Notebook: Brass' presence gives Sox a boost

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Notebook: Brass' presence gives Sox a boost

BALTIMORE The Red Sox all noticed John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino walking around the field at Camden Yards while the team wrapped up batting practice.

It was a surprise visit by Bostons ownership trio to lend support to the beleaguered Sox in the third game of a three-game set against Baltimore, and it worked as the Sox showed energy, urgency and proper focus in a mistake-free 6-3 win over the Os at Camden Yards.

Lucchino addressed reporters prior to the game and admitted that the Sox were going through a valley in their stewardship of the team. Still, he also couldnt resist dropping a shot against the jaded and cynical media within his reality check.

Every franchise, every brand goes through rough times, he said. No one is immune to the hills and valleys. Weve had a long run of success, Lucchino said. Weve created very high expectations for the franchise. Sometimes those high expectations are not met, and the result is a reduction, a hit to the brand and to the team and to the fan base. If its broke, well fix it.

The Sox players clearly kicked up the energy during the game, and Clay Buchholz credited the presence of the ownership group for some of that boost. Werner and Henry were returning from meetings in Colorado and Lucchino is obviously busy with the day-to-day business operations of the Sox, but all three made it a point to back their struggling bunch in Baltimore.

It was awesome. Theyre the ones that put this team together and a lot of smart people did that. It was good to see the guys here and hopefully we can keep that going into New York, said Buchholz, who said he spotted Henry when he was walking out to the bullpen to warm up. Theyve got busy lives just like we do. Im sure they could have been somewhere else, but they were behind us and supporting us. Thats what everybody wants to here.

Perhaps the best reaction was Bobby Valentine thinking about ownerships departure when the Sox had fallen down by an early 3-0 score in the game, and perhaps another rough night was coming in Baltimore.

It was great they were in here. They said they were here to bring us some luck, and when we were down 2-0 I was going to call for an early flight out, joked Valentine.

So now it appears the Sox ownership group just has to start traveling around with the team for the rest of the season to guarantee they get the unrelenting, intrepid effort the team showed Thursday for its remaining games.

Scott Podsednik went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI and has now hit safely in 17 of his 19 games with the Sox.

Public visiting hours for Johnny Pesky's wake will be Sunday, 2-8 p.m., at the Solimine, Landergan and Richardson Funeral Home, 67 Ocean Street, Route 1A, Lynn, Mass.

Jacoby Ellsbury went 0-for-4, ending his 38-game hitting streak against the Orioles that dated to April 17, 2009. The streak was the second-longest for any player vs. one team since 1900, behind only Vladimir Guerreros 44-game hitting streak for the Angels against the Texas Rangers from April 9, 2004-August 4, 2006.

Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox make 'outstanding comeback' vs. Rangers

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Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox make 'outstanding comeback' vs. Rangers

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 8-7 win over the Rangers:

QUOTES

* “(Matt) Bush has tremendous arm, but what we’ve seen . . . I don’t know that there’s anyone that throws a hard enough to get it by Mookie [Betts]. Just lightening bat speed . . . The dugout erupted when he caught it.” - Farrell said on Betts’ ninth inning homerun.

* “It was an outstanding comeback. Just a tremendous character win tonight by our guys. The work that our bullpen did tonight was just outstanding. ” - John Farrell said following the comeback win over Texas.

* “Koji comes back after a couple of rough outings and was vintage Koji here tonight.” - Farrell said on Uehara striking out the side in the ninth to earn the save

* “The homerun. Without that homerun, you don’t get to that wild pitch.” - Jackie Bradley said on what the Red Sox dugout was more excited about in the ninth.

* “Winning, to me that’s everything. I definitely want to go out there and throw the baseball better. I want to win myself. But at the end of the day I want the Red Sox to win.” - David Price said following the Red Sox win, despite his inability to keep the game close throughout the duration of his start.

