Ross, Gonzalez step in for injured Red Sox

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Ross, Gonzalez step in for injured Red Sox

BOSTON -- Following Wednesday night's 10-1 win over the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park, Bobby Valentine was reminded -- during his post game press conference -- of the obvious fact that his offense did all of this damage without David Ortiz.
Valentine stepped in and reminded everyone that he wasn't the only player the Red Sox were missing.
"Without David and Dustin actually," said Valentine.
Ortiz and Pedroia have been two of the biggest pieces to this Red Sox offense over the years, but both find themselves on the disabled list. They hope that Wednesday night will be the last game that Pedroia misses, while Ortiz was just placed on the DL before the game.
With both missing on Wednesday against the White Sox, the Red Sox needed someone to step up. Cody Ross and Adrian Gonzalez did just that.
The two hit third and fourth, respectively, in Boston's lineup, and they combined for six hits, three home runs, and all 10 RBIs.
Ross led the way with six of those RBIs, and two of those home runs -- both three-run bombs that cleared the monster seats. His first came in the bottom of the third, breaking a 1-1 tie with a three-run bomb down the left-field line. His second came in the very next inning, putting the Red Sox up 7-1.
"Cody swung the bat really well, there's no doubt about that," said Valentine after the win. "Two homers and a double. Ya know, you're standing in there, and you start looking at this small sample of that lineup, and you have the two left-handers in front of Ross and the two left-handers behind him, he's kind of sitting in a rocking chair, you know?
"And it didn't seem like pitches were working as well against him, as they were against the left-handers. It's kind of interesting. And he made him pay. A great job."
And Ross nearly had a third home run. Bat flip and home-run skip and all, Ross thought it was gone, but it ended up hitting the monster and was in there for a double.
Either way, Wednesday night marked Ross' 10th-career multi-homer game, and his third of the season. He now has 15 home runs on the year, with 10 of those coming at Fenway Park.
"I had a good feeling Fenway would be a good spot for me," said Ross after Wednesday night's win. "With that being said, Fenway could work against you. If you're thinking consciously all the time that you want to hit the ball over the wall, chances are youre not going to do it. You're probably going to pull a lot of balls foul or roll a lot of balls over, so my thought process is, stay hard up the middle, try to hit the balls as hard as I can up the middle, and my swing path will create that lift that will allow me to hit a lot of fly balls. And this is just definitely a great place to hit for a right-handed pull hitter."
"When Ben signed him during the winter, he had said, 'I think he's going to have a lot of success at home, in particular.' And he has had success here," said Valentine. "He looks really good hitting here. But he's hit all year, big hits, here and on the road."
The same thing can be said as of late for Gonzalez, who had four RBI on Wednesday including a solo home run into the monster seats in the fourth inning that resulted in back-to-back home runs with Ross, putting the Red Sox up 8-1.
But Gonzalez' biggest hit of the game came in the bottom of the first inning, as he lined a two-out RBI-single to right field that scored Jacoby Ellsbury from second to tie the game at 1-1.
Gonzalez has now hit safely in 22 of his last 23 games. He has a four-game hitting streak after Wednesday night, but as Valentine pointed out, had Gonzalez not left the July 8 Yankees game with an illness after only one at-bat, he would have a 23-game hitting streak.
"He's driving runs in, he's using the whole field, he's hitting all pitches, fouling off the tough ones," said Valentine. "He looks like the real Adrian Gonzalez, right at the right time."
And Gonzalez' teammates point out that he's got his swagger back.
"Hes probably one of the hottest hitters in the game right now," said Ross. "Hes got that confidence back and that swag back that Ive seen for years playing against him. And every time he comes up, hes got a chance to do damage, and hes such a fun hitter to watch when hes going good. He sprays the ball all over the place and has a lot of power and can hit the ball over that monster too."
He did just that on Wednesday night, him and Ross.

