Red Sox Notes: Buchholz hasn't had it easy

191542.jpg

Red Sox Notes: Buchholz hasn't had it easy

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

TAMPA -- Clay Buchholz hasn't had the luxury of easing into spring training.

In his first start, he faced a stacked Minnesota Twins lineup. Then, Friday night, he drew a Yankee lineup that featured Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano and Jorge Posada.

"I looked at (the lineup card),'' said Buchholz, "and I was like, 'Man, another All-Star team.' But I think it's good. It's good facing guys like this is definitely not fun if you don't have your stuff or you're not locating.

"But it definitely makes you better, because this is the time to get better and work on your pitches.''

Buchholz rose to the early-spring challenge with three scoreless innings. He allowed one hit and two walks and struck out two.

"I worked hard coming into spring training,'' he said. "I wanted to come in, throwing three or four bullpens or live BP sessions. It's been about a month in the making before spring training. I feel good. I feel like the pitches are there. I just have to work on the command of a couple of pitches and try to stay in my delivery a little better.''

As the schedule sits, Buchholz is in line to pitch Monday, March 14, but the Sox will have him pitch a camp game rather than face a division rival two times before the season begins.

"I like facing these lineups, '' said Buchholz of the challenge, "but obviously, we face them a lot during the season. Right now, this means nothing so I'd rather face them during the season, when we have to play them for real.''

Still, Buchholz didn't hold back Friday, throwing his full repertoire of pitches.

"I wanted to try and throw all of my pitches,'' he said. "I think they're out there working, too.''

The Red Sox were encouraged by Josh Beckett's three-inning simulated game and expect him to make his next scheduled start, Tuesday, at City of Palms Park.

"He did well,'' said manager Terry Francona. "The ball came out of his hand well. I think he felt good about it. It's not like you look out there and think, 'OK, he's coming back from anything.' It was a regular day.''

Beckett will probably throw three innings Tuesday, a split-squad day for the Red Sox. They'll host Houston at home, where Beckett will throw.

Using a lineup without a single player expected to be in the Opening Day, the Red Sox beat the Yankees, 5-3 at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

In the seventh, Juan Carlos Linares put the Sox ahead with a single and infield prospect Oscar Tejeda followed with a two-run triple, scoring Che-Hsuan Lin and Linares.

The Sox had broken a scoreless tie in the top of the sixth when Daniel Nava smacked a run-scoring single.

The Yankees managed a run off reliever Brandon Duckworth in the bottom of the inning thanks to an RBI-double from Robinson Cano. They added two more off Tony Pena Jr in the bottom of the ninth.

Adrian Gonzalez took his first swings against the pitching machine Friday and will intensify his workload each day.

"He did the normal progression (with balls off the tee and soft tosses), said Francona, "and then he finished up with 10 swings off the machine and he felt pretty good about it. I think he finished up with about 80 swings and felt really good. He's pretty excited.''

Francona said "intensity and amount,'' will increase daily for Gonzalez, with an eye toward taking his first live batting practice later next week before graduating to game action the week after.

"He's doing well,'' said Francona. "But (the timetable) will all go on how he feels.''

Jed Lowrie got his first pro start at first base Friday night. As the team's likely lone utility infielder, he needs some playing time in case he gets thrown into a game in the event of an injury to Adrian Gonzalez during the season.

"He's a shortstop by trade, so he certainly is not going to have a tough time catching the ball,'' said Francona. "His reactions (at first), when the ball's hit, I still think he has to think his way through it. At second, short and third, it's more instinctual for him. So the more he's over at first, the better that will be.''

The Sox have received permission from all of their National League road opponents this spring to use the DH in those games...Francona watched David Wells, obviously slimmer, throw batting practice to the Yankees. Told by a New York reporter that Wells hadn't eaten any carbs in two months, Francona cracked: "I wonder what else he's throwing in there, though.''

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Red Sox' seven-run rally in seventh keys 9-4 win over Rangers

Red Sox' seven-run rally in seventh keys 9-4 win over Rangers

BOSTON -- Chris Sale was perfectly happy to sit back and watch the Red Sox hitters do the work this time.

Sale cruised into the fifth inning, then was rewarded in the seventh when the Boston batters erupted for seven runs on their way to a 9-4 victory over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night.

Sale (5-2) struck out six, falling short in his attempt to become the first pitcher in baseball's modern era to strike out at least 10 batters in nine straight games in one season.

But he didn't seem to mind.

