Notes: Weiland improves in second MLB start


Notes: Weiland improves in second MLB start

By Sean McAdam Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
BALTIMORE -- In all likelihood, Kyle Weiland's start Tuesday night was his last for the Red Sox in a while. With Jon Lester set to come off the disabled list and start Monday, Weiland's spot in the rotation will soon disappear.

But though he lost in his second major league start, Weiland showed improvement over his major league debut which came in the final game of the first half.

He went six innings Tuesday and allowed three runs on six hits, finishing with exactly 100 pitches.

"I thought he represented himself very well," said manager Terry Francona after the 6-2 loss by the Red Sox. "I thought this was a (better) look than the last outing . . . I think (the experience he's had) is valuable. It's not an easy thing to do to come up and pitch in the big leagues first of all, and then (to do it) in a pennant race.

"He has poise, he likes to compete. I think it's exciting what he can do."

Weiland gave up two runs in the second and another run in the third but then blanked the Orioles over his final three innings.

"I did a better job of controlling the emotions and adrenaline than last time," said Weiland.

One thing that bothered Weiland was issuing three walks, which he attributed to a mix of command issues and perhaps not yet trusting his stuff enough against big league hitters.

"The same pitch that got hitters out at Pawtucket can get big league hitters out," he said. "You just have to make your pitch. There's better discipline (up here) and when you fall behind, it's a lot easier to get beat."

Clay Buchholz, who threw from a distance of 120 feet Monday and is scheduled to do so again Wednesday, with an eye toward a mound session Friday.

Buchholz has been on the DL for just over a month with lower back spasms and recently had a period of two weeks in which he didn't throw at all, hoping to rest the back.

Monday, the signs were encouraging, though Buchholz won't know how much improvement he's made until he throws off a mound.

"When he gets to the mound, that's been the sticking point," said Terry Francona. "We've taken pretty significant time off and (Monday) was such a good day that I think everybody was really pleased.

"I know we have some hurdles to get through, but still, everything went well. The guys who were with him said you would never know (he had been sore). It looked like a guy doing his normal long toss."

"I think it's still going to take a little bit of time," cautioned Buchholz. "But at the same time (Monday) was a good step in the right direction."

Buchholz's described his long layoff as "pretty stressful. Obviously, we've got real good things going on right now and not being a part of that when you want to be is the hardest thing. I'm trying to keep in the right frame of mind. If I'm back and able to pitch in August and September and into October, that's what I want."

Buchholz has talked to Josh Beckett, who went through problems with his back last season, for some perspective.

"It's getting better," said Buchholz. "Certain stretches that I wasn't able to do, I can do now. But when I throw off the mound, that will (determine) everything."

His arm strength has been maintained, but Buchholz believes he'll probably need "a couple" of rehab starts before rejoining the rotation.

Jarrod Saltalamachia smoked a two-run homer in the fifth, lining a 94 mph fastball over the scoreboard in right for his eighth homer of the season and second in as many nights.

This was the second time this season that Saltalamacchia has homered in consecutive starts. The last time was May 20 and May 22.

"I feel good," said Saltalamacchia. "I've been feeling good. The three days off for the All-Star break kind of gets your timing off a little bit and it takes a few games to get back into it, but I feel good at the plate."

Saltalamacchia didn't hit a homer through May 14; since then, he's hit eight.

With the DH spot vacant due for a second straight game as David Ortiz serves his three-game suspension, Francona had Carl Crawford in the DH spot Tuesday night.

On Monday, he used Jacoby Ellsbury as the DH. By using Crawford Tuesday, Francona thought it was possible to come back and have Crawford in the outfield for Wednesday's matinee.

The plan is to have Kevin Youkilis DH Wednesday, with Yamaico Navarro taking over at third.

Bobby Jenks, who was examined by the Red Sox medical staff Monday, received an injection in his back.

An MRI confirmed that the problems are muscular in nature.

Sean McAdam can be reached at Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam.

Jones-Molina WBC spat is a clash of cultures . . . and that's great


Jones-Molina WBC spat is a clash of cultures . . . and that's great

The Adam Jones-Yadier Molina verbal skirmish is as predictable as it is annoying.

Was every cultural nuance for the 16 World Baseball Classic teams explained in a booklet the players had to memorize before the tournament?

No? Then it’s amazing there weren’t more moments like this.

Jones, the Orioles outfielder, said Team USA's championship game win over Puerto Rico was motivated by Puerto Rico's choice to plan a post-tournament parade for the team before the final game.

