Ortiz puts down rare bunt single against shift

692786.jpg

Ortiz puts down rare bunt single against shift

BOSTON -- David Ortiz was one of three Red Sox players who finished Tuesday's 5-0 win over the Seattle Mariners with multiple hits. But the mere fact that Ortiz finished a game with two hits is nothing special.

What's unique is that those two hits were a home run and a bunt single.

Ortiz ripped his eighth home run of the season over the bullpen in the bottom of the third, which gave the Red Sox a 1-0 lead. With the shot he passed Dwight Evans for sole possession of 56th place on Major League Baseball's all-time home-run list.

Two innings later, Ortiz led off the bottom of the fifth by taking full advantage of the shift, and bunted for a base hit down the third-base line.

"I hope he gets 10 of those this year," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine after the win. "It spreads out that, and that'll get another 10 hits through the right side of the infield."

It marked the first bunt single of the season for the Red Sox, and Ortiz' first bunt single since 2010.

"It's part of the game," said Ortiz. "Just keep it simple. Nothing man, you've got to play the game the way it's supposed to be."

When Ortiz was asked if he got the green light to bunt, he asked, "Green light for what?"

"Of course. It's me hitting. Nobody else," said Ortiz with a laugh.

When Valentine was asked if Ortiz bunted on his own, the Red Sox manager said, "Absolutely."

Bryan Holaday: David Price 'takes a lot of pride in what he does'

red_sox_david_price_071716.jpg

Bryan Holaday: David Price 'takes a lot of pride in what he does'

BOSTON -- There have been a significant amount of question marks surrounding David Price throughout his inaugural season with the Boston Red Sox.

Is he an ace? Is he mentally tough enough? Can he handle Boston?

Just to name a few.

Much like any player imported to Boston, the claim “He can’t handle the pressure in Boston” arises every so often.

And Price hasn’t always been his own best friend, frequently relying on the line “It’s me going out there and making pitches,” in addition to the claim that he’s never satisfied.

Price’s mellow demeanor isn’t something Boston fans are accustomed to -- they prefer Rick Porcello snarling at opponents.

Sometimes it might have seemed as if he lacked a killer instinct or didn’t have a sense of urgency, but Bryan Holaday, who played with Price in Detroit, has seen that’s not the case.

‘I’m sure he [pressing], it’s the nature of this game,” Holaday said about Price’s struggles earlier in the season. “Everybody wants to be at their best all the time and it’s not easy to do.”

However, he says that knowing full well that Price won’t display those emotions -- to anyone.

“He does such a good job on the mental side of things that even if he was, you wouldn’t be able to tell,” Holaday said before Price’s start Saturday night. “He’s never going to express anything like that. If he was [pressing], it’s nothing that anyone would be able to notice.”

There’s a lot to be said for that, too. Although baseball is driven on analytics, there’s no question that mental game is crucial, especially in the clubhouse. And a fly on the wall can easily see that Price’s presence is not only respected, but enjoyed by his teammates in the clubhouse.

“Everyday he gets up he wants to get better and that’s what makes him so good,” Holaday said. “He has that drive to be better everyday and come out and do his job. He takes a lot of pride in what he does and works his ass off. That’s why he is who he is. Any pitcher at that level, you don’t get that way by luck.”

Price may never be Boston’s favorite pitcher.

He may never be the “ace” in everyone’s eyes.

But based on Holday’s interpretations from his time in Detroit and Boston, Price will work hard to turn his first few months with the Red Sox into a minor footnote of his career.

Saturday's Red Sox-Royals lineups: Young in LF, Hill at 3B vs. KC lefty Duffy

red_sox_chris_young_041116.jpg

Saturday's Red Sox-Royals lineups: Young in LF, Hill at 3B vs. KC lefty Duffy

The Red Sox look to end their three-game losing streak tonight when the play the middle game of their three-game series with the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park.

Against Royals' left-hander Danny Duffy (11-1, 2.66 ERA), the Red Sox start right-handed hitters Chris Young in left field and Aaron Hill at third base. Duffy has won his past 10 decisions and came into Saturday with the fifth-best ERA in the American League. He joined the rotation from the bullpen on June 1.

Left-hander David Price (12-8, 4.00) gets the start for the Red Sox. Price has won his past three decisions, going eight, six and eight innings and not allowing more than three runs in each start. 

The Royals won the series opener 6-3 Friday night.

The lineups:

ROYALS
Paulo Orlando CF
Cheslor Cuthbert 3B
Lorenzo Cain RF
Eric Hosmer 1B
Kendrys Morales DH
Salvador Perez C
Alex Gordon LF
Alcides Escobar SS
Christian Colon 2B
---
Danny Duffy LHP

RED SOX
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Sandy Leon C
Chris Young LF
Aaron Hill 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
---
David Price LHP