Red Sox notes: Gonzalez on a tear

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Red Sox notes: Gonzalez on a tear

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

NEW YORK -- Adrian Gonzalez has been on a tear at the plate of late, hitting six homers in his previous nine games before Friday night.

Most of those have been hit to the opposite field, with Gonzalez taking particular advantage of the inviting left field wall at Fenway.

But Friday night, when Gonzalez belted yet another homer, he hit this one to right, into the second deck in Yankee Stadium.

"Bartolo (Colon, Yankee starter) was going to pound me in,'' said Gonzalez. "I knew that. He wasn't going to give much away to go the other way, so my game plan was to try and choose my spots to try to look for a pitch that I could drive to right field. After ball one, I thought that would be a good spot and I think he left it more middle-in than I think he wanted to.''

Gonzalez has homered in each of his last three games, in four of his last five games and in six of his last 10.

Daniel Bard had a rocky eighth inning, but managed to survive, standing two runners in scoring position after the Yankees had pulled to within two runs at 5-3.

Bard gave up a triple to Curtis Granderson, then tossed a wild pitch, allowing him to score.

After a popup by Mark Teixeria for the first out, Bard then walked Alex Rodriguez and hit Robinson Cano. When both took off on the bases, the Yanks had runners at second and third and one out.

But Bard then fanned Nick Swisher and after falling behind 3-and-0 to Jorge Posada, he came back on a full count and got Posada to hit a grounder to second for the third out.

"That's the loudest I've ever heard a crowd when they had guys at second-and-third,'' said Bard. "There's no shortage of adrenaline, that's for sure. It's just a matter of comtrolling it.

"I do have confidence in my fastball. We got to 3-and-0 and we went with three heaters away. Those were the three best executed pitches I made the whole inning. It was good to gather myself there and execute when I needed to.''

The Soxgot some good news on Pawtucket outfielder Ryan Kalish, who has beensidelined for the last few weeks with a labruminjury.

Kalish visited with team physician Dr. Thomas Gill, who sawimprovement in the shoulder. Kalish will report to extended spring inFort Myers and begin baseballacitivities.

"Dr. Gill was really impressed with his shoulder strength,"said general manager Theo Epstien. "He was really optimistic about things, so he's going togo to Fort Myers and continue his rehab. As long as the progresscontinues without any major interruptions, it looks like he's on a pathto recovery without surgery. That's what we were hoping for, but younever know until you actually rehab.''

As the Soxcontinue to play under .500 in the second month of the season, Epsteinis open to finding ways to improve the club. But it's unlikely anythingwill come from outside the organization, at least for awhile.

"Ithink, realistically, there aren't that many opportunities to do thatthe first third of the season,'' he said, "so you spend a lot of timebeing internally focused on ways to get better, ways to get the mostout of the talent we do have, ways to execute and play better baseball,play better fundamental baseball, to get the most out of ourplayers.

''We take a broad view of what we can accomplish on thebaseball field, fundamentally, and then go execute it. A lot of it isdictated by opportunity. You're not going to make a blockbuster tradein April, for the most part, or May. Usually that's something for themiddle third of the season."

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

Moreland homers again, Red Sox tag A's to avoid four-game sweep

Moreland homers again, Red Sox tag A's to avoid four-game sweep

OAKLAND, Calif. - A five-run ninth inning for the Red Sox that lasted more than a half-hour derailed any chance Eduardo Rodriguez had of getting his first career complete game.

Not that the left-hander was complaining.

After a bitter loss to Oakland a year ago when he allowed just one hit over eight innings, Rodriguez was more than happy with the way things turned out.

Rodriguez earned his second straight win, Mitch Moreland homered in his third consecutive game and Boston beat the Oakland Athletics 12-3 on Sunday to avoid a four-game sweep.

"I wanted to go back out there but they hit the ball pretty good in that inning and I know I had to get out of the game," Rodriguez said about the long wait. "I'll take it because we score more runs, I have a chance to win. If every inning's like that, I'll get out of the game after five."

Rodriguez (3-1) allowed three runs over eight innings. He struck out eight, walked one and retired 14 of his final 15 batters.

"Where he was with the pitch count, it'd be nice for him to go out there for the ninth inning given where he was and how well he was throwing the baseball," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "But at that point you're up nine, probably about a 35-minute inning, didn't want to take any chances."

Hanley Ramirez and Christian Vazquez had three hits apiece to power a Red Sox lineup that tallied 15 hits. Every player in Boston's starting lineup had at least one hit, and eight of the nine drove in runs.

Chad Pinder homered and drove in two runs for Oakland.

Boston, which hasn't been swept in a four-game series since July 2015, trailed 3-2 before scoring 10 runs over the final five innings.

"It felt we had them on the run a little bit," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "They get the lead and then we come back and take the lead again and you feel pretty good. But they were pretty persistent today."

Pinder went deep in the fourth, his fourth home run in eight games and fifth overall.

The A's committed three errors, giving them a major league-leading 42.

BRADLEY'S DEFENSIVE GEMS

Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts gave the A's trouble with his running and defense. Betts scored twice from first base and also made a pair of strong defensive plays. He made a sliding catch on Mark Canha's sinking liner in the eighth and then slammed into the wall after catching Khris' Davis fly to end the inning.

"This place during the daytime plays very difficult," Farrell said. "What Mookie was able to do a couple times in right field, those aren't easy plays. To be able to stay with it, go up against the wall a couple of times, we played very good outfield defense here today."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: Brock Holt continues to deal with lingering symptoms from vertigo and isn't yet ready to come off the disabled list, according to Farrell. Likewise, Boston plans to keep third baseman Pablo Sandoval in the minors to get consistent at-bats while recovering from a right knee sprain. ... Farrell said LHP Drew Pomeranz, who took the loss Saturday, will start against Texas on Thursday.

Athletics: Yonder Alonso (sore left knee) sat out his fourth straight game but could be back in the lineup Tuesday when Oakland begins a two-game series against Miami. ... Sean Doolittle (strained left shoulder) threw on flat ground before making 15 pitches off the mound. The plan is for the former closer to throw 25 pitches on Wednesday. ... Melvin said the team has applied for an extension on Chris Bassitt's rehab assignment. Bassitt underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello (2-5) faces Texas on Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series at Fenway Park. Porcello has lost three of his last four decisions.

Athletics: Following an off day, RHP Jesse Hahn (1-3) starts against Miami on Tuesday at the Coliseum. Hahn leads the majors in fewest home runs allowed per nine innings at 0.19.