Base-running gaffes hurt Sox

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Base-running gaffes hurt Sox

CLEVELAND On a night when it appeared offense was going to be scarce for the Red Sox, a little aggressiveness got the better of them on the base paths.

Dustin Pedroia was cut down at home plate in the fourth inning trying to make it a bases-clearing double for Adrian Gonzalez, but the throw from Shelley Duncan was perfectly placed between Carl Crawford scoring and Pedroia getting tagged out. That actually turned out to be the closest the Sox would come to scoring over the rest of the game in a 5-2 loss to the Tribe.

The Pedroia miscue was perhaps understandable given he was only a couple of strides behind Crawford on a Gonzalez double that kicked around by the left field wall, and thats a tough call for everybody involved including third base coach Jerry Royster.

Aggressive base-running cost us a little bit, yeah. Pedroia had to slow up a little bit around second or he might have passed Carl, said Valentine. If Ellsbury had to do it over again he wouldnt have done it with no outs.

But the Ellsbury base-running gaffe was a little more glaring in the sixth. Its tough to fault a guy that had two of Bostons three hits on a slow evening, but making the first or third out of an inning on the bases especially at third base is a cardinal baseball sin. Ellsbury did just that when he attempted to stretch a double into a triple and was caught by a perfect barehanded play from Cleveland centerfielder Michael Brantley.

It then took another perfect tag by Brent Lillibridge at third base to catch Ellsbury as he was trying to hook slide around the tag, and the speedy centerfielder was out. He slammed his helmet off the ground in incredulity, but that turned out to be Bostons last, best chance to score in a tight game.

I wouldnt call it a mistake. It was more being aggressive trying to make something happen, said Ellsbury. Thats what youve got to do when youre not scoring runs. It was barehanded off the wall with a perfect tag, so Id do it all over again.

So the manager says Ellsbury wouldnt have done it if he had the play over, and the player said hes do it all over again. Such is life with the 2012 Boston Red Sox.

Its tough to argue with Ellsburys assessment of a very impatient offense right now, but if Ellsbury did it again the Red Sox would most likely lose all over again as theyve done many, many times this season.

Young, Vazquez homer for Red Sox in 9-2 win over Twins

Young, Vazquez homer for Red Sox in 9-2 win over Twins

BOSTON - Chris Young hit a three-run homer and Christian Vazquez homered for the first time in more than a year as the Boston Red Sox routed the Minnesota Twins 9-2 on Tuesday night in a game delayed twice by stormy weather.

Drew Pomeranz (7-4) pitched five innings, three after a 1 hour, 16 minute delay between the second and third as a thunderstorm slowly passed over Fenway Park. Despite the interruption, Pomeranz held the Twins to one unearned run and four hits, struck out seven and didn't walk a batter.

Dustin Pedroia had three hits and scored twice and Xander Bogaerts had two hits and scored twice for the Red Sox as they won consecutive games for the first time in nearly two weeks.

The two rain delays totaled 2:06.

Drellich: MLB could explain umpire rulings more often

Drellich: MLB could explain umpire rulings more often

BOSTON — We know that Red Sox manager John Farrell did something wrong. In the absence of any sort of formal announcement otherwise, we’re left to assume the umpires did everything properly — but there’s room for MLB to make that clearer.

If the NBA can put out Last 2 Minute reports, why can’t MLB provide more regular explanations or reviews of contested calls?

Farrell on Tuesday said he’d like to see more public accountability in the umpiring realm, hours before the manager was to sit out Game No. 77. Farrell was suspended one game for making contact with crew chief Bill Miller on Saturday night as manager and umpire rained spittle on each other over a balk call that went against the Sox.

Well, was it a balk or not? Did Miller do anything wrong as well?

“I don’t know if there was anything levied on the other side,” Farrell said. “I don’t know that.”

But would he like such matters to always be public?

“I think there have been strides made in that way,” Farrell said. “I guess I would. I think everyone in uniform would prefer that to be made public. Whether or not that happens, I don’t know, but that would be a choice I would make.”

The league has a thorough internal review system. But it is just that: internal. Most of the time, any way.

On most every night at Fenway Park, there is someone on hand watching just the umpires and reviewing them.

MLB, to its credit, has announced suspensions for umpires in the past. The league has made public acknowledgments when calls have been made incorrectly. More of that seems viable — even if it’s an announcement to reaffirm that the call was made and handled properly, and here are the reasons why.

“I haven’t received any further determination or review of what transpired,” Farrell said. “My position, my stance, remains steadfast. I still firmly believe that time was called [before the balk call was made]. I wasn’t arguing the balk. I was arguing the timing of it. As I reiterated today to those that I spoke with, I still stand by my side of the argument. Unfortunately, there was contact made.”