Red Sox beat up Blue Jays in series finale, 10-4

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Red Sox beat up Blue Jays in series finale, 10-4

BOSTON Down by one run going into the home half of the first, the Red Sox offense wasted little time getting all over Jays starter Ricky Romero.

The Sox sent 10 batters to the plate in the first, scoring six runs on four hits and two walks, on their way to a 10-4 win over the Blue Jays at Fenway Park Wednesday afternoon.

Jon Lester was the beneficiary of the offensive barrage, earning the win to even his record at 5-5. Lester went seven innings, giving up four runs on seven hits with no walks, four strikeouts and two home runs. He snapped his streak of four straight quality starts, as his ERA rose from 4.48 to 4.53.

David Ortiz walked in his first three plate appearances, scoring each time when Adrian Gonzalez drove him in. But in his fourth plate appearance, he drove a Jesse Chavez fastball into the stairwell behind the Sox bullpen in the center field bleachers for his 21st homer of the season and 399th of his career.

Leading off the eighth, Ortiz had a chance to reach the 400-home run milestone. But, with the Fenway crowded chanting "Lets go, Papi," hoping to witness the milestone before the Sox leave for a seven-game road trip to Seattle and Oakland, Ortiz struck out swinging.

Ortiz finished the day going 1-for-2 with four runs scored, an RBI, three walks, and a strikeout.

Romero took the loss for the Jays, going three innings plus two batters in the fourth, giving up nine runs, eight earned, on seven hits and six walks with one strikeout.

The Sox finish the nine-game homestand with a record of 7-2.

STAR OF THE GAME: David OrtizOrtiz went 1-for-2 with a home run, three walks, four runs scored, and an RBI. He walked in each of his first three plate appearances, scoring each time when Adrian Gonzalez drove him in. In his first official at-bat, he crushed a Jesse Chavez fastball into the stairwell behind the Red Sox bullpen in the center field bleachers. It was his 21st home run of the season, 399th of his career, and 341st with the Red Sox.The home run moves him past Dale Murphy, at 398, and into a tie with Andres Galarraga and Al Kaline for 49th on baseballs all-time list.In his final plate appearance of the game, Ortiz led off the eighth inning looking for career home run No. 400. Instead, he struck out against Luis Perez.The four runs scored tie a career high for the fifth time (the last was Aug. 12, 2008, against the Rangers).HONORABLE MENTION: Jon LesterLester earned the win, going seven innings, giving up four runs on seven hits with no walks, four strikeouts, and two home runs. His record improved to 5-5, although his ERA crept up from 4.48 to 4.53.Lester snapped a streak of four straight games with a quality start. But in that streak, he was 1-1 with two no-decisions, while the Sox were 1-3 in those games.He has a 3.41 ERA in four day games this season, with 23 strikeouts in 29 innings, holding opponents to a .204 average.
THE GOAT: Ricky RomeroGiven a one-run lead after the first inning, the Blue Jays lefty quickly gave that back, and more. He faced 10 batters in the first inning, with six scoring as the first five batters reached base before the Jays could record an out.He lasted just three innings, plus two batters in the fourth, giving up nine runs, eight earned, on seven hits and six walks with one strikeout. He threw 90 pitches, 48 strikes, as his record fell to 8-2, and his ERA climbed from 4.34 to 4.94.Romero tied his career high, allowing nine runs, which he had done previously against the Sox on July 9, 2010. It was the fifth time in his career he has allowed six or more runs in an inning -- it was the most runs he has ever allowed in the first inning.This was his shortest outing since lasting just 2 13 innings against the Sox in the July 9, 2010 game.It was the second time hes allowed six or more walks in an outing this season.
THE TURNING POINTTrailing by a run entering the first inning, the Sox offense sent 10 batters to the plate, with six scoring. The first five batters reached base safely, with all eventually scoring. Romero set the tone quickly by walking lead-off batter Daniel Nava on four pitches.
STAT OF THE DAY: 7.12Romero now has a career ERA of 7.12, giving up 34 earned runs over 43.0 innings in eight starts, with a record of 3-4.
QUOTE OF NOTEWho doesnt (enjoy watching him)? Its awesome. Thats what he does. Thats why he should be here for a lot longer. Adrian Gonzalez on David Ortiz

Red Sox circle wagon around Dustin Pedroia's words in weird fashion

Red Sox circle wagon around Dustin Pedroia's words in weird fashion

A rained-out Tuesday was pretty action packed, and a little head-scratching.

The Red Sox circled the wagons well, arriving at a unified message about the Dustin Pedroia and Manny Machado situation: this is behind us, and we’re all good. But it was a weird string of events that brought the Sox to that bottom line.

Happy Hanley Ramirez decided he was going to be Matt Barnes’ public relations representative, running bubbly interference when reporters approached Barnes in the clubhouse.

Ramirez then said there was no team meeting to discuss the fallout from that pitch Barnes threw too close to Machado’s head.

Interesting.

At first, Sox manager John Farrell said nothing about the fallout. He then later referred to a hypothetical meeting that took place.

But it wasn't hypothetical. Diplomatic Dustin acknowledged the discussion that touched on his words to Machado: “It’s not me, it’s them.”

Defiant David Price, meanwhile, was off tweeting something passive aggressive about another matter entirely.

But whether or not you believe the Sox, Tuesday’s rain-out scene was simply weird. A strange mishmash of approaches and attitudes.

We’ll take it chronologically, and begin our day with a tweet from Price.

1. Perhaps someone’s story or commentary recently irked Price. Or maybe he was just in a bad mood. 

Why else would Price announce that he's holding his media session about Monday’s bullpen session on Twitter, and that he won't answer no questions?

