Notes: Scutaro misses the suicide squeeze sign

191542.jpg

Notes: Scutaro misses the suicide squeeze sign

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen

BOSTON -- Locked in a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the 12th inning Monday night, the Red Sox thought they saw an opening.

Louis Coleman, the fifth Kansas City Royals pitcher of the game, had thrown wildly to first on a pickoff try, enabling Josh Reddick to go all the way to third.

With Marco Scutaro at the plate, the Red Sox put on the suicide squeeze play.

Heavy on the suicide.

"After action like that,'' recounted Terry Francona, "we thought it was a good opportunity."

Problem was, while Reddick got the sign, Scutaro did not. Two innings later, when the Royals scored twice in the top of the 14th, the Red Sox had themselves a frustrating 3-1 loss.

"We got half of it right,'' said Francona ruefully. "We didn't get the whole thing right."

Scutaro took full responsibility for the play.

"I didn't see the sign . . . it was my fault," said the infielder. "I just missed the sign. I can't really say nothing else. It's my fault."

Reddick had broken for the plate with the pitch from Coleman. Scutaro had to twist a bit to get out of the way of an inside pitch.

Asked what he was thinking as he spied Reddick barreling toward the plate, Scutaro said: "Messed it up. I didn't see him right away because he was kind of hidden. But after the pitch inside, I took a look and was like, 'Oh . . . missed a sign.'

"We had an opportunity to win this game and we didn't do the little things. Beside bad baserunning, we didn't bring the guy home from third base. We just threw this one away pretty much."

Scutaro half-expected that the bunt play might be put on.

"I was kind of watching (for) the sign," he said. "But I didn't see the squeeze. To be honest, I was watching (third base coach Tim Bogar), but I didn't see the squeeze. I was kind of focused on getting a good pitch to hit to drive the guy in.

"Like I said, it's my fault. I should have been more aware of the sign. It feels bad, man. It feels like all your teammates, your manager, all the fans just want to kill you. It's a bad feeling."

"Sometimes, it's how the game goes," said Reddick, who had three hits, including two doubles. "Stuff happens and you try to get out of it . . . I was just trying to get back to third base and keep us in the game. That's all you can really do in that situation."

Kevin Youkilis left Monday nights loss to the Royals with tightness in his right hamstring after catching his heel awkwardly while running out a ground ball in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Sox third baseman stuck around for a couple more innings, but was eventually replaced by Yamaico Navarro. Sox manager Terry Francona said that Youkilis would likely be out of the lineup for Tuesday night against Kansas City, but that the prognosis was pretty good for a player thats been physically beaten up this season.

After the exam we feel really fortunate," Francona said. "His heel hit the bag and kind of gave way a little bit, and he felt it in his hamstring. Well try to stay away from him tomorrow and hopefully he wont need anything more than that.

Who knows? But the exam was really good, good range of motion and no strength deficits. Hes just beaten up in a lot of different areas.

If Youkilis cant answer the bell expect Navarro to get another start at the hot corner on Tuesday night.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia twice gunned down Melky Cabrera attempting to steal second base in Monday nights loss, and it counted as the fourth time the Sox catcher has nailed two base runners attempting to steal in the same game. Saltalamacchias strong throwing arm has made a huge difference in Boston neutralizing the running games of opposing teams this season.

Carl Crawford had a night to forget about with an 0-for-6 performance at the plate that included four strikeouts (tying a career high set on July 23, 2004 against the Blue Jays) and an inability to get the runner home from third base in a couple of big at bats late in the game.

It was real frustrating. It was a close game, said Crawford. We had opportunities to win it and we didnt. It was really frustrating.

The loss snapped a nine-game Fenway winning streak for the Sox dating back to July 5, the longest home winning streak since a 10-game winning stretch that ended in September of 2009.

Randy Williams notched his first decision as a member of the Red Sox as he took the loss after allowing three hits and a walk in two innings of work in the 13th and 14th innings.

With his second-inning single, Dustin Pedroia, who went 1-for-6, extended his career-high hitting streak to 22 games. He has reached base safely in 34 games since June 15.

