Ortiz' aim: Break slump, resume playing regularly


Ortiz' aim: Break slump, resume playing regularly

By Art Martone

David Ortiz says he's not used to being platooned and wants to go back to playing every day -- and is willing to leave Boston to do so -- but his first priority is getting out of an early season slump that, for the second year in a row, has choked off his production.

In an exclusive one-on-one interview with Comcast SportsNet New England's Jessica Moran that aired Friday night on SportsNet Central, Ortiz said, "My mindset right now is to change things around. And I know this ballclub counts on me a lot and I got to bring it back . . .

"I'm a team player. I'm a team guy. I try not to be selfish."

But he also said that his playing status is "something that, at some point, has to change."

"It's not easy. I'm not going to lie to you," Ortiz told Moran about being platooned. "It's something I guess I got to get used to for a while . . . but, to tell you the truth, you don't get 100 percent out of me. It's hard to stay sharp like that . . . "

When referring to "100 percent," Ortiz was referring to results and not effort.

"That's what I'm used to, you know," he said of playing regularly. "That's what I'm used to. And that's how I get out of trouble. Playing, and seeing pitchers, and seeing the ball and swinging at it."

It's clear Ortiz expects to go back to playing regularly if he begins hitting again, and would ask to be traded if his status didn't change.

"Well, if you don't play here, you got to play somewhere else. That's how it goes," he said when asked if could see himself playing in another uniform. . "Hopefully not. This is my life right here, but what else can I say? . . .

"I want to finish my playing time here," he said. "I love this town, I love the people around here, I love the fans, everybody . . . But you know how this goes. Sometimes it doesn't work, sometimes it's not what you expect, sometimes people aren't happy with what you do, and things change."

But one thing that hasn't changed: His belief in himself.

"Oh, yeah," he said with a laugh when asked if he still had something left in the tank. "Oh, yeah."

Art Martone can be reached at amartone@comcastsportsnet.com.

David Price improves command, indicates he's pitching through ailment


David Price improves command, indicates he's pitching through ailment

BOSTON — David Price and Rick Porcello showed improvement on back-to-back nights Friday and Saturday, important signs for the Red Sox after a difficult month for both pitchers prior to this homestand.

Price on Saturday night went six innings and allowed three runs, two earned, in a 6-3 loss to the Angels. He fanned five and his velocity has been consistently better this year than last year.

But the most important number was his walk total: one. He walked three batters in his previous start, and four in both of his starts prior.

“Two outings ago, the first start here in Fenway,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “There was better timing in his delivery and overall better separation over the rubber. And he carried that through I thought, even though there's a higher pitch count in Houston, and has been able to maintain it here. I can't say there was one specific thing. It's been more the timing over the rubber. And you're seeing him pitch out of the stretch exclusively. Just less moving parts in a better position to repeat it.”

After Price’s final inning, the telecast captured Price calling pitching coach Carl Willis into the tunnel. Neither Farrell nor Price detailed the conversation. 

“Yeah, everything was fine,” Farrell said of the conversation. “Everything is OK there.”

Price made it sound like he’s dealing with some sort of physical ailment, but was vague.

“There's a lot of stuff going on right now,” the pitcher said when asked about the desire to stay out there. “You don't want it to linger into the next start, or two or three weeks from now, and that's why we did what we did.”

Asked to elaborate, Price reinforced that the decision was to save his body for another day.

“You never want to come out of a game. But you have to look forward at the time,” Price said. “You don’t want today to cost you your next start or you know, the start after that. So that’s what happened.

“It has nothing to do with my elbow or anything like that. This is — you get past one thing and there’s another So that’s what it is.”

Price in New York in early June felt a blister develop on his ring finger. He missed an in-between start bullpen because of it.

Asked about the blister Saturday, Price said, “That one’s gone.”

Farrell indicated the blister was diminished, if not entirely gone.

“He's been dealing with that,” Farrell said. “I think while it's still present and maybe not as severe as it was when it first happened, I'm sure he's going to check on it occasionally."

Red Sox threaten late, but can't come back in 6-3 loss to Angels


Red Sox threaten late, but can't come back in 6-3 loss to Angels

BOSTON - JC Ramirez rebounded from his shortest career start with six solid innings, Cameron Maybin doubled home a run and scored another and the Los Angeles Angels held off the Boston Red Sox 6-3 on Saturday night.

The Angels look for their fifth series win in their last six on Sunday.

Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer for the Red Sox, who lost for only the third time in their last 13 home games.

Ramirez (7-5) allowed one run and four hits with five strikeouts after lasting just three innings and giving up five runs in his previous start.

Blake Parker struck out pinch-hitter Chris Young with the bases loaded for the final out for his first save of the season after Boston scored twice in the ninth.

Red Sox manager John Farrell was ejected by third-base umpire and crew chief Bill Miller after Fernando Abad was called for a balk, scoring a run that made it 5-1 in the seventh.