Cherington shoots down rifts between Red Sox, Valentine

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Cherington shoots down rifts between Red Sox, Valentine

BOSTON -- Red Sox executive vice president and general manager Ben Cherington appeared on SiriusXM's "Inside Pitch" on Tuesday, and shot down rumors that players were going to his office to complain about manager Bobby Valentine.

"Not a single player has come to my office," said Cherington. "That's the truth. I'm sitting in my office right now. Not a single player has come into it this year. I talk to players from time to time. Bobby obviously talks to players. If I talk to a player, almost all the time, it's in the clubhouse, and it's in plain view of everyone else who's in the clubhouse. There's no cloak and dagger going on here.

"We've always had an open-door policy here," added Cherington. "When Theo and Tito were here, the players knew that if they wanted to talk about something, they could go and talk about it. When it comes to baseball-specific things, like the things that go on in the clubhouse or when it comes to lineups and roles and how guys are being used on the field, that's the domain of the manager. And players, if they have an issue, need to go into the manager's office and talk about it.

"We had a change this winter. And the biggest change was the manager. And it's on all of us -- starting with Bobby -- but on all of us to make that change work. And he's working to make that change work. And the players are working to make that change work. And if I can help along the way, somehow, help each other help everyone understand what's going on, I'll try to do that. But this notion that players are walking into my office, complaining about things is just not accurate."

Cherington was then asked about the relationship between Dustin Pedroia and Valentine, but said he didn't feel comfortable going into specifics.

"I don't think it's my place to speculate on that relationship," said Cherington. "I know I've talked to both. I know that Bobby has an incredible amount of respect for Dustin, as a player, the way he plays the game, what he means to the clubhouse. I know that Dustin just wants to play and win games. Anything beyond that, any conversation that needs to happen beyond that, will happen.

"Look, every year, this happened when Tito was the manager here. This happened prior to Tito being here. You just don't get through a year without a player needing to go into the manager's office or go to someone and vent some frustration, especially in a place like Boston. That has happened. That will continue to happen. We know how much Pedroia means to this team, on the field and off the field. He's going to be here for a long time. And I know Bobby knows how much he means to this team.

"So, we're focused on winning games, and like I said, anything that happens behind closed doors, in a perfect world, would stay behind closed doors. In Boston, sometimes, things are talked about more than in other places. And it's our job just to get guys focused back on their jobs."

First impressions of Red Sox’ 2-1 loss to Rays

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First impressions of Red Sox’ 2-1 loss to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- First Impressions from the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field:

 

* When the guy who was 0-for-34 produces the go-ahead RBI, it's probably not your day.

The Red Sox and Rays were tied 1-1 in the seventh when Steven Souza Jr. singled to lead off the inning. That brought Mikie Mahtook, hitless in his last 34 at-bats to the plate.

Naturally, Mahtook roped a line-drive double to left field, scoring Souza all the way from first base. It was that kind of day for the Red Sox, who were 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position and stranded five baserunners.

For a team that still leads the majors in runs scored, the Red Sox have shown an uncanny ability to go cold at the plate.

On Thursday afternoon, that happened again, while the most unlikely hero for Tampa Bay came through in an improbable spot.

 

* The Red Sox' struggles with the bases loaded is almost comical.

It happened again.

In the sixth inning, the Red Sox loaded the bases with no out. Mookie Betts then hit a sacrifice fly to left, scoring one run. Hanley Ramirez then walked, re-loading the bases, this time with one out.

But Jackie Bradley Jr. then swung at the first pitch and hit into an inning-ending, rally-killing 4-6-3 double play.

In two plate appearances with the bases loaded, the Sox failed to get a hit.

The Sox are hitting .216 with the bases loaded (24-for-111), ranking them 14th in the American League. Only Seattle and Detroit have had more bases-loaded opportunities, and yet the Red Sox rank in the second half in runs scored in such situations.

 

* Drew Pomeranz is showing no signs of innings fatigue

True, Pomeranz failed to provide a shutdown inning in the sixth after the Red Sox had gotten him a run in the top of the inning.

Still, Pomeranz pitched into the seventh and allowed just two runs while striking out a season-high 11 batters.

In his past five starts, he's compiled a 2.37 ERA, and both the power to his fastball and the sharpness to his curve offer no evidence that he's hit any sort of wall despite already establishing a career high at the major league level with five weeks remaining in the season.

     

 

 

Thursday’s Red Sox-Rays lineups: Benintendi (DL), Ortiz (day off) out

Thursday’s Red Sox-Rays lineups: Benintendi (DL), Ortiz (day off) out

David Ortiz and Andrew Benintendi are of of the lineup as the Red Sox close out their four-game series, and 11-game road trip, with a matinee (1:10 p.m.) against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.

Benintendi was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday. He sustained a sprained knee while running the bases in the seventh inning of an eventual 11-inning loss to the Rays on Wednesday night. He had MRI Thursday morning and the Red Sox medical staff will review the results when the team returns to Boston. 

It’s a day off for Ortiz, who will be replaced at DH by Hanley Ramirez, who had the night off Wednesday. Travis Shaw starts at first base.

With Benintendi out, Chris Young, who came off the DL on Monday, will start in left field. Left-hander Drew Pomeranz (10-9, 2.95 ERA) is on the mound for the Red Sox, who are trying to take three of four from the Rays to finish the trip 8-3. Right-hander Jake Odorizzi (8-5, 3.63) starts for the Rays. 

RED SOX

Dustin Pedroia 2B

Xander Bogaerts SS

Mookie Betts RF

Hanley Ramirez DH

Jackie Bradley Jr. CF

Chris Young LF

Aaron Hill 3B

Travis Shaw 1B

Bryan Holaday C

Drew Pomeranz LHP

 

RAYS

Logan Forsythe 2B

Kevin Kiermaier CF

Evan Longoria 3B

Brad Miller 1B

Matt Duffy SS

Logan Morrison DH

Scott Souza RF

Mike Mahtook LF

Luke Maile C

Jake Odorizzi RHP