BOSTON – Stephen Drew went just 1-for-4 in Wednesday’s 6-5 win over the A’s at Fenway Park. He struck out three times, and is now batting .128. But it is that ‘1’ in the 1-for-4 that offers some encouragement.
His fourth-inning, two-run triple with two outs tied the game. Drew entered the game with just one RBI this season.
It was his first triple since Aug. 14, 2012, with the Diamondbacks, his only three-base hit last season. But, from 2008-10, Drew recorded 35 triples.
Drew was limited in spring training because of a concussion on March 7 and was not activated from the disabled list until April 10. He’s had just 39 at-bats this season – for comparison, Mike Napoli leads the team with 80 – and has been searching for his timing at the plate.
It’s beginning to improve, if slowly.
“Yeah we have (seen timing develop),” said manager John Farrell. “And it hasn’t just been over the last couple of days. It’s been gradually getting there. We have to keep in mind he had 25 at-bats total between spring training and his rehab assignment and so he’s getting to the point coming out of a full spring training. He gets a fastball over the plate, big triple to score a couple of runs.”
“The timing’s coming,” Drew said. “I’ve hit some balls well and have nothing to show for it. Sometimes pick the wrong night to hit them. So my timing’s getting there. I don’t make excuses, just trying to get a feel. I put some good swings on it, had some good AB’s and that’s all you can do.
“Trying to get myself going and today was a good feeling just to help out and timely hitting.”
He’s close to where he would like to be. But not there yet.
“I would like to say I’m there, but in this game it’s top level,” he said. “So didn’t have that many AB's going in the spring and then just trying to grind, getting there to get that feel back.”
-- Mike Napoli went 1-for-2 with a double, a run scored, an RBI, and a walk. He now has 26 RBI, tying the most by a Red Sox batter in the team’s first 21 games since 1941. Mo Vaughn also had 26 RBI in 1995, the year he won the American League MVP.
-- Jacoby Ellsbury went 1-for-4 with a run scored and a walk. He has hit safely in 13 of his last 14 games, and has scored 10 runs in his last 11 games. He stole second base in the fifth inning, and is 10-for-10 in steal attempts this season, leading the majors.
-- Daniel Nava pinch-hit for Jonny Gomes in the fifth inning, going 2-for-2 with an RBI. It was his first pinch-hit since Aug. 2, 2010, at Oakland, snapping an 0-for-13 in pinch-hit appearances.
-- Dustin Pedroia went 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored and is now hitting .300. He has reached base safely in in 20 of his 21 games this season, and in 30 of 31 going back to Sept. 21, 2012. In that span he is batting .313, going 36-for-115 with 20 walks.
-- With 14 wins in April the Sox tied their most for the month since 2009, when they went 14-8.
-- The Sox are now 12-0 when Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, and Felix Doubront start.