Pedroia: Hernandez 'was pretty special tonight'

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Pedroia: Hernandez 'was pretty special tonight'

SEATTLE -- It took a great performance by perhaps the best pitcher in the American League to beat the Red Sox Thursday night.
That's exactly what Felix Hernandez delivered.
Hernandez fanned 13, tying a career high, while shutting out the Sox in a complete-game shutout, 1-0.
He allowed just five hits, all of them singles, and walked just one.
"He was great,'' said Dustin Pedroia, who was hitless in four at-bats with two strikeouts. "That's the best we've seen him. His stuff was moving all over the place. He kept the ball out of the middle of the plate. He was pretty special tonight.''
"He was King Felix,'' said Cody Ross, who was fanned twice in three hitless at-bats. "He was as good as I've ever seen him -- just pounding the strike zone, getting calls off the plate. When you're facing a guy like that and he's getting generous calls off the plate, chances are, he's going to throw up a lot of zeroes.
"We had our chances. We had our chances to score and couldn't come up with a big hit.''
The two best chances for the Sox came in the third and again in the top of the ninth.
In the third, with runners at first and second and two out, Pedroia hit a ball to left-center. But Franklin Gutierrez, among the game's best outfielders, ran it down, ending the threat.
Gutierrez later left the game after being struck in the ear on a pickoff attempt at first base. But his replacement, Michael Saunders, made a similarly impressive catch in the ninth.
The Sox then had first-and-second with one out, and Hernandez engaged in an epic at-bat with Adrian Gonzalez.
Gonzalez drove the ball to the left-center gap, but Saunders raced over and made the plate. When Will Middlebrooks popped to second, Hernandez was out of the jam.
Safeco Field is a spacious ballpark, and Gonzalez was a victim of the dimensions.
"Definitely the wrong place to hit that ball,'' he said. "He fell behind 3-and-0 and I was trying to get his fastball. He made a good pitch 3-and-0, then made a good pitch 3-and-1. Then, when he got to 3-and-2, you don't know if he's going to changeup or he's going to go curveball or if he's going to go his fastball.
"He kept throwing good pitches, good fastballs middle-away. He just kept spotting that fastball good. He left one over the middle of the plate and I Was able to hit it good, just not great. It's probably off the wall in a lot of ballparks.''
But not Safeco, on a night that wasn't the Red Sox' night.

Pedro Martinez tells WEEI Ortiz will make comeback this season

Pedro Martinez tells WEEI Ortiz will make comeback this season

Never say never?

While Red Sox officials said at the team's annual Winter Weekend at Foxwoods on Saturday that they'd be traveling to the Dominican Republic to talk to David Ortiz about a role with the team, Pedro Martinez told WEEI he sees Big Papi returning to his old role - designated hitter - this season.

CSN's Trenni Kusnierek and WEEI's John Tomase talked to Martinez on their show Saturday at Foxwoods and Martinez said his old teammate would be making a comeback despite the long, emotional farewell tour last season. 

For the full interview with Martinez, click here.

Red Sox executives Tom Werner, Sam Kennedy and Dave Dombrowski made no mention of Ortiz returning as a player when talking about their Dominican trip. Ortiz has repeatedly said he is going to stay retired. 

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

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Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- While there’s a deal of anticipation going into Spring training with the four Killer B’s, David Price and Pablo Sandoval’s shot at redemption and Rick Porcello looking to be something similar to his 2016 self, there’s one name that trumps them all.

Chris Sale.

The lankly lefty received an ovation from fans at the Friday night Town Hall, kicking off Red Sox Winter Weekend. With his consistent success, there’s reason to be excited.

But there’s also reason for apprehension given the way Sale’s departure from Chicago was depicted. But he’s made sure to clear the air.

“I wouldn’t say . . . ya know . . . I loved my time in Chicago,” Sale said when asked if it was time to leave the Windy City. “My best baseball memories are there [and] will be there forever. I love the city; I love the people in the organization.

“It was time for both sides to do something different, I guess. I talked to (White Sox Senior V.P.) Rick on the phone, I talked to (White Sox pitching coach Don) Coop (Cooper). We’re all cool, it’s fine. We understand where both of us are, it happens in baseball, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Chicago.”

He didn’t seem irritated discussing the issue, and certainly wasn’t timid -- we all know that’s not in his DNA.

He genuinely seems excited to deal with the large sum of Sox fans and to call a new place home -- in a city his wife’s fond of no less.

But ultimately, he’s focused on winning, nothing else.

“Every time I’m out there it’s gonna be all I got,” Sale said. "Every time, no matter what. Can promise you that.”