Valentine: Lester 'looked great,' team 'playing it by ear' with Crawford

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Valentine: Lester 'looked great,' team 'playing it by ear' with Crawford

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Despite manager Bobby Valentine's decision to lift outfielder Carl Crawford from a tie game out of fear for his left (throwing) elbow in the late innings, the manager said he's not likely to use Crawford in the DH spot while David Ortiz is on the disabled list. "I don't think that it's time,'' said Valentine. "We've got to get Carl playing and into the swing of things. I mean, it's not like there wasn't a thought of it. We thought it and negated it.'' Crawford was hitting seventh in the Red Sox batting order again for a second straight night, with Pedro Ciriaco serving as the DH in the second spot against Texas lefty starter Derek Holland. "I think Pedro offers a little something offensively that I like in there,'' said Valentine of Ciriaco's role as temporary DH. "With Carl DHing, that means Pedro wouldn't.'' As for how to handle Crawford in the outfield, Valentine acknowledged that the Sox were ''playing it by ear. This is all a learning experience. We'll just learn as we go. But I'm just trying to do the smart thing and not put anybody in a position to fail, but putting people in a position to succeed. This isn't a test.''

-- Jon Lester, set to start the middle game of the upcoming series at Yankee Stadium, had what Valentine termed "a long throwing session,'' Wednesday at The Ballpark. "He said he felt great and to me, he looked great,'' said Valentine. Lester had the worst start of his major league career Sunday, allowing 11 runs in just four innings. He's allowed 21 runs in his last 12 13 innings, covering three starts. "He just wanted to get a feel for what the hitters were seeing (off him),'' said Valentine. "I talked to the hitters and they said they saw great stuff. It wasn't like they saw anything that made them thinkthat (Lester) should change anything.''
-- Daisuke Matsuzaka (trapezeus muscle) also threw a bullpen session and according to Valentine, "threw the best that he's thrown in a long time.''

Quotes, notes and stars: Location gets Buchholz in trouble

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Quotes, notes and stars: Location gets Buchholz in trouble

Quotes, notes and stars from the Boston Red Sox' 5-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

 

QUOTES:

"When he's gotten in trouble, it's been a combination of location and pitches up in the strike zone. That was the case tonight. . . It's more general location than one pitch that he's getting burned on. '' - John Farrell on Clay Buchholz's poor start.

"No disrespect to (Jace) Peterson, but you're wanting to force contact. He hasn't hit for a high average.'' - Farrell on Buchholz walking No. 7 hitter Peterson three times.

"When do you walk guys, you do your best to try to minimize the damage and I didn't do a good enough job of that.'' - Buchholz, who saw Peterson come around to score twice after his three walks.

"It's frustrating when you can't put your finger on what you need to do it, and when you need to do it and why. All I can do right now is learn from it and get better in these next couple of days.'' - Buchholz.

"I didn't hear anything. The play was right in front of me, so I couldn't see him say anything. I just assumed I was out.'' - Xander Bogaerts, who was ruled safe at second on a force play by umpire Joe West, but believing he was out, came off the bag and was tagged out in the first inning.

 

NOTES

* Clay Buchholz has allowed five earned runs in four of his five starts this season.

* Heath Hembree pitched multiple innings for the fourth time this season and remains unscored upon in them.

* Over the last eight games, Dustin Pedroia is hitting .436 (17-for-39) with nine extra-base hits.

* All three of Chris Young's hit off lefthanded pitchers this season have been doubles.

* Hanley Ramirez (three hits, two RBI) has driven in a run in each of his last four games and six of his last seven.

* The Sox have scored in the first inning in eight of the last nine games.

 

STARS:

1) Nick Markakis

The Braves right fielder had a four hit night and knocked in three runs.

2) Jhoulys Chacin

Atlanta's starter wasn't overpowering, but he limited the Sox to two runs over five-plus innings and earned the victory.

3) Hanley Ramirez

Ramirez broke out a bit at the plate with three hits, while knocking in the first two Red Sox runs.