Same play, same result for disappointed Red Sox

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Same play, same result for disappointed Red Sox

SEATTLE -- The Red Sox had seen this all before: the potential winning run in scoring position, a ball hit to right fielder Cody Ross and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia waiting to simultaneously block the plate and handle the throw.

This one didn't turn out any better than it did Thursday night.

Two nights after suffering a walkoff loss in the bottom of the ninth, the Red Sox experienced much the same situation in the bottom of the 11th inning Saturday night, and suffered the same result: a loss.

With Dustin Ackley on third, Chone Figgins drove a line drive to right field. Ross caught the ball and, with some momentum from charging the ball, uncorked an on-target throw to the plate.

But the ball short-hopped Saltalamacchia, skipping away as Ackley slid in with the winning run.

"It was a little tougher, I think,'' said Saltalamacchia in comparing the two plays, "just because the ball had a little top-spin, so Cody had to run in on it and catch it a little lower than usual. It short-hopped me a little bit. It was one of those plays where it was do-or-die on both sides of it. But it was a lot different than the night before (when John Jaso singled home Casper Wells from second).''

"It's a do-or-die,'' said Ross of the play. "Chone made a good job making some good contact. It's a tough play. There was some topspin on it and you have to worry about catching it first, and then make an accurate throw.

"I thought it was going to get there the whole way (on the fly) and it ended up short-hopping Salty. That's a tough play for him to make. That's two tough ones in the last few days. That's baseball.''

The Sox had brought the infield in with one out, and were hopeful that they could get Figgins to hit a ground ball.

"You want him to roll over and get a double play so we can get out of the inning,'' said Saltalamacchia. "We tried a pitch-out first, maybe thinking they were trying to squeeze. Then we tried to go hard in, maybe trying to get him jammed up and roll him over.''

Sandoval 'starting from scratch' after career had 'fallen into an abyss'

Sandoval 'starting from scratch' after career had 'fallen into an abyss'

The Pablo Sandoval redemption tour is underway as the former World Series MVP tries to revive his career after two disastrous seasons with the Red Sox organization.

In an interview with ESPN Deportes, he admits to being “complacent” during his first two seasons in Boston after signing a five-year, $95 million deal. 

"My career had fallen into an abyss because I was so complacent with things that I had already accomplished," Sandoval said. "I did not work hard in order to achieve more and to remain at the level of the player that I am and that I can be."

After dealing Travis Shaw to the Brewers, Sandoval is expected to be the Red Sox primary third baseman in 2017.

"I am not taking anything for granted," he said. "I am here to work hard. I'm not thinking about the position or not. I am starting from scratch, and I am here to show what I can do on the field."

The 30-year-old says he’s following a “really strict routine” this offseason, and it shows. In a recent photo, Sandoval appears noticeably thinner. Sandoval says his wife giving birth to “Baby Panda” has served as inspiration.

"Watching 'Baby Panda' grow up and that he gets the opportunity to see his father play in the majors for seven, eight more years, to get back to the success I had, that's my motivation every day," Sandoval said. "The people that I surround myself with now and my family, they are the key to my success. This has been a life lesson."

Tanguay: Could Red Sox ownership be going for it now, then sell the team?

Tanguay: Could Red Sox ownership be going for it now, then sell the team?

Could John Henry sell ownership of the Boston Red Sox anytime soon, or does he want to keep winning?  Shaughnessy, Merloni, and Tanguay debate.