With a scoreless eighth inning, Daniel Bard extended his scoreless-innings streak to 25 over his last 24 outings.

J.D. Drew will be placed on the DL Tuesday with a left shoulder impingement. He has not played since July 19, going 1-for-3 in Baltimore, is batting .219 with four home runs and 21 RBI this season.

He was MRIed on Saturday, Francona said. We didnt DL him right away because we didn't have a move we wanted to make and he could have pinch-run, something like that. Hopefully a couple of weeks down will really do him some good. Hell get some strength back in that shoulder and maybe well have a better chance of seeing the J.D. we were hoping for.

According to webmd.com: Impingement syndrome is a common condition affecting the shoulder and is often seen in aging adults. This condition is closely related to shoulder bursitis and rotator cuff tendinitis. These conditions may occur alone or in combination.

The typical symptoms of impingement syndrome include difficulty reaching up behind the back, pain with overhead use of the arm and weakness of shoulder muscles.

The Red Sox have changed their original roster plans, with Jon Lester being activated from the disabled list for Mondays start against the Royals. Initially, right-hander Kyle Weiland was going to be kept with the major league team, with J.D. Drew going on the disabled list on Monday. Instead, Weiland will be optioned back to Triple-A Pawtucket with Drew Sutton getting called up. Drew will go on the DL on Tuesday.

Primarily an infielder, Sutton has also played the outfield, with eight minor league games in right, 34 in left, and seven major league games in left and one in right. He has appeared in two games in left for the Sox this season.

Before the roster change, Francona spoke about moving Weiland to the bullpen.

Thats something we have to figure out, Francona said. Since we dont have a day off, do we fit him in for a start? Because the one thing we dont want him to do is not pitch. Were playing short a position player. I dont think thatll be an issue. Guys can move around but if we ever get to the point where we need somebody we can do it. But well see how the Weiland situation goes.

Weiland, who is Notre Dame's all-time saves leader, with 25, has not worked out of the bullpen since 2008, his first professional season, when he made five relief appearances with Low-A Lowell. Francona believes his stuff will work well out of the bullpen.

Yeah, but I also see him as a guy who can start, Francona said. Hes got good stuff. I think with experienceI know he was a reliever in college . . . its just hard not to have guys start when they have good enough stuff and he certainly does. But I think all of us can certainly envision him helping us out in the bullpen, too. Well look at all our options. The one thing we dont want him to do is not pitch. Whether its here or Triple A he needs to pitch.

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

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen.

Drellich: Sale may be Red Sox' most electrifying pitcher since Pedro

Drellich: Sale may be Red Sox' most electrifying pitcher since Pedro

The newest lefty ace can succeed where David Price did not.

Chris Sale might be the most electrifying pitcher the Red Sox have had since Pedro Martinez.

Josh Beckett had his moments. Jon Lester was steadily excellent.

But the stuff Sale brings is a step above.

A spaghetti-limbed motion and a fast pace. The ability to throw any pitch in any count, something said of many pitchers, but noted here without exaggeration. A delivery that disguises each pitch as another until there’s no time to react.

MORE ON CHRIS SALE

There's been a lot of talk about how competitive Sale is. That's great.

Let's acknowledge how filthy he is before going crazy about the intangibles. He carves hitters better than he does jerseys.

Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has made some questionable moves, but he deserves some optimism here. Some early praise, even -- no matter how well Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech, the best prospects he gave the White Sox for Sale, are faring this spring.

Where Dombrowski failed with Price thus far, he may succeed immediately with Sale.

Yes, Sale's 10-strikeout performance against the Yankees on Tuesday night was just a spring training game. But he was dominant to the point that a Grapefruit League game was actually made interesting.

Must-watch, even.

“You guys saw,” Sale told reporters in Florida. “Just felt good.”

All three pitches were working for Sale, the fastball, slider and changeup, and the variants thereof.

“I've been working on my changeup a little bit more the last couple of outings,” Sale said. “My last time out it wasn't great, but just working on it in between starts, just throwing it on the flat ground, it's a pitch that doesn't take a whole lot of stress on your arm. So even when you're just playing catch, you can flip it around, work on grips, things like that.

