Notes: Crawford not frustrated by slump

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Notes: Crawford not frustrated by slump

By MaureenMullen
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- Like everyone else, Carl Crawford -- who went 0-for-3 in the Red Sox' 3-2 loss to the Rays Tuesday night, dropping his average to .152 -- is surprised by the Red Sox' slow start.

Yes its a little shocking," he said. "We definitely didn't think wed be in this position right now, but since we are we just got to do what we have to do to get back on top.

In this situation its such a surprise that you didn't expect it so you worry about it a little bit. But we know its still uphill battle and were going keep working and try to get to the point where were winning games again.

Frustration, though, has not set in yet.

Not really, he said. Not as much as you would think. Theres a lot of guys in here that really care about whats going on and we understand what kind of team we have. We know its going to be an uphill battle but guys are up for the challenge.

For the fourth time in 11 games this year, the Red Sox failed to get more than five hits or two runs.

This is the only fourth time in their history that the Sox have started 2-9. The other seasons: 1996, 1927, and 1925.

After Tuesdays loss to the Rays, the Red Sox fell to 7-for-52 (.135) with runners in scoring position.

I think were struggling outside of just runners in scoring position, Jason Varitek said. I think guys are taking better at-bats, hitting balls hard. Take Monday night. Kevin Youkilis lined out three times and then he finally found a way to get one in. Those things can make a difference between somebody getting it going and for those things I believe they will.

Darnell McDonalds first hit of the season was a solo home run leading off the third inning. It is the second season in a row that his first hit was a home run. Last year he did so in his first at-bat.

Kevin Youkilis started as the designated hitter for the first time in his career, in his 802nd career game. Since Youkilis first career game, May 14, 2004, 21 other players have served as the Sox DH. He was also hit by a pitch for the 69th time in his career, by David Price in the eighth inning. He is two HBPs shy of Mo Vaughns team record.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia's wife delivered their third child at 6:23 Tuesdaymorning. The baby (to be named later) is the third girl for thecouple, weighing in at 8 pounds, 4 ounces, and 20 inches long.Saltalamacchia said his wife and daughter are fine, but he was prettytired after a night of no sleep and sat out Tuesday night's game.

Salty knew he'd be off Tuesday two days ago,Terry Francona said. His wife had the baby and he had his hands full. Heknew going in he wasnt going to catch tonight."

Francona had not had a chance to check in with Daisuke Matsuzaka afterthe right-handers disastrous outing Mondaynight.

I didn't see him yet, he said.Pitching coach Curt Young will talk to the pitchers every day. Thehard thing for me is I can't have a casual conversation with Dice. Itseasy to have one with anybody. John Lackey walks into the clubhouseor Jon Lester or whoever. You can't do that with Dice-K besidessaying hello. Thats frustrating. That doesnt mean he can't pitch butits hard to have that casual conversation where you can ask, Hey,what are you thinking? Everything has to go through atranslator.

Francona said Matsuzaka has beenworking on his English.

Hes done a good job,Francona said. Hes done a real good job. Its not like Spanish toEnglish where we could all pick a word and kind of fake your waythrough it a little bit. This is a completely different . . . No, hesactually done a real good job. And around the field especially theresa lot that he can understand, which reallyhelps.

He understands. He knows whats goingon.

Francona said Matsuzakas latest outing wouldnot change the managers perspective.

He had ahorrendous second inning. Francona said. I think if we do do thingslike that well set ourselves up for some really bad mistakes. It wastough to watch. But if you make decisions based on emotions and after abad start, we wouldnt have a team left. You cant dothat.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen

Three-run HR from Sandoval (.353) leads Red Sox split squad past Rays, 7-5

Three-run HR from Sandoval (.353) leads Red Sox split squad past Rays, 7-5

Pablo Sandoval hit his fourth home run of the spring and Rusney Castillo had three hits to lead a Red Sox split squad to a 7-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday in Port Charlotte, Fla. 

Sandoval, who has won back his third base job after missing nearly all of last season following surgery on his left shoulder, connected for a three-run shot, batting right-handed, against Rays starter Ian Snell in the fifth inning. The switch-hitting Sandoval had abandoned hitting right-handed in 2015, his last full season with the Red Sox.

He's hitting .353 this spring with a 1.051 OPS and 19 RBI.

Castillo, the Cuban outfielder signed to a seven-year, $72 million deal late in 2014 but again likely headed for Triple-A Pawtucket, went 3-for-4 and is hitting .368 this spring. Catcher Blake Swihart, also probably Pawtucket-bound, had two hits and is hitting .325.


 

Another strong start for Kendrick in Red Sox split squad's 3-3 tie with Phillies

Another strong start for Kendrick in Red Sox split squad's 3-3 tie with Phillies

Kyle Kendrick strengthened his bid for a spot in the rotation by allowing two runs in six innings and striking out six and Jackie Bradley homered as a Red Sox split squad played to a 3-3 tie with the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla.

Kendrick, 32, a non-roster invitee to spring training, allowed eight hits and a walk in his sixth start this spring. He's been the Red Sox best starter with an ERA of 2.17. 

With David Price out until May and lefty Drew Pomeranz still a question mark, Kendrick could find his way into the rotation behind Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, Steven Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez.

Bradley went 2-for-3 with his third homer of the spring. He's hitting .244 in spring training games. 

The Phillies pushed across the tying run in the ninth off lefty reliever Robby Scott, the first run he's allowed this spring in 10 innings. 

The Minnesota Twins host the Red Sox on Sunday at 1:05 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.