Drew records two hits, steal in his return

Drew records two hits, steal in his return
June 15, 2014, 7:45 pm
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BOSTON -- Stephen Drew hadn't seen live pitching in a week, but his timing on Sunday was better than it had been since he re-signed with the Red Sox in late May.

Playing shortstop and batting eighth, Drew went 2-for-4 for his first multi-hit game of the season. He also stole a base.

In the second inning he lined a single sharply to right field off of Cleveland starter Corey Kluber. In the seventh, Drew slapped a Marc Rzepcynski pitch to left field for another single.

After four games with the Red Sox heading into Father's Day, Drew had been 1-for-14 with two walks and five strikeouts.

"I think I'm fine so far, I really do," Drew said. "Just getting these games going and getting my feet under me. I'm already comfortable. I think the more games I play, I'll be even more comfortable."

Both Drew and Red Sox manager John Farrell said that Drew finished the day without tweaking the oblique injury that had forced him out of the lineup since June 8.

"Physically he came out of today fine," Farrell said. "He gets a ball to the pull side for a base hit, stays on a fastball away from a lefthander for a base hit. You see some consistent timing coming in as he gets more at-bats, even with the four or five days down."

Drew's oblique injury came on when the Red Sox were in Detroit, his second series back with the team. He said he swung at a bad pitch, which after making contact had him in a bad position to try to take off for first base. The awkward movement caused him to strain the muscle.

"It's something that I've never had in my career and it happened," he said. "Four or five days off, trying to come back as quick as possible and you know just trying to heal this thing up. Just glad to be out there and get going again."

Drew -- who said he expected to play on Monday night against the Twins -- struck out twice against the Indians on Sunday. The second came in a potential walk-off situation.

With one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, AJ Pierzynski and Grady Sizemore drew back-to-back walks of off Indians reliever John Axford, setting the stage for Drew. Facing a fastball that touched 99 miles-per-hour, Drew struck out swinging on five pitches.

Drew's first punchout came on a pitch that appeared to be off the outside part of the plate, according to television replays.

"I thought I saw some good pitches," Drew said. "The first strikeout on me, was, going back and looking at replay, it was off the plate. I thought I saw it right and did. Just kind of unfortunate there. 

"But then a guy throwing eight straight balls, and [then] black, black and I just swung under it. You know I wish you come back and put that ball in play. But, you know, getting back, the timing's pretty good so far." 

He's confident enough in his timing that he says he's looking forward to being in a similar situation sometime soon. But for now he's happy to take away the positive from what was the best day of his 2014 season to date.

"My day was great," he said. "I just had good at-bats and I want to be in situations again because I think more times than not I think I'll be able to get the job done."