Postgame notes: A pitch Uehara would like back

Postgame notes: A pitch Uehara would like back
June 6, 2013, 12:00 am
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(AP Photo)

BOSTON – Koji Uehara entered the game Wednesday having allowed just two of the 10 runners he inherited this season to score. He had retired 16 of the 23 first batters he faced in an outing.
 
Still, his first pitch was the difference in the Red Sox 3-2 loss to the Rangers at Fenway Park.
 
With two outs and runners on first and second, and the score tied in the seventh inning, Uehara entered in relief of Craig Breslow. But, Elvis Andrus drove Uehara’s first pitch into left-center for a two-run double. Although the Sox would score a run in the eighth, that pitch – a fastball- would prove to be the difference in the game.
 
“We’ve been throwing [Andrus] a lot of fastballs away, too, and we tried to go away on that first pitch and it just kind of leaked back over the middle of the plate, and he didn’t miss it,” said catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. “But all in all, [Uehara] came back and threw well after that. Ti was just one pitch.”
 
The situation Uehara inherited left little room for error.
 
“It is difficult,” he said. “But the manager had confidence in me. So I wanted to try to do my best and get out of that situation.
 
“I think it was just the location that I missed. I think strategy-wise it was [fine].”
 
“He’s trying to go down and away with a fastball first pitch to Andrus,” John Farrell said. “It leaks back to the middle and he squares the ball up for the difference in this ball game. But we continue to battle back. Koji’s been so consistent for us, whether it’s been with men in scoring position or starting clean innings by himself.”
 
But, in this situation, Andrus was waiting. He had an idea of what to expect from his former Texas teammate.
 
"Fastball is what I was looking for,” Andrus said. “[Uehara’s] always aggressive. That's what I saw last year from him. He always likes to get on top of every hitter. So I was trying to stay calm and see my pitch and just trying to drive it."
 
Craig Breslow was charged with the loss, falling to 2-1 with a 2.51 ERA.
 
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The Red Sox fell to 8-6 in one-run games. ... The Sox scored two runs on five hits and three extra-base hits a night after recording 17 runs on 19 hits and 13 extra-base hits.
 
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John Lackey did not factor into the decision despite holding Texas to one run over six nnings to lower his ERA to 2.79. He gave up five hits and no walks while striking out five.  The only run he allowed came on a solo home run by Adrian Beltre with two outs in the fourth inning.  All four  runs he has allowed over his last 2 starts have come on solo homers….He  has given up three or fewer earned runs in eight of his nine starts this season. He has four straight quality starts dating back to May 19, with a 1.44 ERA in that stretch… This was his fifth start of the season allowing one or few earned run. It was his second start this season issuing no walks.
 
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Mike Carp is batting .345 , going 10-for-29,  with four doubles, two home runs, nine  RBI, two walks, and eight runs  scored in his past 10 games. Of his 23 hits in 2013, 15 have gone for extra bases.
 
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Dustin Pedroia went 1-for-3 with his fourth home run of the season, a game-tying solo shot with two out in the bottom of the sixth inning. Of his four homers this season, three have either tied the game of given the Sox a lead….He has hit safely in nine straight games, batting .314, going 11-for-35. … He has reached base safely in 55 of 60 games this season, tied for the most games reaching base in the majors this year...This was his AL-high 37th time reaching at least twice this season.
 
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Mike Napoli drew three  walks,  matching his single-game career high for the 13th time and third time this season...No other major leaguer entered Wednesday with more than two three-walk games this season. ... Jose Iglesias  went 1-for-3 , extended his career-long hitting streak to nine games, passing 2 others for the longest hit streak by an AL rookie this season...During this stretch he is 13-for-33, batting .394 with three doubles, a home run, and five RBI.
 
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Will Middlebrooks  continued his rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket. He started at third base, batting in his second rehab game. He went 2-for-3 with a walk and five RBI, including a three-run home run in the seventh inning of a 7-4 victory.