Red Sox happy with recent home success

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Red Sox happy with recent home success

BOSTON It was the kind of win the Red Sox needed. Contributions from all parts offense, defense, starting pitching, and the bullpen.

Perhaps it was enough to fend off the naysayers. For the time being.

Its very encouraging, said manager Bobby Valentine, who celebrated his 62 birthday with a 12-1 win over the Indians at Fenway Park.

Especially at home because there was some question after game one of the four-game series that wed never play well at home again, and that there was a mental state that we couldnt break through, and la-de-da-de-da-de-da.

When you see the guys in the clubhouse thats a good thing for me. Its good. And I think we had a good thing most of the year, its just frustrating because wed get so close and it would slip away. And now were just banging the door down. Were not letting the door shut the last couple of games. Its really been good.

While Daniel Bard was not at his sharpest, it was enough to hold the Indians at bay. The four-run lead his offense handed him in the first inning certainly helped. Bards outing, along with Clay Buchholz on Friday and Felix Doubronts on Saturday, gives the Sox a streak of three straight quality starts for the first time this season.

The bullpen once again came through, with three scoreless innings, one each from Rich Hill, Matt Albers, and Scott Atchison.

The 11-run margin of victory was the Sox largest of the season, and largest since an 18-6 win over the Blue Jays on Sept. 13. The Sox have scored 10 or more runs nine times this season, the most ever in the teams first 34 games of a season.

The offense batted around twice, in the four-run first and in the six-run seventh. Jarrod Saltalamacchia led the offense going 3-for-4 with a season-high five RBI, the second most of his career, and a his fifth home run of the season.

It starts with pitching, said Saltalamacchia. Pitching and defense wins games. So last three starts have been great. These guys have been going after the guy, really commanding the plate, commanding the zone, kind of setting the tone for us and then with our offense were going to be able to put some runs on the board. And a day like today where Bardo battled and just going after these guys and didn't give in, that was what picked everyone up.

Rookies Daniel Nava and Will Middlebrooks combined to go 4-for-5 with six runs scored, five RBI, a home run, two doubles, a walk, and Nava twice getting hit by a pitch.

Its awesome. It really is, Saltalamacchia said. Thats whats going to happen throughout the year. You get guys that are injured, guys that get called up and step in like theyve done. Its not easy to come to Boston and step in like they've done and do a great job.

Perhaps a game like this will make it easier to play, at least for the final two games on the six-game homestand.

Youve just got to take it all in, Saltalamacchia said. Its the best place in the world to play and obviously if were not playing well, they're going to let us know and thats part of the game. But a day like today, we put some runs on the board, but it was awesome.

Dombrowski knows ‘winning the winter’ isn’t the ultimate goal

Dombrowski knows ‘winning the winter’ isn’t the ultimate goal

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md -- In the span on less than 12 hours earlier this week, the Red Sox injected some impact players onto their roster, moves that cost them a large chunk of their farm system but made them the prohibitive favorites in the American League.
    
By adding All-Star starter Chris Sale, power set-up man Tyler Thornburg and first baseman Mitch Moreland (though the Sox have not confirmed the latter yet), the team was remade and became the talk of the Winter Meetings.
     
But Dave Dombrowski knows that "winning the winter'' can be a hollow achievement. It's what happens when the games start that will truly matter.
     
"We feel good,'' said Dombrowski as he got ready to depart. "We feel like we have a better ballclub. We feel like we've helped ourselves. Our guys have done a good job here all week long. So, we feel good about it.
     
"In the winter time, winning doesn't really mean anything. We've had that situation before. It really comes down to how well you play. That's why when people ask me to made predictions, I never make them. I think we have a club that can compete. I like our ballclub. But you really have to go about it on a day-in, day-out basis and take care of your business and I think our club will do that.''
     
The Red Sox, of course, won the A.L. East, but were summarily dismissed in the Division Series by the Cleveland Indians, who swept them in three straight.
     
The Sox were the best offensive club in the majors, but the retirement of David Ortiz takes a huge weapon out of their lineup. It's doubtful they'll score as many runs as they did a year ago.
     
Correspondingly, the Sox vastly improved their rotation with Sale, giving them three front-line starters and, in theory, a chance to go further into the postseason in 2017.
     
So deep are the Sox, in fact, that they now have seven established starters, a surplus that has them positioned to move one arm.
    
It may take some time for the market to develop, as clubs explore what's available from other teams and in free agency.
     
"I don't know what that will be,'' Dombrowski said. "We'll just kind of wait and see what takes place. I think a lot is dependent on other things that need to shake out. So our depth in starting pitching is somewhat new to people. They need time to analyze that. I had a couple clubs approach me about that [inside the Rule 5 draft] this morning. Again, we're not jumping. We'll just wait and see what happens.''
     
Dombrowski could choose to move either Drew Pomeranz or Clay Buchholz, though it would seem dumping Buchholz's $13.5 million contract would be his preference.
     
That would enable Dombrowski to get closer to the $195 million luxury tax threshold, which he has said is a preference not a mandate.
     
"I have a preference [in choosing which starter to move],’’ he said with a smile. "I won't share that with you, but I have a preference.''

 

Red Sox re-acquire INF Rutledge in Rule 5 draft

Red Sox re-acquire INF Rutledge in Rule 5 draft

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- On Wednesday afternoon, Dave Dombrowski was asked what else he might be searching for to complete his roster.
     
Dombrowski, noting that Travis Shaw had been dealt away in the trade that brought the Red Sox reliever Tyler Thornburg, said the Red Sox could use another utility infielder to compete with left-handed-hitting Marco Hernandez.
     
On Thursday morning, Dombrowski found a familiar body in the unlikeliest of places.
     
The Sox selected Josh Rutledge from the Colorado Rockies in the Rule 5 draft. Rutledge, who was once obtained in exchange for outfielder Shane Victorino, spent parts of two seasons with the Red Sox, posting a slash line of .276/.338/.358 with a homer and 13 RBI in 67 games.
     
He missed most of last season with a knee injury and was outrighted by the Sox last month, becoming a free agent. He signed a minor league deal with the Rockies, but was unprotected by the Rockies and made available in Thursday's draft.
     
"We always liked him,'' said Dombrowski. "He thought his opportunity to play at the big league level was better [in Colorado]. But it was a situation for us, we looked at our club and we thought we might need a right-handed [hitting] utility infielder. We looked over the list and we like what he can do for our ballclub. So he was on obvious choice for us.''
     
Rutledge will compete against Marco Hernandez to become another bench player to team with Brock Holt on the Red Sox  roster.
     
Deven Marrero is also a righthand-hitting infielder, but his strength is defense and he's yet to prove he can hit major league pitching.
     
"I'd rather have someone [competing] who can swing the bat a little bit more,'' said Dombrowski. "I think [Rutledge] lines up to be on our club. We'll see what happens in spring training, but we know him, we like him. There looks like there's a path for him.''
     
Drafting Rutledge cost the Red Sox just $50,000 and he must  remain on the team's 25-man roster all season or, be offered back to the Rockies and placed on waivers.
     
The Sox also lost two players in the Rule 5 major league draft. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim chose right-handed pitcher Justin Haley, while the Baltimore Orioles chose outfielder Aneury Tavarez.