Notes: Buchholz gets 2nd win; Ellsbury injured

191542.jpg

Notes: Buchholz gets 2nd win; Ellsbury injured

By DannyPicard
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- @font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; Clay Buchholz picked up his second win of the season onMonday night at Fenway Park, and he did so while handing the opposing starter Los Angeles Jered Weaver his first loss of the season.

Weaver entered Mondays game with a 6-0 record and an ERA of0.99, but with a little help from his offense and his defense, Buchholzoutlasted Weaver and helped Boston to a 9-5 win.

As the guy going up against Weaver you got to keep theirguys off balance and try to keep them off base, said Buchholz. They made someearly contact, had some runners in scoring position situations, and all I cando is try to limit the damage as best as I could. I got a couple of balls thatwere hit at guys and got out of the inning.

But yeah, Weaver, thats what he does, he goes out thereand wins. Hes obviously a strikeout guy and theres not a whole lot of stuffgoing on, on the base paths with him on the mound. It was a definitely a goodstep for this team.

Buchholz pitched 6 23 innings while allowing two runs oneight hits and two walks, while striking out two.

Everything was good tonight, said Buchholz. Obviously youcan go back and say I didnt throw this pitch. You can have that regardless ofwhat kind of outing you have. But slowly but surely, Im sometimes trying too hard to do things. Tonight I feltlike I let the grip and trusted the stuff and let everything work itself out,and not try to press too much.

Francona came out to get Lester with two outs in the top ofthe seventh inning, a runner at third, and the Red Sox trying to hold onto a3-2 lead. Daniel Bard came in and got them out of that inning with the lead.

I thought he used his fastball really aggressively, said manager Terry Francona. He had the two walks in the one inning. Otherthan that, he didnt. He got us to a point in the game where we could go toBard. That was big.

Obviously, hes still finding his rhythm, said Varitek. Istill think his best days are in front of him. But it was a good job tonight,minimizing damage.

Jacoby Ellsbury extended his season-high hit streak to 11games on Monday night, going 2-for-4 with three runs scored, a double, and twostolen bases.

But the center fielder left Mondays game after the seventhinning with a left knee contusion, when his leg collided with Angels catcherJeff Mathis in the seventh inning. Ellsbury came home on Gonzalezbases-clearing double, but as he crossed the plate, his left leg got caught upwith Mathis foot.

Francona said that Ellsbury was a little sore after thegame, and will wait until Tuesday afternoon to make a decision on his statusfor Tuesday nights game.

Hes real stable and everything, said Francona. He justgot kind of a bruise on the inside of his knee.

With a bruise like that, well see how he wakes up.

The Red Sox saw an offensive surge in the bottom of theseventh, thanks to the timely hitting of Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis andDavid Ortiz.

With bases loaded and one out in the inning, and the Red Soxholding onto a 3-2 lead, Gonzalez ripped a ball off the monster in deepleft-center, just to the left of the yellow home-run line on the center fieldwall.

Three runs scored on the double, giving Boston a 6-2 lead.

Youkilis followed that up with an RBI double of his own,ripping a liner off the top of the monster in left, and scoring Gonzalez for a7-2 lead.

Then, Ortiz made it 9-2 with his third home run of theseason, into the monster seats.

It keeps the line moving, said Francona after the win.Spread the game out, have a nice big inning. Yeah, that was good. And itsprobably no coincidence that the balls that were hit hard, were to left-centerand up the middle.

Theres nights when you need your big guys to hit somethree-run homers, or hit a ball off the wall.

Theres also nights where you need your defense to step upand make game-changing plays, not just with the gloves, but with their arms.

Gonzalez can be applauded for that on Monday night, as hisgutsy throw to third on a grounder to first in a non-force out situation, keptBoston in the lead.

Instead of stepping on first on a ball hit to him by AlbertoCallaspo, the Red Sox first baseman immediately threw to Youkilis at third,attempting to gun down Torii Hunter, who had previously doubled.

The throw was low, and Youkilis made a nice tag for the out.

Hes playing in, and hes one of the few first basemen thatwill do that, said Francona. A lot of guys can certainly catch it over there,like him, but he can catch it and throw it. And he threw it low, but Youkilismade a nice play. It could be a game-changer.

If theres ever a runner on second with two outs, you knowthe hitter is trying to hit a ground ball to the right side, said Gonzalez.And Ive always told the third baseman, and I probably did it five or sixtimes in San Diego, where I got the guy out there. So its one of those thingswhere I always tell him, just be aware, because if its hit hard right at me,Im going to you.

