growing up in Connecticut this is a team that Im very familiar with and at times you can be scrutinized, said Breslow. But I dont think theres a better place to be successful.
The 31-year-old also cost the Sox two major league-caliber players in Scott Podsednik and Matt Albers during a July 31 trade deadline deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Breslow made it to Fenway Park prior to game time after flying all the way in from Los Angeles, and actually pitched 1 13 of scoreless relief while striking out a pair of hitters. It didnt ultimately lead to a winning end product for the Sox as they ended a four-game winning streak in a 7-5 loss to the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park.
But theres no mistaking that Breslow can help, and who better to do that than a New England native from Trumbull, Connecticut.
He looked good. Everything was moving. Ive faced him a couple of times, but not enough to know a lot about him, said Jarrod Saltalamacchia. He has really good stuff; a sinker-in to lefties and a changeup as well and a cutter. Everything is working and it was fun to catch that.
In a sign of the times only Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Josh Beckett and Jon Lester remain from that 2006 Sox team that Breslow made his Boston debut with.
Its an almost entirely different group of players in the Sox clubhouse and an altogether different Breslow looking to make it work a second time around.

Quotes, notes and stars: Barnes takes the blame in loss

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Quotes, notes and stars: Barnes takes the blame in loss

BOSTON -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 10-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals:

QUOTES

“That one’s one me. I’ve got to do a better job of securing that lead and getting out of that inning.” - Matt Barnes on giving up the lead.

“When he tries to go down and away to right-handers, the ball’s leaking back to the middle a bit. That was the case against [Lorenzo] Cain [and Raul] Mondesi in this case tonight. It’s on the plate first pitch, bases loaded he’s trying to get a strike to get ahead. But in general, Barnes has pitched to the edge at times and missed, and then when he’s on the plate it’s probably found the middle of the plate a bit too much.” - John Farrell on Barnes’ outing.

“I think everybody in that bullpen believes in every single person down there.” - Barnes said on the bullpen.

“It was good, everything was good . . . Just the fastball command was a little out of control.” - Eduardo Rodriguez on his left hamstring and his performance.

 

NOTES

* David Ortiz launched his 31st home run of the season, which also marked the 534th of his career, tying Jimmie Foxx for 18th on the all-time home run chart.

* Mookie Betts recorded his Major League-leading 56th multi-hit game of the season.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. finished 1-for-2, bumping his average to .317 (77-for-243) at Fenway this season.

* The Red Sox grounded into four double plays, tying their season high on 6/12 against Minnesota.

* Matt Barnes’ ERA jumped from 3.68 before Sunday’s game to 4.45 after giving up 5 runs without recording an out.

 

STARS

1) Raul Mondesi

Mondesi’s bases-clearing triple in the sixth opened the floodgates and gave Kansas City the lead they would continue to build off.

2) Matt Strahm

 Strahm relieved Yordano Ventura after his short 4 and 1/3-inning outing. He held the Red Sox scoreless through 2.2 innings to earn his second win of the season.

3) Salvador Perez

Perez launched his sixth home run in his last eight games against Boston. He became the Royal to homer in three-straight games at Fenway since Billy Butler did in 2011.

First impressions: Red Sox implode in 6th inning, lose to Royals, 10-4

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First impressions: Red Sox implode in 6th inning, lose to Royals, 10-4

BOSTON -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 10-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals:

 

Boston’s bullpen continues to be a roll of the dice every night.

This time Matt Barnes was the latest reliever to suffer from the plague that’s filled this bullpen all season.

Part of it was bad luck on two perfectly placed balls, the other part was Raul Mondesi lacing a triple, and Lorenzo Cain smacking a single.

Robbie Ross was better, but not by much.

No lead seems safe in the hands of any Boston reliever.

 

David Ortiz keeps putting himself in the same breath as legendary Hall of Famers.

This time it was former Red Sox great Jimmie Foxx, who Ortiz is now tied with at 534 home runs, 18th all time.

Early in the season he’d match a legendary player every so often, it was impressive. Now it’s almost to be expected every night he plays.

Next on the all-time home run list is Yankee Legend Mickey Mantle with 536.

 

The bottom of the order continues to play an important role in Boston’s run production.

Chris Young got things started in the fifth, then Sandy Leon and Jackie Bradley Jr. kept it rolling so both Brock Holt and Xander Bogaerts could cash in all three runners.

Moving JBJ back to ninth Saturday proved to be a good move, and moving Leon back down with his recent scuffles seems to be the best move, too.

Not only can they knock each other in any given instance, but they also put Dustin Pedroia (or Holt) and Bogaerts in run-producing situations, as opposed to just setting the table.

 

Chris Young’s hamstring shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

He was able to leg out the soft grounder to third base in the first inning.

Young has lost a step or two with age, but it seemed like he opened it up on the play.

Hopefully that’s a sign of the end of the injuries in left field this season.

 

Junichi Tazawa looked strong.

That’s more so an observation of his fastball reaching 94 mph.

Tazawa has a long way to go before he’s back to where he was, but the righty took a step in the right direction Sunday night. He retired Kansas City’s 2-3-4 hitters in his first inning and working past a leadoff single in his second inning of work.