Notes: Sox take season series vs. Yanks


Notes: Sox take season series vs. Yanks

By Maureen Mullen Follow @maureenamullen
By Joe Haggerty Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs

BOSTON The Red Sox couldnt score enough runs Sunday night to giveJosh Beckett his 10th win of the season, despite Beckett's pitchingwell for six innings, and they couldnt make Beckett the first pitcherto go 4-0 against New York since Al Nipper in 1987. But they did end upproviding enough offensive fireworks to engineer a 3-2 win in thebottom of the tenth inning for their eighth walk-off win of theseason.

The victory makes them 10-2 against theYankees in 12 regular-season game, and clinches the season series inBostons favor for the first time since the Sox' World Serieschampionship season of 2004. The Sox and Yanks split the regular-seasonseries each of the last three years.

The Sox will get another chance against theYankeesat the end of August when New York returns to Fenway Park, and theteams will play in Yankee Stadium late inSeptember,

Jason Varitek wasimpressed by the Sox' pitching Sunday.

Our attitudeand approach was the same all night. It ended up being a huge pitchersdual tonight. Sometimes it goes the opposite way and its a hugeslugfest, said Varitek. But importantly on our end it was nice to seehow we threw the ball because thats a good lineup . . . thats areally good lineup.

Chad Ochocinco was on a date with VH1 reality show starlet, fiance Evelyn Lozada, during Sundays tilt against the New York Yankees, and the New England Patriots wide receiver impressively stayed in his front row seats until the game was over after 10 innings and didnt retreat back to the Patriots facility in Foxboro until well after midnight.

Right-handed reliever Dan Wheeler struck out the side in impressive fashion in the eighth inning against the Yankees during Bostons come-from-behind win on Sunday night. The righty didnt break 90-mph during his inning of work, but it appears that the Rhode Island native is hitting a bit of a rhythm and ended last weekend perfectly scoreless in seven straight outings for the Red Sox.

1B Adrian Gonzalez finished the three-game series against the New York Yankees with an offensively invisible 1-for-13 performance in the three games, and is hitting .191 (9-for-47) against the Yankees this season. Gonzalez was spectacular defensively at first base on Saturday and is still hitting .348 for the season, so there doesnt seem to be much doubt that hell be getting a pass from just about everyone after one ineffective series against the Bronx Bombers.

Carl Crawford went 3-for-4 in Sunday nights win and has a hit in nine of his last 10 plate appearances including seven straight hits over the weekend games against the Yankees pitching staff. Crawford is hitting .429 with four doubles, a homer, 2 RBI and a stolen base in seven games during the month of August.

Starter Josh Beckett leads the Red Sox with nine no-decisions on the season, and that matches his career-highs during both the 2009 and 2010 baseball seasons in Boston. Beckett has held opponents to two runs or less in a no-decision seven this season, which is tops among American League pitchers and puts him in a tie with San Diego Padres RHP Tim Stauffer for the Major League lead. Beckett also continues to garner the worst offensive run support of any pitcher on the Red Sox staff, and will finish with far fewer victories than he actually deserved this season.

Adrian Gonzalez entertained an entourage of roughly 10 visitors on Sunday that included his father, his uncle and Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world and a big baseball fan. Slim held court with Gonzalez and David Ortiz during Red Sox batting practice, and had dinner with Gonzalez on Saturday night prior to his group visit to Fenway on Sunday night.

Before the game, manager Terry Francona had high praise for his 1-4 hitters -- Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez, and Kevin Youkilis who have all come back from injuries last season to have highly productive seasons in 2011:

"Theyre having phenomenal years. I dont know when the years going to end but I dont think the fact that they're good players is going to go away. They played a lot of not just games but innings. I think Gonzies missed maybe 14 innings or something crazy. The games Youks missed hes been sick or hit a ball off his foot or something. Pedeys played almost every game. Jacobys been out all but one game and he got in that game. Were aware of that. Its a huge deal.

Guys come back . . . sometimes you see them come back maybe more in name than they do in what they do on the field. These guys have worked hard enough where they came back and theyre able to not only help us but be some of the best players in the game.

I hate to use that word surprised because I felt like sometimes its almost disrespectful, but maybe a little bit. I mean, theyve done so well and theyve worked hard at it so they can stay out there because its important to them. But Im proud of them for it.

Jed Lowrie, on the disabled list since June 17 with a left shoulder strain, has completed his rehab and expects to be activated Monday. Lowrie appeared in five games for Triple-A Pawtucket, batting .412 (7-for-17) with four doubles and five RBI, serving as the designated hitter and playing shortstop.

Hes fine, Francona said. He swung the bat real well last night and came back tonight and will have a work day. Hell go with us to Minnesota.

I dont know if anyones a hundred percent. Hes fine. Hes not ready to play every day but he doesnt have to. He really swung the bat pretty well. Sometimes when guys are out for a while you just dont know how good theyre going to swing the bat. Carl came back and the first two days he got a bunch of hits and then he didnt. But Jed has proven when hes healthy hes a really good hitter and when hes not thats when he makes outs. So I think it was good that we kind of took a slower route and got him healthy because he can really help us.

Lowrie, who said he was happy with how his rehab went, made his season debut on July 21 last year, missing the season up to that point because of mononucleosis. While the reasons for his absence are completely different, he said, the experience should help him this year.

I think Ive proven that time and again that I can get back up after being knocked down, he said. I think having that experience helps.

I feel good. Im here to do whatever I can to help this team go where it needs to go.

