Red Sox come up short against Yankees, 4-2


Red Sox come up short against Yankees, 4-2

By Sean McAdam Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam

Alfredo Aceves almost never loses. Daniel Bard seldom fails to protect a late-inning lead.

But when both pitchers slipped up in the seventh inning Thursday night, it proved highly costly for the Red Sox, who lost to the New York Yankees, 4-2.

They were almost bailed out in the bottom of the ninth when the Red Sox loaded the bases, but Mariano Rivera got Adrian Gonzalez looking for the final out.

The setback moved the Yankees back to within a half-game of the first-place Sox, as the Yanks posted their first series win in five tries against Boston this season.

Dustin Pedroia's two-run homer into the center field bleachers had given the Red Sox a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth, a lead they maintained with nine outs to go.

But Aceves, a former Yankee, issued a one-out walk, then hit rookie Jesus Montero, leaving two baserunnes for Bard. Russell Martin shot a line double to the bullpen wall in right, scoring both baserunners and Eduardo Nunez followed with a run-scoring single.

The loss was just the third in 26 career decisions for Aceves. Meanwhile, Bard, who entered the game with the most holds in the American League (31) had a rare stumble.

A.J. Burnett, in danger of pitching himself out of the Yankees' rotation, turned in his best start in weeks, allowing just two runs on five hits in 5 13 innings. Five New York relievers, capped by closer Mariano Rivera, held the Sox scoreless over the final 3 23 innings.

Jon Lester endured a brutal first inning in which he threw 43 pitches, though he allowed just one run. Lester didn't allow another, but because of his inflated pitch count early, was done after five innings.

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

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.