Notes: Scutaro misses the suicide squeeze sign

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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.

Improved Matt Barnes dealing with much more than mechanics

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Improved Matt Barnes dealing with much more than mechanics

BOSTON — Matt Barnes has been coping with more than just a few bad outings on the mound, and he’s asking for help.

The Red Sox set-up man made some mechanical corrections that paid off in the eighth inning Monday night, when he struck out all three Twins he faced in a 4-1 Red Sox win at Fenway Park.

“I just simplified the mechanics,” Barnes said afterward. “Two days ago, I was trying to get with more of an up, down, and out approach. I felt better in that outing. I know I gave up a run and walked the one guy, but I felt better around the zone. And then just kind of went into a slide step, doing what Andrew Miller was doing.”

Barnes allowed four runs spanning his previous three outings, retiring just four batters while walking five. But Barnes has had a lot more to worry about than just a brief professional rut. 

He’s been devoted to helping his girlfriend, Chelsea, through the unexpected loss of her father, who was diagnosed with cancer and suffered a stroke

"Her father passed away [May 27]. That’s why I wasn’t in Baltimore for the two days [in early June], I was at his funeral,” Barnes said. "It’s tough, dealing with that, and she’s obviously having a hard time with it. She’s got her good days and her bad days. But it’s not easy. He was sick for a little while, and unexpectedly passed a lot faster than anybody ever expected him to. So, it’s been tough. She’s been alright, considering.”

There are a ton of medical bills still to be paid. A fundraising page has been set up to help the family with some large medical bills, and Barnes has asked on Twitter for people to spread the word if they’re able to.

“I’ve been able to spend a lot of time with her which is nice,” Barnes said of his girlfriend. “Everybody who’s helped out with donations and spreading the page, I couldn’t be more grateful, and she couldn’t be more grateful.”

Barnes is a big leaguer, but he’s still young and making the major league minimum. For every $1,000 total donated, Barnes plans to send a signed baseball to a random donor.

“I felt like it was a nice way, if they’re going to help me out, I can at least do that in return for them,” Barnes said.

Sale gets 9 Ks, Moreland hits home run as Red Sox beat Twins, 4-1

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Sale gets 9 Ks, Moreland hits home run as Red Sox beat Twins, 4-1

BOSTON - The way Chris Sale and the Boston relievers were pitching, the Red Sox didn't need to score a lot.

Sale went 6 1/3 overpowering innings with nine strikeouts, Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer for the third straight game and the Red Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 4-1 on Monday in a matchup of two of the AL's top teams.

"When you've got him on the mound, all you need is a couple and he's going to do the rest," Moreland said. "Obviously, tonight was another example of that."

Dustin Pedroia had two hits and drove in a run and Moreland added a sacrifice fly for Boston, which kept pace with the New York Yankees atop the East.

The Red Sox started fast, grabbing a 2-0 lead just four batters into the first.

"When the guys score early for you, it's nice," Sale said. "It settles you down a little bit and allows you to throw strikes."

Coming off a three-game sweep in Cleveland that had jumped them over the Indians into first in the Central, the Twins' offense was stymied by Sale and three relievers. The loss coupled with Cleveland's win over Texas moved the Indians back a half-game ahead.

Sale (10-3) gave up one run and four hits, increasing his major-league strikeout total to 155. Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 21st save after Matt Barnes struck out three in the eighth. Heath Hembree faced one batter, getting a double play.

The 6-foot-6 Sale relied on his usual sharp-breaking slider and fastball in the mid-to-upper 90s to fan eight over the first six innings, getting the initial half dozen with his breaking pitch.

"It's what we've seen many times. He had a nice mix," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "I think the biggest trouble we had was with that slider, especially down and in to righties."

Jose Berrios (7-2) allowed four runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. Chris Gimenez had a solo homer for Minnesota.

"When you go against a guy like Chris Sale, you try to give 110 percent," Berrios said through a translator.

Boston jumped ahead when Moreland homered into the first row of Green Monster seats after the first run scored on a double-play grounder.

Berrios had given up just two runs in each of his previous four starts, and six of eight since being promoted on May 7.

Gimenez's homer completely left Fenway Park over the Monster.