Raul Martinez of NBC Boston said on Twitter: “Went to his ice cream (charity) event yesterday, said we're going to ask about health & got up & left.”

Maybe that’s it.

So you’ve got the rehabbing $30 million pitcher off in one corner doing his thing, still having trouble with the attention he's receiving.

2. Around lunchtime, Farrell made his first remarks of the day, in a weekly spot on SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio. He was asked a couple questions about the Pedroia-Machado-Barnes brouhaha, and wanted nothing of it. 

Farrell told hosts Jim Duquette and Mike Ferrin that he did not mean to be short. Except he did. His answer may as well have been, “We’re on to Cincinnati.”

3. Move forward a couple hours. The Yankees-Sox game gets rained out and the Sox clubhouse opens for 30 minutes. Reporters approach Barnes, who’s appealing his four-game suspension for throwing at Machado.

But Barnes had to take care of something first before talking to reporters. Ramirez, who wasn't far from Barnes’ locker when reporters approached, tried to be some sort of shield. A goofy shield.

Remember that Ramirez has spiritually taken over for David Ortiz, or just really wants to. And Ramirez, clearly in a good mood, wanted the media to talk to him instead of Barnes.

(Ramirez, of course, doesn’t control who talks when. The media talked to both players.)

“No more talking about what happened in Baltimore,” Ramirez said at the end of his chat. “It’s over. … Let’s go Sox nation!”

Ramirez was being playful. But let’s go Sox nation? What? Who says that? 

4. Pedroia could have dodged the media for the 30 allotted minutes in the clubhouse, but he seemed to know there was an issue to quell.

“We all talked about that. We’re going to keep that in house,” Pedroia said, not nearly as jovial as Ramirez. “We feel good about each other. We all have each others’ backs. Everybody knows how everybody feels about each other. We’re pretty excited about the group we have."

Pedroia said he clarified what he meant by that “it’s not me, it’s them” comment — privately.

“I think guys that should know, know how we feel about each other and things like that,” Pedroia said. “It’s unfortunate that the outside has an opinion, but they’re going to have an opinion about everything. We all know how we feel. We’re moving on. We’re getting ready for this series, then the Cubs, then the Orioles. We’ve got a tough stretch. We’re focusing on baseball and turning the page.”

Pedroia was more testy when responding to a reporter’s question about his own words than he was a question about Orioles closer Zach Britton’s allegation that Pedroia can’t control his clubhouse.

Britton was way off-base when he suggested to BaltimoreBaseball.com that Pedroia didn’t have control of his group because Barnes threw at Machado. As though Pedroia was supposed to throw himself in front of the pitch.

But Pedroia, now 33, didn’t show off his fiery side.

He still can get riled up, but you have to wonder if his new position as the de facto team leader and his age have mellowed him. In the absence of Ortiz, is Pedroia now a diplomat?

“Everybody has their opinion. I don’t know Zach,” Pedroia said. “I haven’t played with him. I’m sure if I had played with him, his opinion of what he said would be different. I just know him as one of the best closers in the game. That’s it. His comments were said after an emotional game. Obviously he was upset at the situation. I don’t think negatively of him. I try to look at both sides before I jump to conclusions on anything.”

How pragmatic.

5. Then it was Barnes’ turn.

The Sox reliever who could have been offended by Pedroia said nothing at all, which was really his only choice. But Barnes wasn’t exactly loose, free and easy while giving non-answers. This was a tense situation, and Barnes didn’t disguise that. You can understand why.

6. Seemingly in a better mood a few hours after his satellite radio talk, Farrell had a little more to say about the the whole thing when he met with reporters at Fenway Park.

“I didn't feel any rift that was in the clubhouse because of what transpired,” Farrell said. “Any conversation that might have been needed was had and we're on to this series upcoming. What's done is done. 

“The one thing that I will say is, whether we are challenged by performance, injuries, things that take place between the lines, (I feel) very confident and strong that this is a team that's got one another's back and we handle it as a team.”

Maybe the Sox just need to work on their public relations a little bit, unify their approach. They all seem to know the bottom line.

Pedroia: Red Sox ‘all have each other’s backs’

Pedroia: Red Sox ‘all have each other’s backs’

Dustin Pedroia said he and his teammates have talked about his comments in the wake of teammate Matt Barnes throwing near Manny Machado’s head Sunday in Baltimore and that the Red Sox “all have each other’s backs.”

When asked to clarify what he meant when he said from the bench to Machado after the pitch, “it’s not me, it’s them,” Pedroia said the people who need to know what he meant by it.

Barnes is appealing the four-game suspension he was handed by MLB for the pitch to the Orioles’ Machado on Sunday, which was in retaliation for Machado’s hard slide that injured Pedroia on Friday night. 

TV cameras showed Pedroia yelling to Machado, “it’s not me, it’s them,” which some interpreted as Pedroia not backing Barnes or his teammates.

"We all talked about that and we're going to keep that in-house," Pedroia said after the Red Sox' series opener with the Yankees was postponed at Fenway Park Monday.  "We feel good about each other. We all have each other's backs. Everybody knows how everybody feels about each other. We're pretty excited about the group we have."

Barnes said there was nothing Pedroia had to clarify called him a great teammate.

Hanley Ramirez offered to speak instead of Barnes and said of what happened in Baltimore, “It’s over.” 

"No more talking about what happened in Baltimore,” Ramirez said. “It’s over. … Let’s go Sox nation."

Manager John Farrell said Pedroia, who missed the Saturday and Sunday games in Baltimore, would have been back in the lineup Monday night if the game had been played.