Notes: Bullpen falls flat, rested for Yankees series

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Notes: Bullpen falls flat, rested for Yankees series

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Follow @dannypicard

BOSTON Red Sox manager Terry Francona said that entering the sixth inning, with Erik Bedard out of the game, and left-handed reliever Franklin Morales coming in to face the big lefty Travis Hafner, the team was feeling pretty good.

That feeling didnt last long, as Hafner scorched a double off the top of the wall in deep center field. On the very next pitch, Carlos Santana blasted a go-ahead two-run home run over the center-field wall to give the Cleveland Indians a 5-3 lead which they never lost in their 7-3 win over the Red Sox on Thursday night at Fenway Park.

Morales picked up his first loss of the season while recording only one out, but after Alfredo Aceves got two outs in the sixth to end the inning, the Red Sox were able to use Andrew Miller for 2.2 innings.

Those 2.2 innings werent great innings by any means, as Miller allowed two more runs. But if Boston takes anything positive out of its bullpen experience on Thursday night, its that Millers 71 pitches saved the rest of the arms for the weekend series against New York.

A lot of pitches, said Francona on Millers relief appearance. The one good thing is that he kept our bullpen in order. We didnt use Aceves very much. We didnt go to Albers, we didnt go to Pap, we didnt go to Bard. So we go into the weekend against New York kind of caught up.

Its trying to pound the strike zone with his stuff. When he does that consistently, theres a lot to like about him.

Jacoby Ellsbury was the only Red Sox player to have a multi-hit night on Thursday. He finished the game 2-for-3 with a walk, a strikeout, and a run scored. Ellsbury has now reached base safely in each of his last 17 games.

Speaking of streaks, Adrian Gonzalez extended his season-high hit streak to 14 games, going 1-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.

Meanwhile, Dustin Pedroia snapped his 25-game Fenway park hit streak with an 0-for-4 night.

He said after the game that it had nothing to do with the apparent shoulder injury he suffered in the third inning, as Jason Kipnis went in on him hard at second base to break up a double play.

Pedroia was slow to get up, forcing Francona to run out. But Pedroia stayed in the game, and afterwards said, Ya Im alright. I just landed on my shoulder. Im alright.

Thursday nights paid attendance of 38,477 was the largest at Fenway Park in the post-World War II era.

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

Betts and Bradley Jr. combine for seven RBI, Red Sox roll to 9-2 win

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Betts and Bradley Jr. combine for seven RBI, Red Sox roll to 9-2 win

The Boston Red Sox put up six runs in the first inning and coasted to a 9-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.

Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. led the way for the Red Sox with four and three RBI respectfully. Both outfielders had two-run home runs in the Sox’ big first inning.

Knuckleballer Steven Wright gave up one earned run in four innings, his ERA for the spring is now 0.68.

The Red Sox are back in action again on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m when Rick Porcello makes his final spring training start against the Minnesota Twins.

Hernandez has chance at Red Sox opening day roster after Rutledge injury

Hernandez has chance at Red Sox opening day roster after Rutledge injury

Infielder Marco Hernandez may make the Red Sox roster after all.

Fellow infielder Josh Rutledge, the presumptive 25th man on the Red Sox, suffered a left hamstring strain on Tuesday against the Pirates, according to reporters in Florida, including Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald.

If Rutledge isn’t ready for opening day, Hernandez, a left-handed hitter, may have his crack. 

The question is whether the Sox would be comfortable without a right-handed bat to complement both Pablo Sandoval and Mitch Moreland on the corners. Rutledge was going to give the Sox that right-handed look they sought. (When Hanley Ramirez's shoulder will be healthy enough to play first base is unclear, but isn't expected to be too long.)

Neither Rutledge nor Hernandez has played first base in the majors or minors.

A big-league rookie last year, Hernandez has done decently against lefties at the upper levels of the minors, hitting .328 vs. them at Triple-A Pawtucket last season in 67 at-bats. He hit .315 in 54 at-bats at Pawtucket, with a .318 average against them that season in 88 at-bats for Double-A Portland.

Rutledge is a Rule 5 draft pick who has to remain on the major league 25-man roster the whole season or the Sox risk losing him. Placement on the disabled list doesn’t affect his status unless he’s on the disabled list for a very lengthy time.

An alternative option is Steve Selsky, who has first-base experience, but he's already been optioned.