Gonzalez, Youkilis enjoy ASG at the plate


Gonzalez, Youkilis enjoy ASG at the plate

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
PHOENIX -- Some players worry that taking part in the Home Run Derby can mess with their natural swings.

Adrian Gonzalez, apparently, isn't one of them.

A day after finishing second to Robinson Cano in the annual Home Run Derby, Gonzalez homered in the fourth inning to provide the American League with their only run in a 5-1 loss to the National League.

"It was great for the time being, said Gonzalez, "but we gave up three runs in the next inning, so it was short-lived. But it was a great experience.

Gonzalez, however, said there was no correlation between his showing Monday night in the derby and his home run in the game Tuesday night.

"I don't focus on that, he said. "It's a lot different when a guy is throwing BP (compared) to Cliff Lee pitching.

Lee got ahead of Gonzalez 0-and-1 with a fastball away, but then threw him a front-door cutter that Gonzalez was able to line to right-center.

"I got it up enough in the air to carry out of the park, said Gonzalez.

The homer was the first for anyone in the All-Star Game dating back 29 innings. Before Gonzalez's shot, the last All-Star homer was hit by current teammate J.D. Drew in the 15th inning of the 2008 All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium.

Gonzalez became the 13th Red Sox player to homer in the All-Star Game.

After going hitless in his first All-Star Game in 2008, Kevin Youkilis now seems to have the hang of it.

Youkilis had just one at-bat, but managed a single in the American League's 5-1 loss to the National League at Chase Field.

It marked the second time in the last three seasons that Youkilis has taken advantage of his one All-Star at-bat with a hit.

"It's good to get hits in the All-Star Game," he said. "The past two times now, I've had hits. It's good to get those and maybe build up my All-Star Game stats."

Youkilis, who was a late addition to the squad because of injuries to others, made the most of the opportunity.

"It was a good time," said Youkilis. "Unfortunately we didn't come out on top, but it was a lot of fun. It was exciting to represent the Red Sox."

Youkilis said the All-Star experience "goes quick. Fortunately, this is not my first one. With your first one, it speeds up on you a little bit. So I got to sit back a little bit and enjoy it."

The loss -- the second in a row by the American League -- means the National League champs will enjoy home field advantage in the World Series.

But that's a long way off and Youkilis said he wasn't concerned.

"I'm not disappointed," said Youkilis. "I have the philosophy that we have to win on the road anyway. For us, we'll have to go into someone else's place to play if we're in the World Series."

As a first-time All-Star, Jacoby Ellsbury tried to take everything in, socializing with players from all over the game.

"I just tried to meet everybody," he said, "and have conversations with everyone. The game was fun and so was the Home Run Derby. I just tried to soak everything in and enjoy it."

Ellsbury got two plate appearances in the AL's 5-1 loss to the NL and struck out both times.

He faced two Atlanta Braves in his plate appearances -- starter Jair Jurrjens and Jonny Venters -- and struck out against both.

"You're coming it, facing guys you've maybe never seen before," he said. "They're obviously the best in the game at what they do. Unfortunately tonight didn't go my way, but I loved the experience. I had a great time out there.

"It's fun. I enjoyed it. The next couple of days, I'm sure I'll look back and think of something that was pretty special to me."

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam.

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Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

The Red Sox signed Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract bn August 2014. Over parts of three seasons, the 29-year-old has a .679 OPS across 337 plate appearances in the majors and spent the vast majority of the 2016 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Castillo had a chance to start things off on the right foot in 2017, but that ship has already sailed. On Thursday against Northeastern at JetBlue Park, Castillo didn’t run out a routine ground ball. He claims he lost track of the outs. Manager John Farrell isn’t happy about the situation. Via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald:

“Disappointing for a couple of reasons,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “One, he has lost the number of outs. Still, regardless of another of outs, getting down the line is controllable. And for a player in his situation, every little aspect of the game is important. That’s something that was addressed in the moment. He needs to execute the game situation. And for that matter, every player. But that one obviously stood out.”

Everyone always makes far too big a deal about running out grounders. It’s a real nit to pick when it’s February 23 and your team just finished playing an exhibition game that is even more meaningless than the other exhibition games that will be played in the coming month.

That being said, Castillo has to prove himself to merit inclusion on the 25-man roster and that means dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s. Even if he went hitless all spring, Castillo could have at least said he couldn’t have done anything else better. But on day one, he already gave his team a reason to count him out.