Butterfield ready for third-base coach responsibility

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Butterfield ready for third-base coach responsibility

FORT MYERS, Fla. - It has been said that perhaps the only tougher job in baseball than coaching third base for the Red Sox is managing the Red Sox. But, there are some who arent certain those are in the right order.

Brian Butterfield, the Sox new third base coach, knows whats ahead of him, and he knows it will be a challenge.

One of the benefits that Ive had, I grew up in New England, said Butterfield, a native of Maine. Dad (the late Jack Butterfield, who served as vice president of player development and scouting for the Yankees) used to take me to a lot of games. So I went to a lot of games at Fenway, watched a lot of games on TV. I almost feel like Ive been a member of the Red Sox for a long time.

And then being in the division for the last 11, 12 years, Ive had an opportunity to coach third for over 100 times at Fenway in my career. So I feel comfortable. There are some tough spots, but there are also some forgiving spots. We really feel like right field is the best two-base field in baseball, because theres so much area out there. Right fielders have to play a little bit deeper. Its a great first-to-third field and a great second-to-home field. So left field is the toughest two-base field and right field is I think the best two-base field in all of baseball. So the tough parts are offset by some easier parts. The one thing as a coach you always want to keep sight of the ball and that left field corner can be tough because that jut-out with the stands.

Butterfield knows previous Red Sox third base coaches have had a difficult time. Its part of the job with any team. Third base coaches are a lot like umpires. Fans dont notice them until something goes wrong.

Ive watched for years, and fair or unfair, sometimes it can be a very unfair position, he said. Because, for me, I still think to this day that Dale Sveum is an outstanding third base coach. I really do. Hes a guy that Ive had a lot of conversations with and I think that he takes great positioning. Hes a great decision maker. But thats the nature of the beast.

"And I think that just like players, through time you develop tough skin. You may have well-laid intentions but then the defense executes and you get a guy thrown out. And were going to get guys thrown out because good baserunning teams, aggressive baserunning teams run into outs. So you cant worry about it too much, you just got to keep moving forward and keep pressing, and thats what we try to encourage players. Im going to make some bad decisions, but Ive got to learn to flush it and move on and keep pressing the issue.

Butterfield is also responsible for the baserunning game. With an entirely new coaching staff working with a new group of players, baserunning signs have to be revised and reinvented often.

It takes a little while, he said. I know over the last five years as a third base coach, there's always guys being traded, guys who move on to other clubs, and theres things that you have to change. Well, this year, I feel like Ive had to change just about everything that Ive done offensively. So its going to be an adjustment period for me feeling good. But thats what spring training is for, feeling good about getting my signs, plus imparting to them what were going to do.

Robinson Cano, Guillermo Heredia homer in Mariners' 5-0 win over Red Sox

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Robinson Cano, Guillermo Heredia homer in Mariners' 5-0 win over Red Sox

BOSTON (AP)  Christian Bergman rebounded from a miserable start with seven shutout innings and the Seattle Mariners halted Boston's season-high six-game winning streak with a 5-0 victory over the Red Sox on Sunday.

Robinson Cano hit a two-run homer and Guillermo Heredia a solo shot for the Mariners, who averted a three-game sweep with just their second win in nine games. Seattle was shut out the first two games.

Bergman (2-2) allowed four hits, walked two and struck out two. He got a lot of help from his infielders when they turned a double play in each of the first four innings.

Three relievers completed the combined five-hitter, with closer Edwin Diaz getting the final three outs despite two errors by infielders.

Bergman was tagged for 14 hits and 10 runs over four innings in a loss his previous start.

Rick Porcello (3-6) gave up 11 hits, but only two runs in 6 1/3 innings.

Seattle finished one off its club record for most double plays turned in a game.

After being shut out for the first 21 innings of the series, the Mariners moved ahead 1-0 in the fourth when Kyle Seager raced home from third after Porcello bounced a pitch that went over catcher Sandy Leon's right shoulder and onto the screen. Seager had doubled leading off and advanced on Danny Valencia's single.

Heredia homered over the Green Monster in the eighth and Cano sent his into the center-field bleachers an inning later.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma, on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, had another bullpen session Sunday because he wasn't happy with one a day earlier.

Red Sox: Manager John Farrell said 3B Pablo Sandoval, out since late April with a sprained right knee, will stay on his rehab assignment at Triple-A Pawtucket to get his "timing going" with more at-bats.

ROSTER MOVES

Seattle sent Saturday's losing pitcher, RHP Rob Whalen, to Triple-A Tacoma and brought up RHP Ryne Harper from the same club.

The Red Sox also made moves with pitchers, sending Saturday's winner, lefty Brian Johnson, to Triple-A Pawtucket and promoting RHP Blaine Boyer for a day. Boyer will go back down Monday when ace David Price is activated.

Boyer made his Red Sox debut, retiring the only two batters he faced.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Sam Gaviglio (0-1, 1.38 ERA) is set to make his third major-league start when they open a two-game series Monday at Colorado. RHP Tyler Chatwood (4-6, 4.50) is scheduled for the Rockies.

Red Sox: LHP Price makes his season debut Monday in Chicago against the White Sox after being sidelined since early spring training with a strained left elbow.

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Brian Johnson: 'Awesome feeling' after five-hitter vs. Mariners

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Brian Johnson: 'Awesome feeling' after five-hitter vs. Mariners

BOSTON - Brian Johnson had quite a turnaround in his second time on Fenway Park's mound.

Johnson pitched a five-hitter in his first big league appearance at Fenway, and the Boston Red Sox stretched their winning streak to a season-high six games with a 6-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.

The 26-year-old left-hander became the first Red Sox pitcher to throw a shutout in his first Fenway start since Pedro Martinez on April 11, 1998. In Johnson's first start in Fenway - his fourth as a professional - he sustained a season-ending facial fracture when he hit by a line drive while pitching for Class A Lowell in 2012.

"The last time I walked off the mound here was 2012 and I made two pitches," Johnson said. "Today I went nine innings. Today was pretty cool."

Johnson left Triple-A for a little over a month last season to get treatment for an anxiety issue.

"Obviously with some stuff that I've been gone through in my career, it's an awesome feeling" he said.

But despite the stellar outing, Johnson was optioned back to Triple-A after the game.

"That's the reality of the game," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We had a chance to congratulate him and yet option him back to Pawtucket, with David Price coming here Monday."

Brought up from the minors for the start, Johnson (2-0) gave up five singles, struck out eight and walked none. His only previous big league starts were at Houston on July 21, 2015, and at Toronto on April 18 this year.

Johnson was helped by a semi-leaping catch by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. at the wall in the sixth, Bradley's diving grab of Nelson Cruz's sinking liner in the ninth and Bradley's game-ending running catch of Kyle Seager's drive.

Xander Bogaerts' RBI single triggered a three-run first inning and Bradley hit a two-run homer in the sixth

Shut out for the second straight day, Seattle has lost seven of eight.

"Their guy threw the ball over the plate. He threw strikes," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "I won't take anything away from what he did, but we're not swinging the bat very well."

Rob Whalen (0-1) gave up five runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in his Mariners' debut, his first big league start since Aug. 23 for Atlanta. He is Seattle's 12th starting pitcher, the most in the major leagues.

Andrew Benintendi and Sandy Leon also had RBI singles in the first, when the Red Sox had two batters hit by pitches, two walks and two runners thrown out on the bases - Dustin Pedroia at third for the first out and Hanley Ramirez at the plate for the last.