Offensive outage continues to plague Sox

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Offensive outage continues to plague Sox

BOSTON The Red Sox have scored in just one inning in each of the three contests. Thanks to Cody Ross three-run walk-off home run Thursday night, they have been able to salvage one win in that span.

But they cant hope to be successful for long with that kind of approach. It showed Saturday night, as they lost to the Blue Jays, 7-3, for the second straight game.

The Sox scored in only the second inning, on Jarrod Saltalamacchias three-run homer into the visitors bullpen in right field. After that, the Sox could muster just two hits over the remaining seven innings a Pedro Ciriaco bunt in the fifth, and a Dustin Pedroia single to right in the eighth.

Yeah, we got to add on, thats for sure, said manager Bobby Valentine. We have to put some stuff together. But its a little different mix of guys that go out there and maybe will start getting used to each other.

On Friday, the Sox scored their lone run in the ninth inning, en route to a 6-1 loss. The dearth of production over the three games coincides, somewhat, with David Ortiz absence from the lineup. Ortiz suffered a strained Achilles tendon in his right foot rounding the bases on Adrian Gonzalez eighth-inning home run Monday night.

Well, every team misses an Ortiz, Valentine said. But we can win without David.

The Sox are 2-3 in Ortizs absence. The two wins came against the White Sox, a 10-1 thumping on Wednesday, and Thursdays 3-1 walk-off.

"Especially in our division, teams keep coming after you and coming after you, said Pedroia, who went 1-for-4 Saturday. We need to try to separate ourselves. There's nothing wrong with getting a five, six-run lead. Other than the White Sox game where we scored a bunch, it's been close. We need to make sure we have better at-bats and try to pull away.

"We feel like we have a great team. We just need to be more consistent, be consistent offensively, pitching, running the bases, playing good D. If we do everything better, we're going to run off a lot more than five or six in a row so. We need to do that."

Perhaps, as Valentine mentioned, it is because of the continuously different mix of players on the field and the various lineups. Saturday, both Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Aviles were on the bench. Ellsbury for medical reasons, after missing 79 games on the DL with a subluxation of his right shoulder. Aviles because he has turf toe. In Ellsburys place, Daniel Nava, who has been struggling at the plate lately (with just two hits in last 26 at-bats), batted lead-off. Nava went 0-for-3.

Consistent playing time is obviously better, said Saltalamacchia, who sat out the previous three game and whose second-inning home run snapped an 0-for-14 slide. It helps you. Your timings better. But I think those guys that have been coming off the DL, like Ellsbury and Carl Crawford have been doing a great job. For the guys that arent getting as much playing time, yeah, its a little tougher. But at the same time, we just got to go out there and take it pitch to pitch. Not do too much.

Saltalamacchia said he is not concerned the team has only been able to muster runs in one inning over the last three games.

Im not concerned with it one bit, he said. Just got to continue to go out. We got to go out there and we got to get some pitches to hit. Do a better job at it.

Quotes, notes and stars: Ziegler stumbles in Red Sox' 4-3 loss

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Quotes, notes and stars: Ziegler stumbles in Red Sox' 4-3 loss

BOSTON -- Quotes, Notes and Stars from the Red Sox' 4-3 loss to the Tigers on Wednesday.

QUOTES

"For maybe the first time when he hasn't put the ball on the ground consistently, that's the one spot that shows up here today.''
-- John Farrell on Brad Ziegler, who gave up the game-winning homer to Miguel Cabrera in the ninth inning.

"Unfortunately, we're one-swing-of-the-bat difference here today.''
-- Farrell

"It wasn't a horrible pitch; it just wasn't a great one either.''
-- Zieger on the pitch to Cabrera.

"Shoot, I've got to be honest. I haven't even looked at the schedule. I know there's 162 [games] on there. That's about all I know.''
-- Dustin Pedroia, when asked about the team's upcoming string of road games.

NOTES

-- The Red Sox dropped to 11-14 against teams from the American League Central.

-- The series sweep was the first of the season suffered by the Red Sox. Every other MLB team had already been swept more than once.

-- Pedroia has reached base safely in 30 straight games. It's the second-longest streak of his career.

-- Xander Bogaerts hit safely in every game on the homestand, batting .447 in that span.

-- Seven of Sandy Leon's 10 doubles this season have come in day games.

-- Aaron Hill collected his first extra-base hit (double) as a member of the Red Sox.

-- Victor Martinez reached base in all five plate appearances, becoming the first Tiger to do so at Fenway since Pudge Rodriguez in 2008.

-- The Tigers are 7-2 in their last nine Fenway games.

-- Opposing hitters had been just 1-for-22 against Brad Ziegler as a member of the Red Sox before Cabrera's homer.

STARS
 

1) Miguel Cabrera -- He was 3-for-4 with an intentional walk, including the game-winning homer in the top of the ninth.

2) Victor Martinez -- He remains one of the game's best pure hitters, which he demonstrated with four hits and two RBI.

3) Michael Fulmer -- He continued his Rookie of the Year case with 7 2/3 strong innings, allowing three runs on seven hits.

First impressions: Detroit Tigers 4, Boston Red Sox 3

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First impressions: Detroit Tigers 4, Boston Red Sox 3

BOSTON -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Detroit on Wednesday afternoon:

1) Eduardo Rodriguez pitched pretty well, but not well -- or deep -- enough.

Rodriguez has now made three starts since coming back from Pawtucket and any one of them was better than his starts from earlier this year.

He's no longer tipping his pitches, he's commanding better in general and his fastball has been more powerful.

But he's also giving up a lot of hits (19 in 18 innings) and he's gotten through the sixth inning just once in his three outings. For a team short in its bullpen, that's leaving a big workload for the relievers.

2) The late-inning comebacks have been in short supply.

Yes,  the Red Sox have scored runs by the boatload at times. And yes, they've mostly played hard this season.

But before Wednesday, the Sox had been just 3-35 when trailing after seven innings and they had enjoyed only two walkoff wins all season.

Those numbers can be misleading, of course. Teams can dig out from early holes -- as the Red Sox did Tuesday night.

But the ninth-inning rallies haven't happened much. In fact, on the current home stand, the Sox have had the top-to-middle part of the order up in the bottom of the ninth -- with David Ortiz getting an at-bat each time -- on four separate occasions, trailing by a run or two, and couldn't produce a winning rally.

3) Clay Buchholz may be pitching himself out of the doghouse

After going weeks -- literally --between appearances, Buchholz has been called upon four times in the last seven games.

Granted, in most of those games, the Red Sox have been trailing. But the games were such that they were still within reach, contradicting John Farrell's remarks late last week when he broadly hinted that he didn't trust Buchholz in games that were close.

Slowly, however, Buchholz could be earning some trust coming out of the bullpen. He had a perfect inning Wednesday with the Sox trailing by a run at the time.

Wednesday's Red Sox-Tigers lineup: E-Rod aims to avoid sweep

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Wednesday's Red Sox-Tigers lineup: E-Rod aims to avoid sweep

BOSTON -- The Red Sox send Eduardo Rodriguez to the mound as they attempt to salvage the final game of their homestand and avoid a sweep at the hands of the Tigers.

Today's lineups:

TIGERS:
Ian Kinsler 2B
Jose Iglesias SS
Miguel Cabrera 1B
Victor Martinez DH
Nick Castellanos 3B
Justin Upton LF
Mike Aviles RF
James McCann C
Tyler Collins CF
---
Michael Fullmer P

RED SOX:
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Aaron Hill 3B
Travis Shaw 1B
Sandy Leon C
Brock Holt LF
---
Eduardo Rodriguez P