First impressions: Bradley Jr.'s hit streak comes to an end

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First impressions: Bradley Jr.'s hit streak comes to an end

BOSTON - First impressions from the Red Sox' 8-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies:

 

Just when you think Clay Buchholz may be close to figuring some things out, you realize he hasn't.

The night began well for Buchholz, who retired the first nine hitters he faced, marking the first time since April 18 that he had the opposition scoreless through the first three innings.

But then Buchholz allowed a single and a two-run homers in the fourth. And then did it again in the fifth. And then again in that same inning. That's been the big tease all season -- a few innings of dominance, more than wiped out by big hits with men on base.

He's got a 6.35 ERA. It's hard to find a reason why he should make his next start.

 

You can't say that Jackie Bradley Jr. didn't go down swinging.

He swung at the second pitch of the first inning and hit to the warning track in right, where it was caught.

After a weak comebacker in the third, Bradley crushed a pitch to the center field wall, close to 400 feet. That, too, was caught.

In his final at-bat, with the crowd on its feet in anticipation, Bradley swung at the first pitch and rolled out to second base.

It was nice -- and plenty of fun -- while it lasted.

Now, the attention focuses on Xander Bogaerts, who has his own streak going at 19 games.

 

David Ortiz has had a nice month this week.

Ortiz was at it again Thursday, slamming a two-run homer into the home bullpen in the first, then doubling off The Wall in the fourth.

He finished the night 2-for-5, but for the homestand was 10-for-23. Of those 10 hits, eight were for extra bases -- six doubles and two homers -- and he knocked in 11 runs in six games.

Also, for the first time in his career, Ortiz has knocked in multiple runs in four straight games.

 

Heath Hembree continues to be an important part of the bullpen.

The Red Sox don't necessarily have a designated long man, but Hembree is the closest thing they have to one.

He came in in the sixth and turned in three innings in which he allowed just one run -- and that one was unearned.

This marked the ninth time in 12 appearances this season that Hembree has pitched more than an inning.

 

Tanguay: Boggs deserved to have his number retired by Red Sox

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Tanguay: Boggs deserved to have his number retired by Red Sox

Wade Boggs gets a bad rap around here.

Yes, he rode the horse at Yankee Stadium. Yes, he wore his Yankee World Series ring as he and his 1986 Red Sox teammates were honored at Fenway Park last night. And there is the whole Margo Adams affair that landed said mistress in Penthouse and Wade on 20/20 with Barbara Walters. My God, he even cried for Barbara. Plus, he was labelled selfish for wanting to hit for a higher average as opposed to hitting home runs.

He was a walking controversy.

But he was also a hell of a player who deserves to have his number 26 (sorry, Lou Merloni) on the right-field facade.

Over his eleven seasons with the Sox he hit .338 with an .890 OPS and averaged 190 hits each season. He was the East Coast Tony Gwynn. Unlike Wade, Gwynn was a media favorite playing in laid-back San Diego who always had a smile on his face. Boggs sported a perpetual scowl, unless he was on the road with Ms. Adams.

While we can reminisce about strange and crazy time Boggs had in Boston off the field, it should be noted that he was a great player. He is, after all, a Hall of Famer – you know, the Cooperstown kind and not just the Red Sox Hall of Fame.

He was stuck in the Sox farm system until he was 24 years old. The book on him said great hitter but so-so fielder. Boggs worked his butt off at becoming a very good third baseman. Eventually, he won back-to-back Gold Gloves with the Yankees in 1994 and' 95.

At the plate his number were staggering. In 1987 he had a OPS of 1.049 and had over 200 hits in each season for seven straight years. In 1985, he had 240 hits! He won five batting titles for Boston. 

It's too bad that Margo Adams and riding the horse at Yankee Stadium has overshadowed his Red Sox career. On the field it was awesome, and to this day is greatly unappreciated by Red Sox fans.

Great guy? Nah. Great player? Yeah.