Ortiz has answer for first-half woes: Injuries

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Ortiz has answer for first-half woes: Injuries

BOSTON -- David Ortiz will be the only Red Sox player at this week's All-Star Game in Kansas City. He's also the only everyday player on his Red Sox team that enters the All-Star break hitting over .300.

Following Sunday night's 7-3 loss to the New York Yankees at Fenway Park, Ortiz gave his "state of the Red Sox" address while sitting in front of his locker.

And with a 43-43 record, tied for last place in the American League East, 9.5 games behind the Yankees, Ortiz is only looking at one thing: injuries.

"With all the injuries that we've been through, I think it could be worse, you know what I'm saying?" said Ortiz.

"It's hard to compete like that," he later added. "I mean, you try, you know what I'm saying? But, it's hard."

The Red Sox hope to get Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford back after the All-Star break. They also currently have Dustin Pedroia on the DL, and Clay Buchholz is expected to be back in the rotation next weekend.

But all season long, the Red Sox have been searching for answers. Ortiz believes he knows the answer. It's as simple as not having some of your best players healthy.

"Have all those guys in and it would be a different story," said Ortiz. "Nobody's facing the situation that we are right now, with all the injuries. One coming in and another going back out, you know what I'm saying, it's hard to play, hard to compete like that.

"That's it," Ortiz later added. "I think that'll be the key right there. Just get some guys back, and fill some holes. Injuries have taken over in the game, man. It's hard.

"If you look at the team that broke spring training, and the team that played the past two-and-a-half months, it's a totally different team. Like I said, it's hard to compete like that."

The Yankees took three-of-four from the Red Sox over the weekend, and they go into the break in first place with 52 wins. They have injuries to key players, too. But Ortiz believes that if everybody gets back healthy for the second half, the Red Sox can make other teams pay, just like the Yankees made them pay this weekend.

"Well we hadn't played the Yankees in a while, but I noticed this weekend that you can make no mistakes when you play against them," said Ortiz. "You make a mistake, they'll make you pay. That's how good teams are.

"Good teams, they take advantage of mistakes. When we are playing well, when we have everybody here, you make a mistake against us, it will come back and haunt you."

Sandoval raps out two hits, lifts average to .333, in Red Sox' 5-4 loss to Yankees

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Sandoval raps out two hits, lifts average to .333, in Red Sox' 5-4 loss to Yankees

With each passing day, Pablo Sandoval's winning over more and more skeptics.

The slimmed-down third baseman rapped out two hits, including a double, and drove in a run as he lifted his spring average to .333 in the Red Sox' 5-4 loss to a split squad of Yankees Tuesday at JetBlue Park. Sandoval went 2-for-3 overall -- his one out was a fly to the warning track -- and looked almost speedy as he raced home from second on an RBI single by Deven Marrero.

BOX SCORE: Yankees 5, Red Sox 4

It was a day for comeback players on both teams. Sam Travis, whose 2016 was cut short by a knee injury suffered at Triple-A Pawtucket, hit a solo home run for the Sox, who fell to 1-4 with the loss.  Greg Bird, who missed all of last year because of a shoulder injury, hit a pair of home runs and drove in three runs for the Yankees.

Marrero, Jackie Bradley Jr., Rusney Castillo, Matt Dominguez and Dan Butler each had one hit for the Red Sox. Starter Kyle Kendrick allowed three hits and two runs over three innings, retiring eight of the last nine batters he faced. Only one of the subsequent six relievers -- Robbie Ross Jr. -- figures to be in Boston in the regular season, and he pitched a hitless, scoreless fourth with one walk.

Vegas projects Red Sox, Indians for most wins in AL

Vegas projects Red Sox, Indians for most wins in AL

Wanna bet the Red Sox will have the most wins in the American League this season? 

Per Bovada, the Sox are projected for 92.5 wins in 2017, which is tied with the Indians for the highest total in the AL. Boston and Cleveland both sit behind the defending World Series champion Cubs (95.5) and Dodgers (93.5) in Bovada’s win projections. 

Here is the full list: 

Chicago Cubs: 95.5
Los Angeles Dodgers: 93.5
Boston Red Sox: 92.5
Cleveland Indians: 92.5
Washington Nationals: 90.5
Houston Astros: 89.5
New York Mets: 88.5
San Francisco Giants: 87.5
Seattle Mariners: 85.5
St. Louis Cardinals: 84.5
Texas Rangers: 84.5
Toronto Blue Jays: 84.5
Detroit Tigers: 82.5
New York Yankees: 82.5
Pittsburgh Pirates: 82.5
Baltimore Orioles: 80.5
Colorado Rockies: 80.5
Los Angeles Angels: 79.5
Arizona Diamondbacks: 77.5
Tampa Bay Rays: 77.5
Kansas City Royals: 76.5
Miami Marlins: 765
Minnesota Twins: 74.5
Atlanta Braves: 73.5
Oakland Athletics: 73.5
Philadelphia Phillies: 73.5
Cincinnati Reds: 70.5
Chicago White Sox: 69.5
Milwaukee Brewers: 69.5
San Diego Padres: 66.5