Pedroia still searching for timing

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Pedroia still searching for timing

BOSTON Since returning to the lineup on Tuesday, after missing six games because of a torn adductor muscle in his right thumb, Dustin Pedroia has gone 2-for-20 with a run scored, two RBI, two walks and seven strikeouts. His average has dropped from .295 to .277 in that span.

His sixth-inning single Friday night against Stephen Strasburg snapped an 0-for-14 slide.

Saturday, he went 1-for-4 with a sixth-inning single against Nationals lefty Gio Gonzalez.

Pedroia came to the plate with two outs and the Red Sox rallying in the seventh -- with two runs in already in the inning, now down by two runs, having knocked Gonzalez out of the game.

But Pedroia popped out to first baseman Adam LaRoche in foul territory to end the rally.

"He's got great effort, and I think they're pitching him really tough, said manager Bobby Valentine. He hasn't got a lot of great pitches to hit. And the ones that he's gotten, his timing's just been off a little."

Pedroia insists hes feeling better at the plate, seconding his managers opinion that he just needs to work on getting his timing back.

I feel alright, Pedroia said. Timings still a little off. A little late on the heater and early on off-speed pitches. But Ill have one at-bat where it clicks and take off.

His timing being off is just a factor of the time he had off, he said.

Yeah, thats it, he said. The past few days Ive hit the ball actually pretty good. Today I really didnt, but the last few days. But I got to start finding a way to get on base and help us score runs.

The 4-2 loss to the Nationals on Saturday was the Sox fifth in the last six games, dropping them under .500, at 29-30, for the first time since May 27. Its not a team slump, Pedroia said, just a matter of facing good pitching.

The last two guys Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg were pretty darn good, he said. So we got to come out and find a way to have better at-bats and score runs for our guy.

He insists hes fine physically, the brace hes been wearing is not hindering him, and the thumb is fine.

Ill be alright, he said. Ill get hits, dont worry.

First impressions: Red Sox bullpen picks up the slack in 7-3 win

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First impressions: Red Sox bullpen picks up the slack in 7-3 win

CHICAGO -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 7-3 win over the White Sox:

* Henry Owens doesn't throw enough strikes to remain in the rotation.

Owens's time was coming to an end anyway, what with the imminent return of Eduardo Rodriguez.

But Owens may have pitched his way out of another start with his outing Thursday night. He faced 16 hitters and walked six hitters.

In every inning he began, he allowed the leadoff hitter to reach. This, despite his teammates scoring runs for him in every previous half inning.

* For a team without a lot of homers, the Red Sox hit their share Thursday night.

The Sox came into the game tied for 11th in homers in the American League, then hit three in the first six innings.

Each one of the homers -- by Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez and Jackie Bradley - came with the bases empty, but together, they helped the Red Sox hold off the White Sox.

Ramirez's homer was particularly encouraging, since it was his second in the last three nights, and like the one he hit on Tuesday, was hit to the opposite field.

* The bullpen picked up a lot of slack.

When the Henry Owens Walkfest mercifully ended in the fourth inning, the Red Sox still had 18 outs to get.

Heath Hembree stumbled some, allowing a run on five hits -- the first run he's allowed this season -- but Matt Barnes, Junichi Tazawa, Robbie Ross. Jr took it from there, chipping in for the final 4 1/3 innings, all scoreless.

Thus far this season, the Red Sox have won four games in which their starter failed to get to the fifth inning. Some of that is a tribute to the offense, which has rallied a few times to make up early deficits.

But it's also due in part to the bullpen, which has provided quality relief and bought time for the offense to catch up.

* The Sox continue to play well on the road.

Through the first four road series, the Red Sox are 4-0-1, having done no worse than a split in their road sets to date.

Learning to win on the road now can be a useful trait for this team in the second half, when the schedule has them playing far more games away from home in the final two and a half months of the season.

* Boston had a balanced offensive attack.

Every member of the starting lineup except one Thursday had either an extra-base hit or a sacrifice fly. Leadoff hitter Mookie Betts, who continues to run hot and cold, was the only starter without one or the other, though he did have a single, walk twice and score a run.

In all, seven different players recorded one RBI.

Dan Shaughnessy: Can Hanley Ramirez replace David Ortiz at DH next season?

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Dan Shaughnessy: Can Hanley Ramirez replace David Ortiz at DH next season?

Dan Shaughnessy joins Arbella Early Edition to discuss David Ortiz’s impressive start to the season and whether he thinks Hanley Ramirez can fill his shoes at DH next season.

Felger vs. Shaughnessy: Would you take Ortiz or Ted Williams?

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Felger vs. Shaughnessy: Would you take Ortiz or Ted Williams?

Michael Felger says he would take David Ortiz on his team over Ted Williams.

Dan Shaughnessy sounds off on why he thinks that is an absolutely ridiculous thing to say.

Watch the video above.