Ortiz mourns loss of friend 'Mr. Johnny'

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Ortiz mourns loss of friend 'Mr. Johnny'

BALTIMORE Before things got crazy in the Camden Yards visitors clubhouse on Tuesday, the mood was somber as longtime Sox players like Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz paid tribute to Johnny Pesky. The 92-year-old Sox legend passed away on Monday and left behind six decades of association with the Sox organization as a player, coach, manager, ambassador, special instructor and in the last decade or more of his life as a living legend.

Ortiz and Pesky had a special relationship as the two would engage in a playful give-and-take within the clubhouse and dugout before games, and always seemed to find each other for a victorious embrace when the Sox captured their World Series championships. A sad smile stole over Ortizs face when he was asked what Pesky meant to him during his 10-year career in Boston.

A lot, man. Ive been in this organization for 10 years and Johnny is what the Red Sox franchise is all about, said Ortiz. Thinking about Johnny Pesky and not being able to have him around physically is hard to deal with. Its pretty devastating to find out that hes passed away.

He was an unbelievable human being. He showed you from the very beginning what love for this game was all about. I always liked to be shadow him when he was around he had some good things to say. He had some funny things to say. Im going to miss all that.

There wasnt a single story that leapt to mind for either Pedroia or Ortiz when it came to the franchises elder statesmen, but his image is still abundantly clear. Pesky would walk around the Sox clubhouse with bat in hand and boast to the players that he could still go out and do some damage with the bat.

It didnt matter who was pitching, and it certainly didnt matter that Pesky was pushing 90 years old. The Sox players loved him for his spirit and energy that age couldnt take away from him.

If you can hit .300 in the big leagues thats something hard to do, said Ortiz. There are tons of stories with him. The most important thing with him was his personality: the way he handled his business. Even at his age he said he could still get a hit. That was how strong mentally he was, and I appreciated all those great times I spent with Mr. Johnny.

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels

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Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels:

QUOTES

* “He just had very good command the entire night. Stayed ahead in the count [and] pitched to all quadrants of the strike zone. He used his four-seamer in on some powerful right-handed hitters in their lineup.” John Farrell on Rick Porcello’s performance.

* “We needed a win bad and swung the bats well and played good defense. That’s a big win for us.” Rick Porcello said after his win in an interview with NESN.

* “24 hours ago we were probably in a much different place mentally after a ball game like tonight.” Farrell on the win.

“That was probably the first time I sat on off-speed pitches this whole year. I took a chance, took a gamble.” Jackie Bradley Jr. said on his home run.

NOTES

* Rick Porcello completed his first game in a Red Sox uniform in the 6-2 win. The CG was the fifth of his career and his first since he threw three in 2014. The righty has 14 wins, one win shy of tying his career high.

* Xander Bogaerts had his first multi extra-base hit performance of the season since June 11. He’s only done that twice this season. He extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

* David Ortiz logged his 85th RBI of the season in the win and Mookie Betts his 67th. Heading into Friday night’s game, the two were one of five pairs of teammates ranking in the top 20 in RBI. The list includes Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Donaldson, Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story, Adam Duvall and Jay Bruce and Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant.

* Dustin Pedroia has now reached base safely in 32 straight games.

STARS

1) Rick Porcello

Porcello had his first complete game in a Red Sox uniform, stopping Boston’s losing skid at four games.

2) Xander Bogaerts

Bogaerts finished with a double and a home run -- the only Boston hitter with multiple hits. He also led the Red Sox with three RBI and scoring twice in the win.

3) Dustin Pedroia

In addition to walking in his first two at-bats, Pedroia had a base hit -- and another walk -- scoring twice on the night.

First impressions of the Red Sox' 6-2 win over the Angels

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First impressions of the Red Sox' 6-2 win over the Angels

First impressions of the Red Sox 6-2 win over Los Angeles:

Rick Porcello is not fazed by his fellow staff members’ struggles.

Although his teammates continue to deal with frustrations on almost a nightly basis, Porcello got the job done and put Boston in a position to win once again.

The second-inning double by Daniel Nava should have been a single, had Jackie Bradley Jr. not misplayed a funny hop. If that hit is a single, the next ground ball is a double -- and the following grounder ends the inning.

One of the most impressive components of his outing was dealing with Cole Kalhoun, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols to finish his outing after already facing them three times on the night.

Xander Bogaerts had his first multi-hit game in a week.

Which in the grand scheme of things isn’t a long time -- but that can feel like a long time given the shortstop’s output this year.

It was also his first multi extra-base hit performance since June 11.

Oddly enough, those are his only two games of that kind this season.

In addition to the win, Porcello did the bullpen a favor.

Not necessarily because the relievers needed rest, but with Ziegler’s last two rough nights, they could use a break.

Although Joe Kelly and Clay Buchholz got warm late, it was more so to keep them fresh for the coming games since they haven’t thrown much.

Additionally, he gave an example for the Red Sox starting rotation that they are in fact capable of going the distance.

Tim Lincecum is barely a shell of what he used to be.

That first inning was hard to watch. The former Cy Young Award-winner threw eight straight balls, and somehow managed to work past. Even his final throw to first base in he opening frame looked like it was going off the mark.

Just hard to watch in general, which made it all the more shocking that the Red Sox couldn’t score against him.

Good for them that he never adjusted, and they took advantage of it in the ensuing innings.

Merloni: ‘Missed opportunities left and right’ for Red Sox

Merloni: ‘Missed opportunities left and right’ for Red Sox

Lou Merloni talks about the Red Sox losing 6 out of the last 7 games and if David Price should have stayed in the game for the 9th inning.