Ross makes amends with four-RBI game


Ross makes amends with four-RBI game

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Cody Ross felt somewhat responsible for the Red Sox loss in the series opener at Tropicana Field Wednesday night.
Thursday night, he made amends.
Ross, who had trouble picking up a routine fly ball from the dome's roof and wasn't in position to make a strong throw to the plate as the go-ahead run scored in Wednesday's 2-1 loss, drove in all but one of the team's run in a 5-3 victory Thursday.
He walked walked with the bases loaded in the first, belted a solo homer in the third and added a critical two-run single in the eighth to provide some breathing room.
"I obviously felt really bad about (Wednesday) night," said Ross. "To come out today and pick up the team and get a victory, split the short series, was big for us."
The at-bats:
In the eighth, with Dustin Pedroia on third and David Ortiz at second, Ross faced Wade Davis.
"He threw me a curve ball first pitch and I swung at it," he said. "I was just trying to battle. I looked out there and saw the shift and I was just trying to hit a hole, and luckily, hit it right to the shortstop and he wasn't there."

In the third, with two out and the bases loaded, he faced Tampa Bay starter Matt Moore.
"He threw me two really good (changeups) right before that," recounted Ross, "that had some movement them, moving away from my barrell. I took both of them. The (next) one kind of stayed flat. I was just trying to square it up. I definitely wasn't trying to hit a home run to center. I just hit it hard and got some air under it."

In the first inning, with the bases loaded, Ross fell behind 0-and-2 to Moore, before battling back for a walk, forcing in the first run of the night.
"(That kind of at-bat) definitely gives you confidence," said Ross, "being down 0-and-2 and battling back and fighting off some tough pitches. That definitely gave me confidence going up in my second at-bat.
"I was down quickly 0-2 (the next time when he homered), but I didn't panic. I just stayed with my approach."
The four-RBI game was the second of the season for Ross, who didn't have one all of last year. Both of those games have come against Tampa, and three of his seven homers have been hit off Rays' pitching.

Red Sox 'not going to rush' moving pitching depth after acquiring Sale

Red Sox 'not going to rush' moving pitching depth after acquiring Sale

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The addition of Chris Sale to the Red Sox' rotation has created a rare glut of starting pitchers, including seven with major league experience.

That means that at least one will have to be moved in a trade. But Red Sox' president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski isn't in any hurry.

"We're not aggressively looking to do something,'' he said. "We're really just digesting what's taken place. I think if we wanted to aggressively make a deal, we could definitely do that. But I don't really have a big hole on our major league club to address at this time.

"I think it's really important to gather all the info. Some teams have (starters) available; there are free agents out there. Our philosophy is kind of say, 'Let's just see what happens.' We're not going to rush out and do anything.''

That makes sense, especially since there's a very thin free agent market for starters, and many teams that need upgrades to their rotation.

Eventually, some are going to get desperate and may have to overpay. In that scenario, the Sox could really capitalize.

The starter the Sox would like to move the most is Clay Buchholz, if only because his salary ($13.5 million) is easily the highest among the three the Sox would be willing to part with. Steven Wright has yet to qualify for salary arbitration and Drew Pomeranz will get a bump from last year, but will still be under $5 million after arbitration.

Eduardo Rodriguez, meanwhile, almost certainly won't be dealt because of his youth and potential, though Dombrowski hinted that teams have checked on the availability of every starter except The Big Three of Sale, David Price and Rick Porcello "as well as guys who aren't (in the current major league picture like Brian Johnson, Henry Owens, and Roenis Elias).''

Depth in the rotation is always welcome, but the numbers are such that the Sox can't make the current group of seven starters work.

"You start counting,'' said Dombrowski, "and there's not enough spots for everybody on the team.''

It's possible that the Sox could go into spring training with all seven and wait to see if injuries elsewhere give them additional leverage.

But that, too, is unlikely.

"It seems like there's not a lot of moves made in spring training,'' he said.

As for what the Sox might be seeking in return, the Sox don't have any obvious need they have to fill. It's possible they could want to obtain some prospects to help restock the system after six were traded in two trades this week.

"I can't really answer that question.'' he said. "We've traded a lot (of prospects). We wouldn't mind replenishing some of what we've traded.''

Felger: Crazy can be good, but Sale needs to harness it

Felger: Crazy can be good, but Sale needs to harness it

Chris Sale brings with him to Boston some attitude. He also brings a measure of defiance and, perhaps, a little bit of crazy.

All of which the Red Sox starting staff just may need. And if Sale pitches as he has for much of the past five years, he'll probably be celebrated for it.

I still wonder how it will all play here, especially if he underachieves.

What would we do to him locally if he refused to pitch because he didn't like a certain kind of uniform variation the team was going with? What would we say if he not only refused to pitch, but took a knife to his teammates' uniforms and the team had to scrap the promotion? Sale did exactly that in Chicago last year, after which he threw his manager under the bus for not standing by his players and attacked the team for putting business ahead of winning.

All because he didn't want to wear an untucked jersey?

"(The White Sox throwback uniforms) are uncomfortable and unorthodox,'' said Sale at the time. "I didn't want to go out there and not be at the top of my game in every aspect that I need to be in. Not only that, but I didn't want anything to alter my mechanics. ... There's a lot of different things that went into it.''

Wearing a throwback jersey would alter his mechanics? Was that a joke? It's hard to imagine he would get away with that in Boston.

Ditto for his support of Adam LaRoche and his involvement of that goofy story last March.
LaRoche, you'll remember, retired when the White Sox had the nerve to tell him that his 14-year-old son could not spend as much time around the team as he had grown accustomed to. Sale responded by pitching a fit.

“We got bald-face lied to by someone we’re supposed to be able to trust,'' said Sale of team president Kenny Williams. ``You can’t come tell the players it was the coaches and then tell the coaches it was the players, and then come in and say something completely different. If we’re all here to win a championship, this kind of stuff doesn’t happen.”

On what planet does allowing a 14-year-old kid in a clubhouse have anything to do with winning a title? In what universe does a throwback jersey have anything to do with mechanics? If David Price had said things that stupid last year, he'd still be hearing about it. And it won't be any different for Sale.

Thankfully, Sale's defiance and feistiness extends to the mound. Sale isn't afraid to pitch inside and protect his teammates, leading the American League in hit batsmen each of the last two years. He doesn't back down and loves a fight. And while that makes him sound a little goofy off the field, it should play well on it.

In the meantime, the Sox better hope he likes those red alternate jerseys they wear on Fridays.

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