Sox hope Doubront's pitching is contagious

707656.jpg

Sox hope Doubront's pitching is contagious

BOSTON If pitching is contagious, perhaps the last two outings are what the Red Sox starters need to catch.

Felix Doubront handcuffed the Indians Saturday night at Fenway Park, going six innings and giving up one run on three hits and two walks with five strikeouts. It was the second quality start of Doubront's seven outings this season, as he improved to 3-1, with a 4.46 ERA.

I thought once again Felix Doubront was terrific, said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. Ahead in the count most of the night, and his fastball was alive, his breaking ball was very good. Did what he had to do to get us in a winning position.

Along with Clay Buchholzs performance Friday night, perhaps the Sox starting pitching, which at times has been horrendous this season, is beginning to recover. Buchholz went 6 13 innings, giving up four runs, three earned on eight hits and three walks with no strikeouts and one hit batter.

It was just the second time Sox starters have posted back-to-back quality starts this season, first since Jon Lester and Josh Beckett did so on April 28 and 29 in Chicago.

Yeah, I think that's a 100 percent true statement, said catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia of the possibility of good starting pitching being contagious.

If you watch the guy before you and you see him go after guys and attack them, and you got to be the same way. You cant be afraid to make contact with the strike zone. You cant be afraid of anything. You just got to go out there. Thats what we did the past two nights.

Doubront threw 109 pitches (66 strikes), his third-highest pitch total this season, behind 111 in his last start on May 7, and 110 on April 26. Those three games account for Doubronts three wins this season, as he improved to 3-1, a new career high in wins, with a 4.46 ERA.

With his second quality start in seven outings this season, he won his second straight start.

He just neutralized all of our left-handed hitters and even our switch hitters, said Indians manager Manny Acta.

We couldn't get any offense going against Doubront. He was pitching to both sides of the plate.

He now has 37 strikeouts in 38 13 innings this season, for a team-leading 8.69 strikeouts-per-nine innings. It was his fifth start with at least five strikeouts. No other Sox starter has more than three such outings.

I got the plan a couple of days ago, Doubront said. It was what I expected. It worked for me. I was keeping the ball down. They have many lefties. I was throwing in. My breaking balls were working.

I did the plan.

Its been a month of learning for Doubront.

Every start challenges me, he said. I always try to do my best and learn.

Ortiz quells comeback speculation: 'My playing time has expired'

red_sox_david_ortiz_100716.jpg

Ortiz quells comeback speculation: 'My playing time has expired'

Forget that cryptic Tweet to the Globe. David Ortiz isn't walking through that door, fans. At least not as a player.

"My playing time has already expired," Ortiz told ESPN Deportes. "Baseball is not something that you wake up today and you say, 'I'll play tomorrow.' Baseball is something that carries a lot of sacrifice, a lot of preparation, and there is a reason why we train the entire year to play it, practice every day, especially during the season, because it is a sport of consistency."

No one really thought he was contemplating a comeback, but last week he Tweeted this . . .

. . . and that raised hopes that he'd changed his mind.

Not so.

 

Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Facing a 1 p.m. Friday deadline to avoid arbitration, the Red Sox reportedly agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million deal with center field Jackie Bradley Jr., and also avoided hearings with six other players.

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, utilityman Brock Holt, pitchers Joe Kelly, Robbie Ross Jr., Tyler Thornburgh and catcher Sandy Leon also agreed to one-year deals.

Terms of the deals were not announced.

It leaves left-handers Fernando Abad and Drew Pomeranz as the only arbitration-eligible Red Sox without a deal.