Snyder comes through for Sox with bases loaded

Snyder comes through for Sox with bases loaded
July 3, 2013, 12:15 am
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BOSTON – Brandon Snyder was called up a week ago from Triple-A Pawtucket. Safe to say, he is not looking for directions back down I-95.
 
Snyder went 1-for-3 with three RBI in Tuesday’s 4-1 win over the Padres at Fenway Park. His fourth-inning double (on which he was thrown out trying to stretch a triple) broke open a scoreless game, giving the Red Sox all the runs they would need.
 
Since being called, Snyder is 3-for-9. But in his two starts, he is 3-for-7 with two doubles and five RBI in the past two games, both starts.  He made his Sox debut Friday, pinch-running for Stephen Drew, who injured his hamstring, and going in to play third base.
 
This is Synder’s fourth stint in the big leagues. He had appeared in 56 games over the previous three seasons with the Orioles and Texas, who released him at the end of spring training, allowing Snyder to sign with the Sox. He is now batting .280, going 30-for-107 in the big leagues.

With one out and the bases loaded, Snyder stepped to the plate to face Padres starter, lefty Robbie Erlin. He was quickly behind, 1-and-2, before working Erlin to nine pitches. Snyder drilled a 90-mph fastball off the wall in left-center, scoring David Ortiz, Mike Napoli, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, ending Erlin's outing.
 
“This is a guy that’s been a good offensive player in the time he’s played with the Rangers, a little bit with Baltimore and what we’re seeing in the couple of games he’s played for us,” said manager John Farrell. “But the bases-clearing double in the fourth was the difference in this game.”
 
Snyder was in a similar situation Friday – one out, bases loaded, facing Blue Jays left Darren Oliver in the seventh inning. On Tuesday night, thought, he just wanted to be sure the outcome of his at-bat was different. He struck out against Oliver, and the Sox left the bases loaded in the inning.
 
“I had a little flashback of the other day when Toronto was in town,” he said. “Against Oliver, with less than two outs, just try to get a pitch up to do something with. Battled [Erlin] and finally got him to leave one over the plate. In that situation, just trying to battle, not trying to do too much, just trying to get something in the air to get a run home, hit a  sac fly or at least get one run in. The best-case scenario is to get a ball you can drive and do a little more with and that’s what happened. At that point I hoped he would make a mistake after throwing a lot of good pitches. It was a battle.

“After I hit one down the left field line [foul], I figured he’s going to try to beat me with his best stuff. He’s not going to  try to beat me with his breaking stuff. He commanded his fastball pretty well all night, he was throwing it 88-90, but locating it really well.”

Snyder, who has three career home runs, all last season with the Rangers, thought he might have had a chance for his first career grand slam.
 
“I hit that one pretty good,” he said. “I was watching it to see if it might go. [Jon] Lester told me that wasn’t very smart hitting, hitting it where I did. I need to practice not hitting it to that part.”
 
Snyder was a No. 1 pick (13th overall) of the Orioles in 2005 out of Westfield (Virg.) High School. Justin Upton was the first overall pick that year. Snyder was drafted 10 spots ahead of Jacoby Ellsbury, 29 spots ahead of Clay Buchholz, 32 places ahead of Jed Lowrie.  The Sox also picked  Craig Hansen (26th overall) and Michael Bowden (47th overall) behind Snyder  that year.
 
How long Snyder will be up with the Sox is unknown. The Sox have not placed him on the disabled list, but manager John Farrell said before the game, Drew would likely not play for the rest of the homestand.
 
It’s a situation to which Snyder, a veteran of 790 minor league games,  has become accustomed. He’s just not sure why he hasn’t’ been able to stick in the big leagues.

“It’s one of those things where I’ve had opportunities in the past, but I haven’t taken advantage of them,” he said. “Take them when you can. This is my 10th year. Anytime you get up here, you try to take advantage of your chances. It used to bother me, but I don’t care, I’m just going to keep doing what I keep doing whether it’s Baltimore, Texas or here. If they like it, they like it. If they don’t, they don’t.”
 
Safe to say, they like it so far.