Carp makes the most of rare start

Carp makes the most of rare start
May 25, 2013, 1:00 am
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BOSTON – At-bats have been hard to come by for Mike Carp this season – as he knew they would be. He’s appeared in 24 games, just under half the Red Sox’ games this season, getting 49 at-bats. Compare that to Jacoby Ellsbury, who leads the team with 205.
 
“I knew my role coming in,” he said. “I knew it was going to be a bench role and that at-bats are going to be scarce. But got to be ready for whenever I do get an opportunity.”
 
But with the Sox adding two players – including outfielder Shane Victorino – to the disabled list on Friday, Carp could be seeing more playing time.
 
So, he has tried to make the most of his at-bats when he can. It’s been a struggle lately. He was on an 0-for-21 slide coming into Friday’s game against the Indians, facing right-hander Justin Masterson.
 
Carp got an opportunity early. With one out in the second inning, David Ortiz on second, and Mike Napoli on first, Carp took a 1-and-1 slider from Masterson and blasted into the bleachers behind the Sox bullpen, giving his team a 3-0 lead and all the runs they would need.
 
“I knew off the bat I got it,” he said. “It was just a pitch up in the zone. I wanted to drive Ortiz in and I ended up getting three on the board.
 
“It definitely means a lot. I’ve been struggling for playing time and to have a big at-bat like that, it builds confidence heading into the next couple days.”
 
Carp is now batting .286, going 14-for-49, with a .653 slugging percentage, and .340 on-base percentage. Although, the home run was his first hit since a second-inning single on May 2 at Toronto, 10 of his 14 hits have been for extra bases, with three of the last four as home runs.
 
The home run was his third of the season (matching the total for Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia, who have a combined 397 at-bats between them), and his first at Fenway as a member of the Red Sox.
 
Carp is now 4-for-9 in two career games against Masterson – all this season – with a home run, a triple, two doubles, and four RBI.
 
“He dominated me in the minor leagues when he was with [the Red Sox],” Carp said. “I’ve had my fair share of not success against him and got a few at-bats, definitely builds confidence next time I face him.”
 
"Obviously he sees Masterson pretty well given the two starts he's had against him,” manager John Farrell said. “Some good swings in Cleveland earlier in April and then tonight with the three-run homer gives us a little bit of breathing room.”
 
Carp has yet to hit just a single against Masterson.
 
“No, he got me the last time, though [on an infield groundout in the fifth],” Carp said. “So I definitely got to start something next time.”