Notebook: Valentine likes the team he has

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Notebook: Valentine likes the team he has

BOSTON -- With the trade deadline looming and rumors swirling including reports of trade talks that involve Josh Beckett Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said hes satisfied with the team he has.

I like my team, Valentine said. I think were a good team and if theres any way general manager Ben Cherington thinks we can improve it for this year and beyond, Im sure hes going to do that. But this is a good group of guys that I dont see any gaping holes. I see more holes on the other teams than I see on ours.

I think we just play one game and try to do our best tonight and thats the best that we can do.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia is in the starting lineup, serving as the designated hitter with Kelly Shoppach catching for righthander Clay Buchholz.

Well, I just felt that it was either Salty or Cody Ross and I just thought that Cody would probably be a better option pinch-hitting if I needed it Get Salty off his legs, coming in at 3:30 in the morning and getting Cody a day off because hes been grinding it out--all contributing factors.

Reliever Andrew Bailey, on the DL all season after right thumb surgery, was scheduled to fly to Fort Myers today. He is expected to play catch tomorrow and may begin his rehab assignment in a Gulf Coast League game on Wednesday.

The Sox are waiting on the results of right-handed reliever Scott Atchisons MRI. Atchison, on the DL since July 14 with right forearm tightness, pitched one inning in a rehab assignment Friday with Pawtucket. He faced Indianapolis, giving up three runs on three hits, including a home run, with no walks in two strikeouts but felt discomfort.

Valentine said the discomfort may be more in Atchisons elbow than his forearm now.

It seemed like he went in with a forearm that might have moved back a little up closer to the elbow, Valentine said. It seemed like 15 days ago it was just going to be a couple of days rest and then we gave him a lot of rest and when he threw it didn't feel good the next day.

Valentine said closer Alfredo Aceves, who threw 37 pitches in 2 13 innings Sunday night against the Yankees in New York and was expected to be available Monday night against the Tigers.

Of course. He only threw 33 pitches, Valentine said. He usually throws that in an inning, or he can. Not usually, but he can. I call it a hunch that hes fine. I havent heard anything to the contrary.

Aceves was charged with his fifth blown save, before earning the win, improving to 2-6, with a 3.57 ERA.

Valentine was ejected in the 10th inning for arguing with home plate umpire Brian ONora. Valentine argued that Will Middlebrooks was hit by a pitch, while ONora said the pitch hit Middlebrooks bat on a bunt attempt. ONora, who was also hit by the ball and fell down, could have had his view obscured. Television replays appeared to support Valentine.

Currently, umpires can't consult TV replays on such plays.

Not yet. We kind of like the human element, Valentine said. I just always like to get it right and if I was on the other side of the coin, I wouldve liked it to have been called a foul ball. On the other side of the field.

Josh Beckett, in the dugout, was also ejected for arguing the call.

Right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Pawtucket Wednesday night. Matsuzaka, who has been on the DL since July 3 with a right upper trapezius strain, is scheduled to start in Rochester against ScrantonWilkes-Barre. Valentine said Matsuzaka is expected to make 75-90 pitches.

I think he has that in him, yeah, depending on how it goes, Valentine said. But it might get cut down to 45, depending on how he comes out of the chute. Hes feeling pretty good.

Valentine said Matsuzaka is free of the trapezius ailment, and now its just a matter of build up his pitches and his competitiveness.

ScrantonWilkes-Barre, the Yankees affiliate, is permanently on the road this season while their home field is being renovated.

Shortstop Mike Aviles was out of the lineup again, sidelined by turf toe in his right big toe. Pedro Ciriaco is in the starting lineup, playing shortstop, batting ninth. Valentine said Aviles could be available, but would not be used to pinch-run.

Mikes dealing with turf toe, just so we know what the situation is, Valentine said. Its not a life-threatening situation but it sure is an encumbrance and were just trying to see what we can do to get that feeling out of there. Most of us have had itits not fun to deal with. The less he strains it in the athletic motions of playing, the better it calms down. If it calms down, well have a hundred percent of Mike back. He could play in the game, go in in emergency, pinch-hit, all those things. I wouldnt pinch-run him necessarily. But he could if we had to.

Quotes, notes and stars: Pomeranz has been a "mixed bag" so far

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Quotes, notes and stars: Pomeranz has been a "mixed bag" so far

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 5-2 loss to the Angels:

 

QUOTES

 

* “Missed opportunities -- that’s the story of this one. We did a fantastic job of, once again, putting guys on. But to cash in and complete the inning -- that base hit has been elusive . . . It’s been all or nothing it seems like this stretch that we’re through offensively.” Farrell said on Boston’s offensive play of late.

 

* “The first one wasn’t me. I had a lot of time off -- had a lot of things going on. The last one was more myself -- I fell like. Tonight, I made a bad pitch too (Albert) Pujols, walked a couple guys. But overall, I feel like I did a decent job.” Pomeranz on his first three starts in Boston

 

* “I’m just trying to put a good swing on a good pitch and fortunately I got one and it went over.” Mookie Betts said on his leadoff homerun.