As Jones was raised, parades in pro sports are for championship teams. Red Sox fans are likely aware of this.

As Jones was raised, discussing a parade before a title is secured suggests overconfidence. Rex Ryan fans are likely aware of this.

After an 8-0 win for the U.S., Jones revealed the parade was used as bulletin-board material.

"Before the game, we got a note that there was some championship shirts made -- we didn't make 'em -- and a flight [arranged],” Jones said. “That didn't sit well with us. And a parade -- it didn't sit well with us."

But apparently, Jones didn't know the full context of the parade. It was reportedly planned regardless of whether Puerto Rico won.

One Team USA teammate of Jones whom CSNNE spoke with didn't believe that, however.

"It was called a champions parade that got turned into a celebration parade once they lost," the player said. "I think they just don't like getting called out by Jones, but all Jones did was tell exactly what happened."

Jones’ comments weren’t received well.

Puerto Rico's going through a trying time, a recession, and the entire island rallied behind the team.

“Adam Jones . . . is talking about things he doesn't know about," Molina told ESPN’s Marly Rivera. "He really has to get informed because he shouldn't have said those comments, let alone in public and mocking the way [preparations] were made.”

No one should be upset Jones explained what he was thinking.

Jones actually asked MLB Network host Greg Amsinger, “Should I tell the truth?”

Yes. It’s better than lying.

Look at the reactions across the WBC: the bat flips, the raw emotion. Honesty conveyed via body language.

People in the U.S. are starting to accept and crave those reactions. The WBC helped promote a basic idea: let people be themselves.

Jones said what was on his mind. We can’t celebrate bat flips and then say Jones should keep his mouth shut.

But there's an unreasonable expectation being placed on Jones here.

He heard about a parade -- which is to say, a subject he wouldn't normally think twice about or investigate before a championship baseball game.

Plus, it gave him motivation.

Why is Jones, or anyone with Team USA, more responsible for gaining an advance understanding of Puerto Rico’s parade-planning conventions -- we're talking about parade planning! -- than Puerto Rico is responsible for keeping U.S. norms in mind when making and/or talking about those plans?

No one involved here was thinking about the other’s perception or expectation. It's impossible to always do so.

But that’s how these moments develop: what’s obvious to one party is outlandish to the other.

Now Molina, Puerto Rico's catcher, wants an apology.

"He has to apologize to the Puerto Rican people," Molina told ESPN. "Obviously, you wanted to win; he didn't know what this means to [our] people."

Jones can clear the air with an apology, but he doesn't owe one. And he definitely doesn't owe one after Molina took it a step further.

"I'm sending a message to [Jones], saying, 'Look at this, right now you're in spring training working out, and we're with our people, with our silver medals,' " Molina said. "You're in spring training and you're working . . . you have no idea how to celebrate your honors, you don't know what it means.”

Team USA had no parade. Manager Jim Leyland made clear how the U.S. was celebrating, by recognizing those serving the country.

The silver lining here is how much attention the WBC has drawn, and how much conversation it can drive. People care, a great sign for the sport -- and its potential to foster better understanding across cultures.

Internationally, the sport is on parade.

Wright extends scoreless streak to 9 1/3 innings in Red Sox' 10-7 win over Pirates

Wright extends scoreless streak to 9 1/3 innings in Red Sox' 10-7 win over Pirates

The angst surrounding the David Price- and (possibly) Drew Pomeranz-less Red Sox starting rotation may have eased a little -- or a lot -- on Thursday.

Steven Wright extended his string of scoreless spring-training innings to 9 1/3 by blanking the Pirates for 4 1/3 innings in his third spring-traing start, leading the Sox to a 10-7 victory over the Pirates at SkyBlue Park.

Red Sox-Pirates box score

Wright allowed two hits -- the only two hits he's allowed this spring -- with one walk and three strikeouts.

Several of his pitching brethren, notably Heath Hembree and Robbie Ross Jr., didn't fare nearly as well. (See box score above.) But the Sox -- using what may be their regular-season batting order for the first time -- bailed them out with a 16-hit attack, led by Dustin Pedroia (3-for-3, now hitting ,500 for the spring). Mookie Betts, Hanley Ramirez, Jackie Bradley Jr., and, yes, Pablo Sandoval each added two hits. Sandoval also drove in three runs and is now hitting .362.

Xander Bogaerts went 1-for-4 in his return to the Sox from the World Baseball Classic.