Gonzalez: 'This game is all on me'

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Gonzalez: 'This game is all on me'

BOSTON -- Adrian Gonzalez didn't come through when he had the chance Wednesday night and he didn't try to hide from that fact.
"This game is all on me,'' said Gonzalez after the Red Sox dropped their second straight to the Oakland A's, 4-2. "I had two great opportunities and I didn't come through. It's one of those things that I'll make a definite point to not let happen again.''
In the seventh inning with the Red Sox trailing 4-1, Gonzalez came to the plate with the bases loaded and two out, but fanned against Ryan Cook.
Then, in the ninth, after Dustin Pedroia had doubled home a run to bring the Red Sox to within two and make Gonzalez the potential tying run at the plate, he grounded out for the final out.
That brought Gonzalez's hitless streak to 17 straight at-bats.
Manager Bobby Valentine theorized after the game that perhaps his first baseman was tired -- physically and mentally -- but Gonzalez said that wasn't the case.
"Not at all,'' said Gonzalez. "I feel great. I had two at-bats where I should have come through at least one of those times and I wasn't able to. I feel great physically and I'm not tired at all. I just didn't come through. It won't happen again.''
Instead, Gonzalez said his recent slump is the result of being off "just a click in the timing department. I'm just a little late on fastballs and a little early on off-speed pitches. It happens.''
As disappointed as he was with his 0-for-4 (with a walk) night, Gonzalez isn't one to panic.
"It's just four games,'' he said. "At the end of the day, I'm always going to have the right approach, I'm always going to be prepared and I'm always looking to get a good pitch to drive.''
Thought he stranded four baserunners over his last two at-bats -- including three in scoring position -- Gonzalez had actually been very productive in big spots for the Sox. Before Wednesday night, he was hitting .458 with RISP and had an OPS of 1.217 in such situations.
"His recognition of the strike zone is just a little off,'' said Valentine. "He'll be fine.''

Cardinals pull away late for 7-2 victory over Red Sox

Cardinals pull away late for 7-2 victory over Red Sox

The Cardinals broke open a close game with four runs in the last two innings against Red Sox relief prospect Chandler Shepherd and went on to a 7-2 exhibition victory over Boston yesterday at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers.

Red Sox-Cardinals box score

The loss dropped the Sox to 1-3 for the exhibition season.

Boston had jumped on top, 1-0, on an RBI single by Mitch Moreland in the bottom of the first, but St. Louis countered with two runs in the second and one in the third, all against starter Brian Johnson. It remained 3-1 until the Cards touched Shepherd for two runs in the eighth and two in the ninth. The Red Sox added their final run in the bottom of the ninth when catcher Jordan Procyshen, who spent last season at Single-A Salem, hit a sacrifice fly.

Moreland, Xander Bogaerts and Chris Young each had two hits for the Red Sox. who also got scoreless relief from Teddy Stankiewicz, Noe Ramirez, Robby Scott, Kyle Martin and Brandon Workman. It was Bogaerts' last game before leaving to compete for The Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic.

The Sox host the Yankees on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m.

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia is no stranger to injuries. That's a big reason why he's no longer a stranger to the sometimes peculiar practices of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

In an interview on WEEI's "Bradfo Show," Pedroia told Rob Bradford that he's been taking cues from the five-time Super Bowl-winning QB to help extend his playing career and make his body healthier and more durable.

“I understand what he does and know what he does. I think it’s awesome,” Pedroia told Bradford. “There’s a reason why he’s successful at his age (39), and he looks better now than he did when he first came to the league. You have to be smarter as you get older and learn different styles -- the way to train and the way you take care of your body to be able to perform and stay on the field. It doesn’t matter what sport you’re playing. He’s definitely got that figured out.”

Pedroia, of course, played the entire 2013 World Series-winning season with a torn ligament in his thumb. He's battled through various other lower body and hand injuries over the past few seasons, as well. But in 2016, he had his best season in recent memory, posting his highest OPS since 2011, as WEEI notes.

Part of that is with his own take on the Brady approach -- which focuses more on pliability and resistance training than extensive, heavy weight lifting -- and a healthier overall lifestyle, something Brady is notoriously infamous for having.

"There’s tons of ways to take care of your body. It’s not just get in the weight room and throw weights around,” Pedroia explained. “As you get older, the human body can’t take the pounding if you’re going in there and power lifting. When you’re younger, you can handle some of that. But as you get older, you got to be smarter. Sometimes less is more -- whether that’s weight or reps or whatever. You’ve just got to be smart. And eating wise, that’s a big part of recovery. If you put the right foods in your body, you’ll heal faster if you’re injured or recover faster. It’s like a car, man. Put bad gas in, bro. It’s not going to be the same as good gas.”

He hopes the approach can, at the very least, keep him moving for quite some time.

“I plan on living until I’m 100," he said. "So we’re not even halfway home."