Sox continue to struggle in extra-innings

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Sox continue to struggle in extra-innings

BOSTON In this Red Sox season that has been defined by futility and failure, Saturday afternoon offered a microcosmic glimpse into the season, as the Sox lost, 9-6, in 12 innings to the Orioles at Fenway Park.

The Sox have now lost four in a row and fell to a season-worst 17 games under .500. They have lost the season series to the Orioles for the first time since 2004, and fell to 1-7 overall against the Orioles at Fenway this season. With a Baltimore win on Sunday, the Orioles will tie their team-high wins in a season at Fenway Park, with eight in 1960 and 1966.

Alfredo Aceves gave up three runs in the 12th, wasting stellar performances by Craig Breslow, Junichi Tazawa, Andrew Bailey, and Mark Melancon, who each pitched a perfect inning in relief of Aaron Cook, who gave up five runs in 5 13 innnigs.

It was hard to find a silver lining.

Yeah, said Melancon, who had two strikeouts in his inning of work. All year its been like that.

The Sox came back from three deficits to tie the game, only to lose once again in extra innings.

Its frustrating, said Cody Ross. But we battled and had some chances but couldnt come through and they did.

The Sox fell to 2-9 in extra-inning games this season, 0-7 in extra innings at Fenway, and 0-4 to the Orioles in extra innings at Fenway. Their record in extra innings is confounding.

Very, said Ross. At the end of the season the teams that you see go into the playoffs pull out the extra-inning games and win a lot of extra-inning games. We just havent been able to do that this year.

When you dont have that fire power, I guess, with the big hit, said manager Bobby Valentine. The guys are giving great at-bats, just coming up a little short at times. Wanting it real badly, I think, when they go up there and maybe trying too hard to get the walk off.

Meanwhile, it was the Orioles 18th extra-inning win this season, including a team-record 16 in a row the most since the 1949 Indians won 17 straight.

If I knew the secret to their success Id put it in a bottle, sell it on the street corners, Valentine said. But its a pretty good bullpen, Ill tell you that. Got a guy Tommy Hunter coming in in the 11th inning throwing 101 mph. Thats pretty tough to score against.

They got guys in their bullpen throwing 100 miles an hour, Ross said. Theyve got a good bullpen. They've got arm after arm after arm. And they put together good at-bats. Theyve done a good job at it this year.

For now, all the Sox can do is keep trying.

Thats the only thing we can do right now, Ross said. Stay positive and keep grinding, keep fighting and a pitch at a time as they say. So a pitch at a time, as they say.

Quotes, notes and stars: Pedroia was focused on winning, not streak

Quotes, notes and stars: Pedroia was focused on winning, not streak

BOSTON -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 8-3 win over the Royals:

QUOTES

“I hadn’t really thought about it. Trying to win games. It’s late in the year . . . I don’t really have time to sit back and pat myself on the back for anything. We’re trying to win as a team.” - Dustin Pedroia on the importance of the 11-for-11 stretch in his career.

“It’s fun. It’s why you go to work in December, January, February. It’s all the work you put in up to this point. It feels good to go out there and get the results you expect to get, especially against a team like [the Royals] who is hot as they are right now.” - David Price on pitching meaningful games with a playoff-like atmosphere.

“Yeah, yeah we [knew about the streak] . . .  It was an awesome roll and it was fun to see . . . Every time I went up to hit, I let Salvador Perez know.” - Xander Bogaerts on Dustin Pedroia’s 11-for-11 streak.

“I think we’ve been able to handle velocity very well. We’ve got good bat-speed in out lineup, and we’re able to handle that.” - John Farrell on the offense thriving against good pitching.

 

NOTES

* David Ortiz played in his 1,000th game at Fenway Park, becoming the fifth player to do so.

* Ortiz also became the first player ever to play 2,000 games as the designated hitter.

* Mookie Betts scored his 100th run of the season off his 29th home run of the year, joining Fred Lynn, Johnny Pesky and Ted Williams as the only players to reach 100 runs before turning 24.

* The Red Sox hit back-to-back home runs for the fourth time this season with Betts and Hanley Ramirez going yard in the fifth.

* With his 2-for-4 day at the plate, Jackie Bradley Jr. improved to 34-for-94 (.362) batting ninth.

 

STARS

1) Dustin Pedroia

Pedroia finished 4-for-5, extending his streak to 11 hits in 11 at-bats, finishing one shy of tying the MLB record.

2) David Price

Price logged his fourth straight quality start with his six-inning, two-run start. He also dropped his ERA below 4.00 for the first time since his Opening Day start with Boston.

3) Salvador Perez

Perez finished 2-for-3 with two home runs. Saturday marked only the second multi-home run game of his career.

First impressions: Price, Pedroia lead Red Sox to 8-3 win over Royals

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First impressions: Price, Pedroia lead Red Sox to 8-3 win over Royals

BOSTON -- First impressions from the Red Sox 8-3 win over the Kansas City Royals:

 

David Price has found a groove.

Price finally brought his ERA below 4.00.

He’d been about that mark since his second start of the season. Twenty-six starts later, he finally reached the mark.

Saturday’s start marked Price’s fourth-straight quality start. Price will soon eclipse the 200-strikeout, reaching 186 K’s with his seven-strikeout performance.

Although the lefty hasn’t been at his best throughout much of the year, he’s caught fire of late.

Possibly at the most important part of the season, too.

 

Dustin Pedroia just missed making history, can’t buy an out.

Boston’s second baseman entered Saturday with seven hits in his last seven at-bats. He stretched that streak to 11-for-11 with a 4-for-4 game.

He had the chance to go 12-for-12 in the eighth, but weakly grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.

He’s also the first Red Sox player with three straight four-hit games at Fenway Park since 1913.

Boston’s second baseman continues to prove that his struggles in recent years were directly related to injuries, not diminishing performance.

 

The offense passed a big test.

It might’ve appeared that Danny Duffy was a middle-of-the-road pitcher with the way Red Sox hitters tattooed him in Saturday’s win.

But the right only had one loss in 19 starts, with a 2.66 ERA (2.61 as a starter).

Between the long balls and Dustin Pedroia’s incessant ways of late, they ballooned his ERA to 3.01.

A respectable number, still, but a jump of nearly a half of a run.

 

Sandy Leon’s in a minor cold spell.

Possibly the greatest story of Boston’s 2016 offense, Leon hasn’t had too many struggles along the way.

But after finishing 0-for-4 Saturday night, he’s only 2-for-21 (.095) in his last five games.

Saturday also marked only the third time all season where he was held hitless in back-to-back games.

These things happen to everyone, but it was starting to look like Leon didn’t fall under the category of “everyone.”