Notes: Aggressive baserunning pays off for Sox

Notes: Aggressive baserunning pays off for Sox
October 6, 2013, 11:45 pm
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.- The Red Sox have been associated with a lot of things in their historic, but baserunning is seldom one of them.
      
Traditionally, the image of the Red Sox has been that of a high-scoring team which uses extra-base hits and balls hit off -- and over --The Wall at Fenway that produced runs.
      
But this season, and especially in the post-season so far, the Sox have been masters on the bases.
      
After Game 2, the Sox have stolen 42 straight bases without being caught, a modern-day record.
      
And it's not just the steals. It's the aggressive approach they take on the bases, going from first-to-third and taking the extra base whenever it's presented.
      
One Red Sox official went so far as to call the team's baserunning one of the keys to the team's dominance in the ALDS to date. The Red Sox lead 2-0 as Game 3 takes place Monday night at Tropicana Field.
      
Manager John Farrell set the tone in spring training by preaching a "relentless" style of play. It manifest itself on Opening Day when Jonny Gomes scored from second base on an infield groundout to the right side and re-appeared in Game 1 when Gomes did the same thing, scoring from second on a grounder to first.
      
"We've done a pretty good job offensively in categories," said Gomes, "but the baserunning, we're getting guys to take bags that don't normally take bags. There's a lot of homework going into it. We're getting pitchers' times, we're getting catchers' times, we're getting counts where pitchers pick and don't pick.
      
"And with that, none of it is 100 percent, it's still a gamble. But there's a lot of homework that has gone into the baesrunning side of it."

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Manager John Farrell indicated there would be only two lineup changes for Game 3.
       
With righthander Alex Cobb going for Tampa Bay, Farrell will have Daniel Nava in left field, supplanting Gomes, who played the first two games of the series, pitted against Game 1 lefty Matt Moore and Game 2 southpaw starter David Price.
       
Also, catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia will resume the catching chores from David Ross, who caught John Lackey and hit a Wall-scraping double off Price.