Red Sox drop eighth of trip, lose 2-1 to Mariners

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Red Sox drop eighth of trip, lose 2-1 to Mariners

SEATTLE -- The final game of the Red Sox nine-game West Coast road trip ended just like every other except one -- with a loss.
The Sox mustered just five hits and were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position, dropping a 2-1 decision to the Seattle Mariners for their eighth defeat of the trip.
The lone Red Sox run in the sixth when Jacoby Ellsbury, who had reached on a fielder's choice, scored from first on a double into the right field corner by Cody Ross.
Ross had three of the Sox' five hits and drove in four of their five runs in the final two games here.
The defeat marked the sixth time in the nine games on the trip that the Sox were held to two runs or fewer.
Aaron Cook, who pitched a masterpiece when the Sox were last here in June, allowed two runs on seven hits over six innings. Since starting the season 2-1, Cook has lost eight of his last nine decisions, including the last four in a row.
The Mariners scored both of their runs in the fourth inning when Dustin Ackely drove a single up the middle with the bases loaded, delivering Eric Thames and Mike Carp.
The win went to Kevin Millwood, who pitched for Pawtucket last season, and allowed just four hits over six innings.

STAR OF THE GAME: Dustin AckleyThe Mariners' leadoff hitter drove a ground ball single into center in the fourth inning to score the only two runs Seattle would need for its second victory in three tries in the series against the Red Sox.HONORABLE MENTION: Kevin MillwoodMillwood, who couldn't crack the Boston rotation last year when he was Pawtucket, got a measure of revenge, limiting the Sox to a single run on four hits over six inningsw to record his 14th quality start of the season.
GOAT OF THE GAME: Ryan LavarnwayLavarnway hit into a double-play to end the second, left the bases loaded in the fourth with a groundout and struck out with a runner on first in the ninth. A key hit in any of those at-bats might have made a difference.
TURNING POINT: After Cody Ross doubled home Jacoby Ellsbury in the sixth, the Sox ahd a runner in scoring position with one out but couldn't move him to third, much less score the run.
BY THE NUMBERS: The Red Sox 1-8 trip on the road trip was their worst on a three-city West Coast trip since September 4-13, 1989.
QUOTE OF NOTE: "It's time to go home. It was a bad, bad road trip for us.'' -- Aaron Cook.

Rangers have used medical staff to recruit players

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Rangers have used medical staff to recruit players

Acquiring pitchers who stay healthy hasn’t been the easiest for Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski since he got to Boston.

The Texas Rangers, on the other hand, seem to be having success taking pitchers with prior injury concerns and revitalizing them.

Righty Andrew Cashner has been on the disabled list seven times. The first was for a rotator cuff strain. Elbow, shoulder, biceps, it’s all there on his body’s rap sheet. He has a 3.18 ERA.

Another Rangers starter, A.J. Griffin, has been to the DL six times. He doesn’t have the best ERA at the moment, 5.02, but he is in the rotation. 

Tyson Ross, who has great upside if healthy, is getting close to a return to the big leagues on a minor league rehab assignment. He's coming back from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery.

It’s been a catchphrase for major league executives: the medical arena is where the most valuable advances will come now that advanced on-field statistics are so readily available.

Have the Rangers figured something out more broadly, or are Cashner, Griffin and Ross just case-by-case discussions?

Rangers president Jon Daniels explained on the CSNNE Baseball Show podcast. 

“There’s some of both,” Daniels said. “I think that there are certain injuries, there are certain body types, there are certain medical histories that probably lend themselves to coming back more than others. But the biggest [matter] is about the individual, both the individual player and then the individuals on your medical staff and your coaching staff and how do they handle it. 

“One of the things that I’ve become so acutely aware of, whether it’s sports medicine or it’s the real world, real-life medicine, it matters dramatically. If you have a heart attack, you have a stroke, it matters dramatically which hospital you go to and which doctor you see. And so by the same token, when you’re putting a medical team together and they’re all highly qualified, and yet there’s still an enormous difference between — and not just in medical practices, but in bedside manner. Kind of the ability to communicate with the players, get the most out of them, have players trust them. Our whole medical team, top to bottom, has been a real asset for us and has helped us both recruit players and then get the most out of them when they’re on the mend.”

Daniels said his medical staff has grown in recent years. Team physician Dr. Keith Meister has a sports medicine facility that players take advantage of.

“The personnel there, the [physical therapists] there [are] really really gifted. And so we work very closely with them. We have given some, with [Yu] Darvish … we’ve been open to some different like styles of treatment.”

Daniels didn’t specify the treatments, but noted they weren’t too far out there.

“I don’t think it’s like anything crazy, and I don’t think we’re the only ones doing it,” he said. “When you’re exposed to just different mindsets, you explore it a little bit, you end up taking the best of each world and kind of incorporating it into our plan. Jamie Reed, long-time major league trainer, he’s our medical director and he gets people, he gets players and he gets sports medicine. And he’s been instrumental in putting together a lot of really good people on our medical side. When you look at some of the better medical staffs out there, Arizona and Tampa, he’s been directly involved with training some of those guys.

“Like anything else, you can have like the best ideas in the world,” Daniels continued. “If you don’t have the right people executing it, it doesn’t matter. It comes down to the people and really proud of the group we’ve got together.”