BOSTON The Red Sox have scored in just one inning in each of the three contests. Thanks to Cody Ross three-run walk-off home run Thursday night, they have been able to salvage one win in that span.
But they cant hope to be successful for long with that kind of approach. It showed Saturday night, as they lost to the Blue Jays, 7-3, for the second straight game.
The Sox scored in only the second inning, on Jarrod Saltalamacchias three-run homer into the visitors bullpen in right field. After that, the Sox could muster just two hits over the remaining seven innings a Pedro Ciriaco bunt in the fifth, and a Dustin Pedroia single to right in the eighth.
Yeah, we got to add on, thats for sure, said manager Bobby Valentine. We have to put some stuff together. But its a little different mix of guys that go out there and maybe will start getting used to each other.
On Friday, the Sox scored their lone run in the ninth inning, en route to a 6-1 loss. The dearth of production over the three games coincides, somewhat, with David Ortiz absence from the lineup. Ortiz suffered a strained Achilles tendon in his right foot rounding the bases on Adrian Gonzalez eighth-inning home run Monday night.
Well, every team misses an Ortiz, Valentine said. But we can win without David.
The Sox are 2-3 in Ortizs absence. The two wins came against the White Sox, a 10-1 thumping on Wednesday, and Thursdays 3-1 walk-off.
"Especially in our division, teams keep coming after you and coming after you, said Pedroia, who went 1-for-4 Saturday. We need to try to separate ourselves. There's nothing wrong with getting a five, six-run lead. Other than the White Sox game where we scored a bunch, it's been close. We need to make sure we have better at-bats and try to pull away.
"We feel like we have a great team. We just need to be more consistent, be consistent offensively, pitching, running the bases, playing good D. If we do everything better, we're going to run off a lot more than five or six in a row so. We need to do that."
Perhaps, as Valentine mentioned, it is because of the continuously different mix of players on the field and the various lineups. Saturday, both Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Aviles were on the bench. Ellsbury for medical reasons, after missing 79 games on the DL with a subluxation of his right shoulder. Aviles because he has turf toe. In Ellsburys place, Daniel Nava, who has been struggling at the plate lately (with just two hits in last 26 at-bats), batted lead-off. Nava went 0-for-3.
Consistent playing time is obviously better, said Saltalamacchia, who sat out the previous three game and whose second-inning home run snapped an 0-for-14 slide. It helps you. Your timings better. But I think those guys that have been coming off the DL, like Ellsbury and Carl Crawford have been doing a great job. For the guys that arent getting as much playing time, yeah, its a little tougher. But at the same time, we just got to go out there and take it pitch to pitch. Not do too much.
Saltalamacchia said he is not concerned the team has only been able to muster runs in one inning over the last three games.
Im not concerned with it one bit, he said. Just got to continue to go out. We got to go out there and we got to get some pitches to hit. Do a better job at it.