Mistakes prove costly for Sox

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Mistakes prove costly for Sox

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- There were plenty of mistakes which contributed to the Red Sox' 5-3 loss to Tampa Bay Saturday night.

It didn't help that Clay Buchholz, who hadn't walked a batter through the first six innings, walked the leadoff man in the seventh, then hit the next batter he faced. Both runners eventually scored.

Nor did it help that the bullpen, which locked down a lead Friday, wasn't nearly as efficient Saturday, with Matt Albers allowing two inherited runners to score -- the first on a bases-loaded walk -- and Andrew Miller allowed a solo homer in the eighth.

But the night came down to two misplays -- one in the field and another at the plate.

In the fifth inning, with the Sox leading 3-1 and Tampa Bay's Jeff Keppinger at third with one out, Bobby Valentine moved the infield in.

Jose Molina hit a grounder to short, which Mike Aviles attempted to backhand. But the ball tipped off his glove, rolling away, as Molina reached and Keppinger scored from third.

"I just rushed it,'' confessed Aviles. "That's the biggest reason it kicked off the side of my glove. I knew I had (Keppinger) at the plate and I know if I get that ball cleanly, I know I can definitely make that throw.

"But I rushed it and unfortunately, it kicked off my glove. As soon as the ball was hit, I knew (he was going). I tried to just get it and get rid of it quick and trying to be a little too quick and that was really the problem.

"I rushed it. I don't know why. I haven't done it all year and I don't know why I would do it then and there, especially in that situation.''

In the eighth, with Jacoby Ellsbury on second following a leadoff double, Pedro Ciriaco took it upon himself to try to bunt for a hit.

"(The sacrifice) was never on,'' said Valentine. "He was just bunting for a hit. He felt that the third baseman (Keppinger) had to hang (back) a little because of the guy on second.''

But Ciriaco fouled off his first try, and on his second, popped the ball up at the plate, with Jose Loboton catching the ball behind the plate for the first out.

"I was on my own,'' said Ciriaco, "so I was trying to get something going or to get a base hit. It was a good pitch. I just didn't do the right thing. I think it was a good opportunity to try to bunt and that's what I tried to do.''

Added Valentine: "Bunting for a hit is just like swinging for a hit. You think you can execute it. But it doesn't look good when you pop it up bunting.''

Ortiz quells comeback speculation: 'My playing time has expired'

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Ortiz quells comeback speculation: 'My playing time has expired'

Forget that cryptic Tweet to the Globe. David Ortiz isn't walking through that door, fans. At least not as a player.

"My playing time has already expired," Ortiz told ESPN Deportes. "Baseball is not something that you wake up today and you say, 'I'll play tomorrow.' Baseball is something that carries a lot of sacrifice, a lot of preparation, and there is a reason why we train the entire year to play it, practice every day, especially during the season, because it is a sport of consistency."

No one really thought he was contemplating a comeback, but last week he Tweeted this . . .

. . . and that raised hopes that he'd changed his mind.

Not so.

 

Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Facing a 1 p.m. Friday deadline to avoid arbitration, the Red Sox reportedly agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million deal with center field Jackie Bradley Jr., and also avoided hearings with six other players.

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, utilityman Brock Holt, pitchers Joe Kelly, Robbie Ross Jr., Tyler Thornburgh and catcher Sandy Leon also agreed to one-year deals.

Terms of the deals were not announced.

It leaves left-handers Fernando Abad and Drew Pomeranz as the only arbitration-eligible Red Sox without a deal.