This was the eighth time ever that the Yankees and Sox have met on or after Aug. 1 tied for first place.

Former Sox pitcher Curt Schilling was a pregame visitor to the Sox clubhouse. He is part of ESPNs broadcast team.

Carlos Slim was also a pregame visitor in the clubhouse, part of a group chatting and snapping pictures with Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz. Slim is the worlds wealthiest person, with a net worth estimated at 74 billion.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs.

Pedroia returns to lineup as Sox look to extend winning streak to six

Pedroia returns to lineup as Sox look to extend winning streak to six

After leaving Thursday night's game in the fifth inning and missing Friday night's game, Dustin Pedroia is back in the Red Sox lineup Saturday as they look to extend their winning streak to six in a 4:05 game against the Seattle Mariners.

Pedroia felt pain his left knee Thursday night and was taken out of the game by manager John Farrell as a precaution. The rainy conditions and wet field were also factors in keeping the second baseman out Thursday and Friday. 

Pedroia (.288, two homers, 21 RBI) had surgery on the knee in October. It's the same leg that was hurt when Manny Machado slid into Pedroia at second base in April, the slide that sparked various confrontations between the Orioles and Red Sox.

Left-hander Brian Johnson (1-0, 7.20 ERA) was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket to make his second start of the season for Boston and right-handed reliever Ben Taylor was optioned to the PawSox. Right-hander Rob Whalen, 23,  comes up from Triple-A Tacoma to make his first start of the season for the Mariners. 

The lineups:

Jean Segura SS
Danny Valencia 1B
Robinson Canó 2B
Nelson Cruz DH
Kyle Seager 3B
Taylor Motter LF
Guillermo Heredia RF
Mike Zunino C
Jarrod Dyson CF
Rob Whalen RHP

Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Andrew Benintendi LF
Hanley Ramirez DH
Mitch Moreland 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Sandy Leon C
Deven Marrero 3B
Brian Johnson LHP 

Rodriguez continues strong stretch as Red Sox blank Seattle, 3-0

Rodriguez continues strong stretch as Red Sox blank Seattle, 3-0

BOSTON -- The Red Sox scored runs in bunches in tallying four consecutive victories. They leaned on pitching and defense to earn their latest.

Eduardo Rodriguez pitched six scoreless innings and the Red Sox took advantage of a sloppy performance by the Seattle Mariners for their season-high fifth straight win, 3-0 on Friday night.

It was the third win in a row for Rodriguez (4-1), who gave up just five hits and struck out four while throwing a season-high 112 pitches. Craig Kimbrel earned his 13th save.

"I just go out there and pitch," Rodriguez said. "I'm never really thinking about numbers. I just go out there and throw my pitches and do the best I can do."

That effort is producing one of the best stretches of his three-year career.

Rodriguez has pitched at least six innings in his last seven starts, going 4-0 in that span. He hasn't allowed a run in 10 innings and only 11 runs in his last 49 1/3 innings. His ERA is just 2.01 over that same period.

"He was amazing," Jackie Bradley Jr. said. "Put zeroes on the board all night long. And he made the big pitch when he needed to."

The only run support Rodriguez needed came in the second inning, when Hanley Ramirez scored on Josh Rutledge's RBI groundout. Boston added two more runs in the sixth, scoring on a wild pitch and passed ball.

Manager John Farrell said his 24-year-old pitcher is in a "very good place" right now.

"He was powerful tonight," he said. "It's just a matter of his abilities coming together. This has always been an extremely talented young guy. We've talked about his maturity, we've talked about his progression. It's been on display here for a good number of starts consecutively."

Yovani Gallardo (2-5) took the loss. He lasted 5 1/3 innings, gave up seven hits and was responsible for all three of Boston's runs.

"The whole night obviously wasn't consistent," he said.

Seattle has won just one of its last seven.

Meanwhile, Boston gave Rodriguez got lots of help defensively. Bradley had a pair of nice plays, getting an outfield assist in the second and running down another ball on the warning track in the sixth.

In addition to the pitching miscues, the Mariners had all kinds of issues in the wet conditions, committing two fielding errors.

The Red Sox left 11 runners on base, leaving the door open for the Mariners to get back in the game. But Seattle couldn't capitalize, going 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. The Mariners also left seven runners stranded.


Mariners: LHP James Paxton (strained left forearm) was slated to make a rehab start Friday night in Double-A Arkansas. He has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 5. He could be activated for a start at the end of the month against Colorado.

Red Sox: Infielder Marco Hernandez will be out the remainder of the season after undergoing stabilization surgery on his left shoulder on Friday. Hernandez was placed on the disabled list May 4 with a left shoulder misalignment. The 24-year-old hit .276 with two RBIs in 21 games. ... A night after he left the game with left knee pain, 2B Dustin Pedroia was held out Friday for what Farrell said was "precautionary reasons" because of the wet playing surface.


Mariners manager Scott Servais said they are doing everything they can to find production from an offense that has gone missing.

"Offensively, we struggled to put innings together. That's kind of been the story here for the last week or so, we just haven't gotten the line moving at all, for whatever reason," he said. "Guys are frustrated by it, we all are. We know we're better than that, offensively. It's not happening right now."

Seattle was held scoreless for the fourth time this season.


Mariners: RHP Rob Whalen (0-2, 4.09 ERA in Triple-A Tacoma) will be making his first major league start since last season with Atlanta. He will be 12th different starting pitcher the Mariners have used this season.

Red Sox: LHP Brian Johnson (1-0, 7.20 ERA) will be making his second major league start this year and third of his career.