Gonzo's HR drought ends at the right time


Gonzo's HR drought ends at the right time

BOSTON -- Adrian Gonzalez made a timely display that perhaps he is ready to break out of whatever has been causing his power slump this season.

Although the Red Sox were mostly stymied by White Sox rookie Dylan Axelrod over 6 23 innings, it was Gonzalezs RBI single in the first that scored Carl Crawford and tied the score at 1, accounting for the only run the Chicago righthander allowed.

Then in the eighth, with the score still tied, nobody out and Crawford and David Ortiz on base after walks from rookie lefty Leyson Septimo, Gonzalez mashed a 2-and-1, 93-mph fastball into the Monster seats, putting the Red Sox up by three on their way to a 5-1 win.

He walked the first two hitters so I could see a couple of pitches, Gonzalez said. Never faced him before. Fell behind 2-1, I saw fastball for a strike so I was looking for another fastball for a strike, be aggressive. And he threw a fastball up in the zone that I was able to get to.

I mean, it feels great to win the game. Im not really worried about hitting the home runs or any of that stuff, Gonzalez said. Im just trying to have good at-bats.

It was just Gonzalezs seventh home run of the season and first in 66 at-bats, since his last on June 24 against the Braves. The blast gave him a season-high four RBI, the most since he also drove in four runs on May 20, 2011, against the Cubs at Fenway.

The home run also gave Gonzalez 50 RBI for the season, and a team-leading nine game-winning RBI this season.

It was big, said manager Bobby Valentine. It really inspired us to victory, thats for sure. We were kind of dull there for a while. He got the first RBI in the first inning and we really werent doing anything. He showed a lot of patience and delivered.

Gonzalez, who went 2-for-4, ended a career-best 18-game hitting streak on July 8, the day before the All-Star break. Still, he has hit safely in 20 of his last 21 games at a .384 (33-for-86) rate with five doubles, two home runs, 14 RBI, and 13 runs scored.

Just trying to hit singles, Gonzalez said of his current stretch.

Gonzalezs first RBI, on a single, allowed him to make up for his error in the top of the inning that allowed the White Sox to score their lone run.

With left-hander Adam Dunn batting, and Kevin Youkilis on first base with a single, the Red Sox employed the infield shift. On Dunns groundout to Pedro Ciriaco at second base, Youkilis took second . But with Will Middlebrooks still off third, Youkilis broke for third. Gonzalezs errant throw to Middlebrooks sailed into left field, allowing Youkilis to come home, scoring an unearned run off Aaron Cook.

Gonzalez blamed it on his lacking quarterback skills.

I was thinking back shoulder, Will was thinking over the top, Gonzalez said. It didnt work out.

On this night, thought, just about everything else did.

Report: Red Sox eye ex-Oriole Pedro Alvarez for DH slot

Report: Red Sox eye ex-Oriole Pedro Alvarez for DH slot

The Red Sox have more or less withdrawn from the Edwin Encarnacion sweepstakes, with Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald noting that much of their reluctance hinges on the likelihood that they’d exceed the new $195 million luxury tax threshold by locking the DH into a lucrative deal. That doesn’t leave them without options, however, and FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported that the club could be interested in 29-year-old corner infielder Pedro Alvarez, as well as fellow free agents Mike Napoli and Matt Holliday.

After playing just 10 games at DH from 2010 to 2015, Alvarez suited up as the Orioles’ primary designated hitter and part-time third baseman in 2016. His defense is sub-par, to say the least, but he batted .249/.322/.504 with 22 home runs for Baltimore in 2016.

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