"As far as my slider, I feel good about it. . . . Obviously when I'm throwing harder, I think it's a little bit flatter. When I take some off of it, not only do I have a little bit more control, but I think it has a little bit more depth. Plus, it kind of creates another pitch in there. It's like an in-between fastball-changeup type of thing. Anything to give them a different look or try to throw them off. That’s kind of the name of pitching."

American League Rookie of the Year runner-up Gary Sanchez was miles in front of the 2-and-2 changeup he swung over in the first inning. Matt Holliday was frozen by a slider at the belt on the inner half.

Chris Carter, he of 40-home run power, was beat by a 2-and-2 fastball an inning later, clearly thinking off speed and unable to decipher just what was coming in time.

Aaron Hicks tried to golf an 0-and-2 slider by flinging his bat into the stands, somewhere behind the third-base dugout.

That’s just the first two innings.

"He added his third pitch more this evening than five days ago, when it was more fastball-changeup," manager John Farrell said. "He had his breaking ball to both sides of the plate, and got underneath to some right-handed swings. And any time he needs to, he's got such good feel for the changeup to get him back in counts to give him a different look. He was impressive."

Opening Day at Fenway Park will be exciting. But Game No. 2, when Sale is to make his Sox debut, should bring the most intrigue.

Chris Sale dominant again in Red Sox' win vs. Yankees

Chris Sale dominant again in Red Sox' win vs. Yankees

By Pat Bradley, CSN Staff

Chris Sale was treating this like a regular season game, and delivered an excellent, midseason performance.

The Boston Red Sox got a taste Tuesday of the star pitcher they acquired last offseason, when Sale dominated the New York Yankees in a 4-2 spring training road win in Tampa, Florida.

Sale, who entered the game having thrown 63 of his 68 spring pitches for strikes (92%), continued to show off his incredible command, throwing 58 of his 86 pitches for strikes (67%) in the victory.

The 27-year-old struck out five of the first six Yankees he faced, and finished with an even 10 strikeouts on the night. He’s now struck out 20 batters to just one walk this spring.

"Obviously, anybody who knows anything about sports knows about Boston and New York," Sale said, via The Providence Journal’s Tim Britton. "Coming in here, playing against the Yankees, playing at their park in a night game, it gives it more of a regular-season feel. That's what we're here for. Anytime you can get that much closer to a regular-season game, the better off we're going to be."

His single blemish came on a 2-2 pitch to Yankees designated hitter and noted masher Matt Holliday, who sent the ball sailing to the opposite field for a two-run home run that at the time tied the score at 2.

Sale quickly regrouped, lining out Chris Carter to left field on his very next pitch to end his outing. His final line: two runs on four hits with 10 strikeouts and a hit batsman in six innings on 86 pitches.

That’s quite a debut to the rivalry, and something the Red Sox are well aware could become a regular thing.

“I don't want to say tonight is the norm,” began Red Sox manager John Farrell, via The Providence Journal, “but certainly he is very capable of doing that every time he walks to the mound.”

Sale wasn’t the only one strutting his stuff on Tuesday, though. Youngsters Marco Hernandez and Sam Travis continued to hit and were pivotal parts of a Red Sox offense that pounded out 13 hits.

After Mike Miller opened the scoring with a solo homer for Boston in the third inning, Travis kept things rolling a few batters later when his base hit scored Hernandez.

Travis was back at it again in the seventh inning, when his groundout scored Heiker Meneses for what proved to be the game-winning run.

Hernandez and Travis each finished 2-for-4, with Hernandez tripling (his fifth of the spring) and scoring a run and Travis driving in two runs of his own. They raised their spring averages to .422 and .351, respectively.

Every member of the starting lineup -- which did not feature regulars Mookie Betts, Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval or Xander Bogaerts -- recorded at least one hit, save for Jackie Bradley Jr., who went 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts out of the cleanup spot.

Boston is back in action Thursday with a 1:05 p.m. start against the Pittsburgh Pirates.