Josh Beckett threw a 25-pitch side session on Mondayafternoon, and Francona said afterwards that Beckett's been pushed back toWednesday only because the schedule allowed them to do so.

I just want to make sure that we monitor the workload, so he can go out, andbe Beckett, said Francona.

Weve leaned on him pretty hard, added the Red Sox manager. Again, theresno days off coming up. So when you have the ability to give a guy that extraday, I think sometimes youve got to take it. Because we wont be able to,going forward for a couple weeks.

Francona said that the rest of his rotation will be JonLester on Tuesday, Beckett on Wednesday, John Lackey on Thursday, and DaisukeMatsuzaka on Friday.

Danny Picard is onTwitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

MLB may make rule changes for '18 season

MLB may make rule changes for '18 season

PHOENIX - Major League Baseball intends to push forward with the process that could lead to possible rule changes involving the strike zone, installation of pitch clocks and limits on trips to the pitcher's mound. While baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed hope the ongoing process would lead to an agreement, he said clubs would reserve the right to act unilaterally, consistent with the rule-change provision of the sport's labor contract.

Union head Tony Clark said last weekend he did not foresee players agreeing to proposed changes for 2017. Under baseball's collective bargaining agreement, management can alter playing rules only with agreement from the union - unless it gives one year notice. With the one year of notice, management can make changes on its own.

"Unfortunately it now appears that there really won't be any meaningful change for the 2017 season due to a lack of cooperation from the MLBPA," Manfred said Tuesday during a news conference. "I've tried to be clear that our game is fundamentally sound, that it does not need to be fixed as some people have suggested, and I think last season was the kind of demonstration of the potential of our league to captivate the nation and of the game's unique place in American culture."

Yet, he also added: "I believe it's a mistake to stick our head in the sand and ignore the fact that our game has changed and continues to change."

Manfred said while he prefers an agreement, "I'm also not willing to walk away." He said he will send a letter to the union in the coming days and plans to continue dialogue with Clark and others in hopes of reaching agreement.

Clark met with Cactus League teams last week, five at a time over Thursday, Friday and Saturday, before departing Monday for Florida to visit each Grapefruit League club - and proposed rules changes were a topic.

"I have great respect for the labor relations process, and I have a pretty good track record for getting things done with the MLBPA," Manfred said. "I have to admit, however, that I am disappointed that we could not even get the MLBPA to agree to modest rule changes like limits on trips to the mound that have little effect on the competitive character of the game."

Clark saw talks differently.

"Unless your definition of `cooperation' is blanket approval, I don't agree that we've failed to cooperate with the commissioner's office on these issues," he wrote in an email to The Associated Press. "Two years ago we negotiated pace of play protocols that had an immediate and positive impact. Last year we took a step backward in some ways, and this offseason we've been in regular contact with MLB and with our members to get a better handle on why that happened. I would be surprised if those discussions with MLB don't continue, notwithstanding today's comments about implementation. As I've said, fundamental changes to the game are going to be an uphill battle, but the lines of communication should remain open."

Clark added "my understanding is that MLB wants to continue with the replay changes (2-minute limit) and the no-pitch intentional walks and the pace of game warning/fine adjustments."

Manfred said he didn't want to share specifics of his priorities for alterations.

"There's a variety of changes that can be undertaken," Manfred said. "I'm committed to the idea that we have a set of proposals out there and we continue to discuss those proposals in private."

MLB has studied whether to restore the lower edge of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level - at the top of the kneecap. Management would like to install 20-second pitch clocks in an attempt to speed the pace of play - they have been used at Triple-A and Double-A for the past two seasons.

Players also have been against limiting mound meetings. The least controversial change appears to be allowing a team to call for an intentional walk without the pitcher having to throw pitches. In addition, MLB likely can alter some video review rules without the union's agreement- such as shortening the time a manager has to call for a review.

"Most of this stuff that they were talking about I don't think it would have been a major adjustment for us," Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Manfred said starting runners on second base in extra innings sounds unlikely to be implemented in the majors. The change will be experimented with during the World Baseball Classic and perhaps at some short-season Class A leagues. Manfred said it was a special-purpose rule "beneficial in developmental leagues."

Manfred also said Tuesday that a renovated Wrigley Field would be a great choice to host an All-Star Game and Las Vegas could be a "viable market for us."

"I don't think that the presence of legalized gambling in Las Vegas should necessarily disqualify that market as a potential major league city," Manfred said.