NOTES

* David Ortiz extended his hitting streak to 10 games with his fourth inning single. He’s now 12 for his last 36 during his 10-game hitting streak.

* Sandy Leon’s ninth inning double was his 12th hit of the year. He’s now 12-for-22 (.545) to start his 2016 campaign. Four of his hits are doubles and he also has four RBI. 

* David Price’s 2.1-inning start is his shortest with Boston yet. The lefty gave up a season-worst 12 hits -- the most hits he’s given up since May 8th last season in a 6.1 inning start.

* Hanley Ramirez’s two-run homerun marks his third in the last ten games.

* The Red Sox improve to 22-3 when Jackie Bradley Jr. hits a homerun following his 13th homerun of the season.

STARS

1) Mookie Betts

Betts had over three hours between his two base hits, but his second proved the most important. He launched a 2-0 fastball into left center, tying the game in the ninth.

2) Jackie Bradley Jr.

Bradley laced a homerun into the right field second deck to put Boston in striking distance at 7-4. In addition to knocking in two runs, he scored in the ninth after he walked, starting the ninth inning comeback. 

3) Koji Uehara

Despite struggling of late, Uehara was called on to close and struck out the side to seal the win. He was the final piece of the 6.2 innings of relief from the bullpen that came in one of Boston’s biggest wins of the year.

Nick Friar can be followed on Twitter: @ngfriar

First impressions of the Red Sox’ 8-7 win over the Rangers

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First impressions of the Red Sox’ 8-7 win over the Rangers

First impressions of the Boston Red Sox’ 8-7 win over the Texas Rangers:

Boston’s offense is always in striking distance.

The Red Sox had an uphill battle from the get-go thanks to David Price’s tough outing.

But somehow they took advantage of Texas’ equally bad pitching—that just happened to be more spread out than Boston’s bad pitching.

If Jackie Bradley Jr. doesn’t earn a walk, or Sandy Leon doesn’t fight tooth and nail for a two-out double in the ninth, that Mookie Betts homerun can’t happen.

The Red Sox need another long outing from Steven Wright.

Obviously they’d prefer a strong performance -- but the knuckler may need to bite the bullet if he’s off Saturday night.

Boston’s bullpen has been used and abused of late, and needs some rest following the Chicago series and a 2.1 inning outing from Price.

Price continues to struggle against the Rangers in his career.

Even when he was able to walk out of the first with just the one run after a bases loaded double play, but couldn’t clamp down with two outs.

The biggest reason he struggled wasn’t his velocity—although it seemed down most of the night—but his location. He left a lot of pitches up in the zone and Texas is not the team you can do that with.

Although Price was bound to have a rough start, this start went worse than anyone could’ve anticipated. To say this was a bad start is putting it nicely.

Texas gave him a nice wake-up call. He still has room to grow.

Matt Barnes had a solid performance.

It wasn’t his best, but given the situation, he did well. First off, the Rangers are a very hot team and swing early in the count. Barnes left the ball up time after times, but only surrendered the one run.

Additionally, he entered the game far earlier than he’s used to -- in the midst of a blowout where his team was on the wrong end. That’s not an easy thing to walk into for a reliever, especially one who’s used to pitching late in tight ballgames.

He gave Boston a chance when the offense started to gain momentum.

Hanley Ramirez’s power continues to show.

Although he’s not hitting at the rate he did to start the year, Ramirez laced another homer against the Rangers Friday night.

This homerun may have been his most impressive, coming on a 1-2 slider away, driving it to straightaway center -- the deepest part of the ballpark.

Boston just saw what they look like when they almost blow games.

All season the talk around the league has been how explosive the Red Sox lineup is.

Well, the Rangers offense is right there with them. The league’s hottest team didn’t waist any time scoring, and had 15 hits before Boston pitching recorded an out in the fifth inning.

Although the Red Sox outslugged Texas late, they saw what a potent offense outside the AL East can do -- and how bad pitching can undo all of that.

Nick Friar can be followed on Twitter: @ngfriar