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.

Pedroia leads Red Sox to 11th win in a row, 3-2 over Rays in 10

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Pedroia leads Red Sox to 11th win in a row, 3-2 over Rays in 10

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Dustin Pedroia used nifty baserunning to score from first base on David Ortiz's double in the 10th inning and the AL East-leading Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Sunday for their 11th consecutive win.

Pedroia singled off Eddie Gamboa (0-1) to start the inning. The relay throw on Ortiz's hit to right center beat Pedroia to plate but he avoided Luke Maile's first tag. Pedroia's momentum carried him past the plate and when he went back to touch it, Maile was charged with an error when the ball dropped out his glove on another tag try.

Pedroia hit a solo homer and Mookie Betts extended his hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI single for the Red Sox, who secured at least an AL wild-card spot Saturday night. Boston's magic number to clinch the division title dropped to two.

Joe Kelly (4-0) went 2 2/3 scoreless innings for the win.

Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out a career-high 13 in 5 1/3 innings. The left-hander and Heath Hembree combined to strikeout 11 consecutive batters to establish a major league-record. The New York Mets held the previous mark when Tom Seaver struck out 10 in a row against San Diego on Apr. 22, 1970.

Boston also set a club record by striking out 21 through nine. Kelly added two more in the 10th.

There was a moment of silence before the game for Miami pitcher Jose Fernandez, who was killed in a boating accident early Sunday. Fernandez played high school baseball in nearby Tampa, Florida after defecting from Cuba.

The Rays planned to honor Ortiz before his final game at Tropicana Field but canceled the ceremony at Ortiz's request after Fernandez's death. He had three hits in five at-bats and moved past Frank Thomas for 107th place on the career list with 2,469 hits.

Ortiz has 35 homers and 90 RBIs at Tropicana Field, which is the most of any visiting player. Alex Rodriguez is next with 30 homers and 73 RBIs.

HONORING BIG PAPI

Rays 3B Evan Longoria and RHP Chris Archer informally presented Ortiz with an oil painting of his 500th home run, which he hit at Tropicana Field last season. Ortiz was also given 34 special handmade Diamond Crown Maximus cigars and $5,000 donations in his name to the Miracle League of St. Petersburg, Florida and the University of South Florida Latino scholarship program.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: Ortiz will play at Yankee Stadium for the final time during a three-game series against New York that starts Tuesday night. "Playing baseball in New York is something that is very special," Ortiz said. LHP David Price (17-8) will start for the Red Sox Tuesday night.

Rays: LHP Drew Smyly (7-11) will face White Sox RHP James Shields (3-11) Monday night in the first of four games in Chicago.

© 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.

 

Ortiz, Red Sox express shock, sadness over Fernandez's death

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Ortiz, Red Sox express shock, sadness over Fernandez's death

Like the rest of the baseball world, the Red Sox expressed shock and sadness over the tragic death of Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, who was killed in a boating accident in Miami. 

David Ortiz tweeted his thoughts before the game Sunday in St. Petersburg, where the Red Sox played the Tampa Bay Rays.

There was a moment of silence for Fernandez - who attended high school in the Tampa area after defecting from Cuba at 15 - before the game at Tropicana Field, and before all major league games on Sunday. 

There was to be on-field ceremony for Ortiz before his last game at the Trop, part of his retirement farewell tour, but it was canceled at Ortiz's request. A video tribute to Ortiz was shown during the game and the Rays gave Ortiz his retirement gifts privately.

Ortiz wiped away tears during the moment of silence. He wrote Fernandez's intitals and his uniform number 16 on his cap.

Fernandez had joked about how he wanted to give up a home run to Ortiz when he faced him as an N.L. pitcher in the All-Star Game this past July. 

"I told him yesterday that I am going to throw him three fastballs down the middle. I want to watch him hit a home run," Fernandez had said. 

Ortiz ended up walking against Fernandez, prompting this response from Big Papi:

First baseman Hanley Ramirez, who played for the Marlins, as well as other Red Sox players, also tweeted their reactions after hearing the news of Fernandez's death Sunday morning.