 

* “It’s been a mixed bag.” Farrell on Pomeranz to trough his first threw starts for the Red Sox.

 

* “Overall he probably wasn’t as sharp as his last time out. And when they created damage against him it was early in counts . . . So it wasn’t like he got into too many deep innings.” John Farrell said Drew Pomeranz’s start.

 

* “It happens – it’s baseball. They capitalized on some chances and we didn’t.” Betts on the offense not taking advantage of early opportunities.

 

NOTES

 

* Mookie Betts’ leadoff homerun was his 21st long ball of the year, sixth to start off the game. He passed Dwight Evans (5 in 1985) and now only trails Nomar Garciaparra’s seven in 1997.

 

* Albert Pujols launched his 20th home run of the season, reaching that total for the 15th time in his career. He joins Frank Robinson, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron as the only players to do so through at least 16 seasons.

 

* Dustin Pedroia has reached base safely in 33 straight games for the Red Sox after walking twice and finishing 1-for-2 in the loss.

 

* Xander Bogaerts extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a single in his second at-bat, finishing 1-for-3 with a walk.

 

* The Red Sox are now two games out of first place with Toronto finally moving into first place after defeating the Orioles 9-1 on Saturday.

 

 

STARS

 

1) Hector Santiago

Somehow, the lefty managed to scatter six walks and four hits -- including a leadoff homerun -- only giving up two runs in five innings of work against Boston.

 

2) Albert Pujols

Pujols’ two-run homerun gave the Angels the advantage after falling behind early, and proved to be enough for their pitching staff.

 

3) Dustin Pedroia

As much as Mookie Betts had the big fly, Pedroia reached base three times in four chances, finishing 1-for-2 with two walks.

First impressions: Red Sox miss out on free opportunities

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First impressions: Red Sox miss out on free opportunities

First impressions of the Red Sox 5-2 loss to Los Angeles:

 

Far too many missed opportunities for the Red Sox.

Hector Santiago somehow worked his way through five innings and only gave up two runs -- despite walking six batters and giving up six hits.

Somehow he’s flipped a switch in July after a rough start to the season. But Saturday night was not one of those nights.

Although the pitching wasn’t at it’s best, Santiago gave the Red Sox offense several easy chances at runs that they didn’t capitalize on -- including two instances where Bryce Brentz was punched-out.

 

Joe Kelly not the best guy to bring in with runners on.

The righty gave up a crucial double to start his appearance -- which would’ve been an amazing catch by Brock Holt.

Next leadoff batter he got out, but his last one reach on a line drive single up the middle.

So 67 percent of the leadoff batters got a hit off of Kelly.

A small sample size? Yes.

But when you’ve got a track record like Kelly’s, assessments like that are going to be made.

 

The return out west didn’t go as planned for Drew Pomeranz.

While Saturday was a Pacific Coast homecoming for the lefty starter, he wasn’t able to find his form.

It seemed like things would go well at first, but Pomeranz made some crucial mistakes in his second trip through the order.

Walking Yunel Escobar isn’t an option when Mike Trout and Albert Pujols follow him.

Furthermore, the cutter Pujols launched to left field was down the heart of the plate -- simply unacceptable.

 

Mookie Betts is making might be more valuable than Xander Bogaerts.

It became clear pretty early that Betts had the superior power.

While Bogaerts’ hands give bail him out constantly, they never move as quickly as those of the Boston leadoff hitter.

And while Bogaerts seemed to be the superior hitter for average, Betts is narrowing that gap, too.

The only case for Bogaerts being more valuable is that he’s a shortstop.

Other than that, Betts has shown he could easily be the face of the franchise when David Ortiz retires -- which is great for Boston, since he’s the one of the two who isn’t a Scott Boras client.

 

Red Sox fail to secure another series win against a bad team.

The Angels have no pitching. In fact, the Red Sox haven’t even faced their best pitcher.

And with the exception of Friday’s game, they’ve scored three runs in two LA games.

And the pitching was good until Saturday night -- so the offense has to get things going for Sunday.

Saturday's Red Sox-Angels Lineups: Pomeranz makes Red Sox road debut on west coast

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Saturday's Red Sox-Angels Lineups: Pomeranz makes Red Sox road debut on west coast

Drew Pomeranz (0-1, 7.00 with Boston) makes his return to the west coast in his first road start in a Red Sox uniform. The lefty is coming off a six-inning start where he gave up two runs, but was on the wrong end of a 4-2 contest against the Tigers.

The Angels answer with Hector Santiago (9-4, 4.28). He shut out Boston for six innings on 7/2 -- the same day the Red Sox staff gave up 21 runs.

The lineups:

RED SOX

Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Hanley Ramirez DH
Aaron Hill 3B
Travis Shaw 1B
Bryce Brentz LF
Sandy Leon C

Drew Pomeranz LHP

ANGELS
Yunel Escobar 3B
Mike Trout CF
Albert Pujols DH
Jefry Marte 1B
Andrelton Simmons SS
Jett Bandy C
Johnny Giavotella 2B
Gregorio Petit LF
Shane Robinson RF

Hector Santiago LHP