BOSTON -- Although his playing time has been limited this season, Mike Carp makes the most of the chances he gets.
Take Tuesday night. In the Red Sox' 17-5 thumping of the Ranger, Carp went 3-for-4 and reached base four time for the third time in his career. He had a home run, a walk, three RBI, and three runs scored as he lifted his average to .301 in 73 at-bats this year with a .630 slugging percentage and .350 on-base percentage.
He also recorded some other career firsts that weren’t quite as much fun: His first career ejection . . . after striking out against an outfielder.
With ex-Sox farmhand David Murphy on the mound -- finishing up a lost cause for the Rangers and saving the bullpen from having to use yet another live arm -- Carp was called out on strike by plate umpire Andy Fletcher. Carp protested the call, went back to the dugout, and then was tossed by Fletcher.
"Well, apparently, [Carp] made some gestures from the dugout that Andy Fletcher didn’t like and he ended his night pretty quick,” said manager John Farrell.
“Yeah, I don’t understand that for one bit,” Carp said. “I got tossed from the game. Really don’t know what went on that caused that. I was in the dugout when it happened. So that’s all I got for you guys. I don’t know what I said to tick him off when I’m down in the dugout.”
It was an odd ending to what Carp described as a "fun night". But with Shane Victorino on the disabled list and Jacoby Ellsbury ailing, Carp will get a chance to enjoy himself again Wednesday night against Rangers right-hander Alexi Ogando.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Carp said. “Unfortunately we got a couple of guys banged up and we can’t wait to get those guys back. But [the reserves] are ready to step up and make the most of opportunities. Jackie’s [Bradley Jr.] been swinging the bat well, [Daniel Nava's] been tremendous all year. ”
So, judging by the numbers, has Carp.
“Just getting an opportunity to play,” Carp said. “The more at-bats, the more pitches you see, the better chance you’re going to have to do something on the field. So just knowing that I’m going to be in there every day right now is nice, and just try to do my part to help the team.
“Luckily for me I got Nava and a bunch of guys getting on in front of me. So it definitely helps out to have runners on base and it makes my job a lot easier to put the ball in play.”