"It was fun," said the left-hander, who received more runs of support in the seventh inning alone than while he was in any other game this season. "You get run after run, hit after hit. When we score like that, it's fun."

Dustin Pedroia waved home the tiebreaking run on a wild pitch, then singled in two more as the Red Sox turned a 3-1 deficit into a five-run lead and earned their third straight victory. Sam Travis had two singles for the Red Sox in his major league debut.

"I was a little nervous in the first inning," he said. "I'd be lying to you guys if I said I wasn't."

Mike Napoli homered for Texas, which has lost three of four to follow a 10-game winning streak.

FOR SALE

Sale, who also struck out 10 or more batters in eight straight games in 2015 with the White Sox, remains tied for the season record with Pedro Martinez. (Martinez had 10 straight in a span from 1999-2000.)

After scoring four runs in support of Sale in his first six starts, the Red Sox have scored 27 while he was in the game in his last five. He took a no-hitter into the fifth, but finished with three earned runs, six hits and a walk in 7 1/3 innings.

"Guys pulled through for me when I was probably pretty mediocre," he said.

NO RELIEF

Sam Dyson (1-5) faced seven batters in relief of Martin Perez and gave up four hits, three walks - two intentional - and a wild pitch without retiring a batter.

"Martin threw the ball really well and I came in with two guys on and couldn't get an out," Dyson said. "Sometimes they hit them where they are, and sometimes they hit them where they aren't."

Asked if he felt any different, he said: "Everything's the same.

"If I get my (expletive) handed to me, it's not like anything's wrong," he said. "Any more amazing questions from you all?"

SEVEN IN THE SEVENTH

It was 3-1 until the seventh, when Andrew Benintendi and Travis singled with one out to chase Perez. Mitch Moreland singled to make it 3-2, pinch-hitter Josh Rutledge singled to tie it and, after Mookie Betts was intentionally walked to load the bases, Moreland scored on a wild pitch to give Boston the lead.

Pedroia singled in two more runs, Xander Bogaerts doubled and Hanley Ramirez was intentionally walked to load the bases. Dyson was pulled after walking Chris Young to force in another run.

Austin Bibens-Dirkx got Benintendi to pop up foul of first base, but Napoli let it fall safely - his second such error in the game. Benintendi followed with a sacrifice fly that made it 8-3 before Travis was called out on strikes to end the inning.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: 2B Rougned Odor was shaken up when he dived for Betts' grounder up the middle in the third inning. He was slow getting up. After being looked at by the trainer, he remained in the game.

Red Sox: LHP David Price made his second rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket, allowing six runs - three earned - seven hits and a walk. He struck out four in 3 2/3 innings, throwing 89 pitches, 61 for strikes, and left without addressing reporters. 3B Pablo Sandoval also played in the game, going 2 for 4 with two runs.

"He felt fine physically," said Red Sox manager John Farrell, who added he would talk to Price on Thursday morning to determine how to proceed. "We had a scout there who liked what he saw."

UP NEXT:

Rangers: Will send RHP Nick Martinez (1-2) to the mound in the finale of the three-game series.

Red Sox: LHP Drew Pomeranz (3-3) looks to snap a personal two-game losing streak.

David Price dodges media after second rough rehab start

David Price dodges media after second rough rehab start

If only David Price could pitch as well as he dodges the media.

The Red Sox lefty bailed on a typical post-start media session with reporters in Pawtucket on Wednesday, after his second minor league rehab outing in Triple-A was another dud.

As Price comes back from a nondescript elbow injury, difficulty retiring minor league hitters doesn't combine well with difficulty facing questions. He sat in the mid-90s in his second rehab start with Pawtucket, but allowed six runs, three earned, in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked one.

The PawSox were at home at McCoy Stadium against Triple-A Louisville, a Reds affiliate, and Price heard some heckling. Postgame, he wanted to hear nothing, apparently.

Per CSNNE’s Bill Messina, who was on site in Pawtucket, the media was waiting outside the clubhouse for Price, as is standard. 

PawSox media relations told the media to go to the weight room, where Price would meet them. As media headed that way, PR alerted reporters that Price was leaving and did not want to talk. Media saw a car leaving, but there was no interview.

On the mound, Price’s velocity is there, but the command is not. The Red Sox would be unwise to bring back Price before really two more minor league starts — one to show he can do well, another to show he can repeat it.

Price’s ERA in two starts for Pawtucket is 9.53. He’s gone 5 2/3 innings and allowed six earned runs, while striking out eight and walking two overall.