Daisuke douses Red Sox chances

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Daisuke douses Red Sox chances

BOSTON -- Daisuke Matsuzaka's first start back from the disabled list was rock solid. His next two haven't been quite as good.

Matsuzaka picked up his second straight loss on Saturday night at a rainy Fenway Park. He went only an inning-and-a-third, while allowing five runs on five hits, a walk, and a home run.

And after the Red Sox' 9-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, manager Bobby Valentine expressed his frustration with the starting rotation not even giving them a shot.

"It's tiring," said Valentine after the loss. "Guys are tired of playing from behind, I'll guarantee you that. The bullpen's tired just eating up innings. It's tough."

Matsuzaka was just another one of Boston's starters that spotted the other team points, on Saturday night.

And all the damage took place in the second inning, beginning with a Yunel Escobar solo shot into the Monster seats on the first pitch of the inning. Then, Matsuzaka allowed a Kelly Johnson single, he hit J.P. Arencibia with a pitch, and allowed an Adeiny Hechavarria RBI double that took a high hop over the head of Red Sox third baseman Pedro Ciriaco, giving the Blue Jays an early 2-0 lead with no outs in the second inning.

The mound visit that ensued didn't matter much. Because Matsuzaka allowed a two-run single up the middle by Anthony Gose that scored two more runs in the very next at-bat.

Gose then stole second, and advanced to third on a Ryan Lavarnway throw that found its way into left field after hitting a diving Gose.

Gose then made it 5-0 by scoring on a Rajai Davis RBI sacrifice fly. Colby Rasmus' single in the next at-bat ended Matsuzaka's night.

"He had a good first inning, and the first pitch of the second inning goes over the fence," said Valentine. "After that, he made decent pitches. The changeup and the base-hit up the middle by Lind, that's a pretty good pitch. And the high-hopper over the third baseman, if they weren't expecting so much rain, it probably would have been softer in front of the play. If, if, if. But, he didn't pitch well enough."

Afterwards, Matsuzaka was left searching for answers.

"It's really disappointing that I haven't been able to be there for the team and help out the team the past two games," said Matsuzaka. "It's really stressful, and it's really stressful that I haven't been able to be consistent, whenever I go out there. It's been a struggle every day in between starts.

"My main focus out there is to focus on the batters and do what I need to do, but there's something that I just can't figure out and just can't get right, which has been the hardest part. It's just been a struggle, trying to put my fingers on that."

He also said that it has nothing to do with his impending free agency.

"Honestly, I don't know whether I'll be wearing this Red Sox uniform next year, but, as I've said before, it's an honor to be able to wear this Red Sox uniform," said Matsuzaka. "But it hasn't been an added stress for me."

Pedro Martinez to WEEI: Ortiz will make comeback this season

Pedro Martinez to WEEI: Ortiz will make comeback this season

Never say never?

While Red Sox officials said at the team's annual Winter Weekend at Foxwoods on Saturday that they'd be traveling to the Dominican Republic to talk to David Ortiz about a role with the team, Pedro Martinez told WEEI he sees Big Papi returning to his old role - designated hitter - this season.

CSN's Trenni Kusnierek and WEEI's John Tomase talked to Martinez on their show Saturday at Foxwoods and Martinez said his old teammate would be making a comeback despite the long, emotional farewell tour last season. 

For the full interview with Martinez, click here.

Red Sox executives Tom Werner, Sam Kennedy and Dave Dombrowski made no mention of Ortiz returning as a player when talking about their Dominican trip. Ortiz has repeatedly said he is going to stay retired. 

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- While there’s a deal of anticipation going into Spring training with the four Killer B’s, David Price and Pablo Sandoval’s shot at redemption and Rick Porcello looking to be something similar to his 2016 self, there’s one name that trumps them all.

Chris Sale.

The lankly lefty received an ovation from fans at the Friday night Town Hall, kicking off Red Sox Winter Weekend. With his consistent success, there’s reason to be excited.

But there’s also reason for apprehension given the way Sale’s departure from Chicago was depicted. But he’s made sure to clear the air.

“I wouldn’t say . . . ya know . . . I loved my time in Chicago,” Sale said when asked if it was time to leave the Windy City. “My best baseball memories are there [and] will be there forever. I love the city; I love the people in the organization.

“It was time for both sides to do something different, I guess. I talked to (White Sox Senior V.P.) Rick on the phone, I talked to (White Sox pitching coach Don) Coop (Cooper). We’re all cool, it’s fine. We understand where both of us are, it happens in baseball, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Chicago.”

He didn’t seem irritated discussing the issue, and certainly wasn’t timid -- we all know that’s not in his DNA.

He genuinely seems excited to deal with the large sum of Sox fans and to call a new place home -- in a city his wife’s fond of no less.

But ultimately, he’s focused on winning, nothing else.

“Every time I’m out there it’s gonna be all I got,” Sale said. "Every time, no matter what. Can promise you that.”