Wrist keeps Ellsbury out; Ciriaco starts in LF

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Wrist keeps Ellsbury out; Ciriaco starts in LF

OAKLAND -- Jacoby Ellsbury was out of the lineup Sunday in the Red Sox' series finale in Oakland, resting a sore right wrist that been "barking at him a little''for the last few days, according to manager Bobby Valentine.

"When we set off on the road trip, the training staff was hoping that one of these days would work,'' said Valentine. "It is a day game. We'll see if we can't get it to feel a little better.''

With Ellsbury out, Valentine shifted Scott Podsednik over from left field to center and had Pedro Ciriaco in left.

Ciriaco is being pressed into duty because the Sox find themselves short of outfield options.

Asked how comfortable he was with Ciriaco, an infielder by trade, playing the outfield, Valentine said: "Not very. But he's caught some pop-ups at third; they're just a little further out there in left.''

Ciriaco played the outfield center for a day in spring training.

Ryan Kalish has been unavailable for a few days because of recurring shoulder soreness. Kalish underwent shoulder surgery last off-season.

"His shoulder's been keeping him from swinging in a game,'' said Valentine. "It felt a little better Saturday, but he still had treatment after batting practice. He's not really a game-ready guy.''

The Sox don't have many other options in the minors, either. Che-Hsuan Lin is on the 40-man roster, but because he was up for a day on an emergency basis last weekend when the team was short of players in the aftermath of the trade with the Dodgers, then optioned back, he can't return until 10 days have passed.

Meanwhile, infielder Ivan DeJesus was on his way to Oakland and was expected to arrive shortly before the game Sunday.

Valentine said DeJesus, part of the deal with the Dodgers last weekend, can play second and short and, likely, third base.

DeJesus is insurance since Dustin Pedroia's wife is pregnant and could go into labor at any time.

DeJesus gives us protection on the West Coast,'' said Valentine.

Quotes, notes and stars: Swihart flashes power and speed

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Quotes, notes and stars: Swihart flashes power and speed

BOSTON - Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 10-3 win over the Colorado Rockies:

 

QUOTES

"I felt a little cramp. I'm fine. I appreciate John and everybody looking out (for me). We obviously don't want anything to happen like last year, but I'm good.'' - Dustin Pedroia, who left the game in the fifth after experiencing some tightness in his right hamstring.

"It's nice to be able to get deep into the game. That's my goal every time. My goal is nine innings, so if I don't get nine innings, I'm a little disappointed because I want to be able to go out there and pitch as many innings as I can.'' - Steven Wright.

"I think my release point was just a little off. That definitely makes it hard, especially when it's moving, because it's not a consistent release point.'' - Wright on the early-inning unpredictability of his signature pitch.

"Even when I was catching, I pride myself on running. I want to be an athlete back there. I want to run the bases, steal bases, things most catchers aren't known to do.'' - Blake Swihart, who hit two triples.

 

NOTES

* Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to 29 games.

* Xander Bogaerts extended his hitting streak to 18 games.

* David Ortiz tied Paul Molitor for 12th on the all-time doubles list with 605.

* Ortiz has driven in multiple runs in three straight games

* Dustin Pedroia has a career batting average of .340 in interleague play, the highest ever for someone with 500 or more at-bats.

* Travis Shaw drove in three runs and now has 68 RBI in his first 111 games since Fred Lynn and Jim Rice in 1974-75.

* Blake Swihart became the third Red Sox hitter this season to post two triples in the same game.

* The Red Sox clinched their fifth straight home series win.

* The Sox are 21-8 since April 24 and are 13-2 in their last 15 home games.

 

STARS

1) Steven Wright

Backed by some rare run support, Wright evened his record at 4-4 with seven-plus innings and his eighth quality start this season.

2) Travis Shaw

Shaw produced two hits and knocked in three runs, making him the fourth Red Sox player this season to reach 30 RBI.

3) Blake Swihart

Swihart got to flash both his power and his speed by hitting two triples to the triangle, motoring around the bases.

 

First impressions from Red Sox' 10-3 win over Rockies

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First impressions from Red Sox' 10-3 win over Rockies

BOSTON- First impressions from the Red Sox' 10-3 win over Colorado:

 

Steven Wright is the very picture of consistency.

In nine starts this season, Wright has pitched at least six innings and allowed two earned runs or fewer eight times. In the one start in which he failed to do so, he was pitching in a mini-monsoon and unable to properly grip his signature pitch.

On Wednesday, he battled some early-inning wildness with the knuckler, resulting in two wild pitches and four passed balls, but eventually settled down.

His 4-4 mark hardly represents how well he's pitched. A more telling stat is the 60 2/3 innings he's pitched in nine outings, just shy of seven per game.

 

It could be a costly night for injuries.

Ryan Hanigan left the game after 2 1/2 innings because of illness. Dustin Pedroia came out in the fifth as a precaution after experiencing some tightness in his right hamstring. And Xander Bogaerts jammed his thumb in the eighth.

Let's assume that Hanigan's illness is a temporary thing, and since Bogaerts remained in the game, that, too, seemed minor.

But the Pedroia hamstring is potentially a red flag, since it was that same hamstring that sidelined him for almost half of last season.

 

For the past 19 home games, the Red Sox have averaged more than eight runs per game.

Nineteen games isn't exactly a small sample size. In fact, it's almost exactly one-quarter of the home schedule. To average more than eight runs per game over that long a stretch, covering parts of three different homestands, is pretty remarkable.

 

Blake Swihart's speed is something else.

Swihart hit two triples to the triangle Wednesday night, and on the second, to see him shift into higher gear as he approached second base was really something to see.

It's difficult to think of another catcher -- and yes, I understand that Swihart has been playing left field exclusively of late; but he remains primarily a catcher -- who ran as well as Swihart does.

When the Sox and other independent evaluators remark about Swihart's athleticism, that's one of the things to which they're referring.