Red Sox notes: Middlebrooks homers, team loses series to Rangers

839493.jpg

Red Sox notes: Middlebrooks homers, team loses series to Rangers

BOSTON Will Middlebrooks tied the game with a three-run home run, capping a four-run fourth inning Wednesday against the Tigers. It went for naught, as the Red Sox lost, 10-9, in the ninth inning.The home run off Roy Oswalt, came on an 0-and-2 fastball with no outs.He started me with two curveballs, and after the swing after the second one I figured hed try to blow a fastball by me up, a little bit, Middlebrooks said.It was his 15th homer of the season, giving him home runs in back-to-back games along with his pinch-hit blast, the first of his career, Tuesday. It was the second time this season hes hit home runs in the seventh inning or later in back-to-back games (third overall for the Sox). Middlebrooks also accomplished the feat on June 20 -21 against the Marlins.The home run, off Roy Oswalt scoring Cody Ross and Adrian Gonzalez, gave him 54 RBI this season, putting him into elite company. Since 1918, the only other Sox batter with as many as 15 home runs and 54 RBI in his first 73 career games in a single season was Ted Williams, with 15 home runs and 77 RBI in 1939. (Walt Dropo, Norm Zachin, and Fred Lynn reached those numbers, but in multiple seasons.)Middlebrooks tied Joe Foy in 1966 and Frank Malzone in 1957 for the most home runs by a rookie third baseman in team history.Hes playing defense really well and feeling really good about himself and I think hes developing into a fine ballplayer, said manager Bobby Valentine. Hes really confident and we always have confidence in him.The Sox ended the homestand with a record of 4-6.
They concluded their season series against the Rangers with a record of 2-6, and have lost 10 of their last 13 home games against the Rangers, getting outscored, 94-54.
Cody Ross went 3-for-4 with a walk and a solo home run, extending his hitting streak to six games, matching a season high. He has hit in 11 of his last 12 games, batting .362, going 17-for-47, with five multi-hit games this month. He had gone 17 games between home runs, his longest stretch of the season.The home run off Rangers starter Matt Harrison was his 17th of the season, his 10th of the season off a left-hander, is one shy of his career high 11 in 2009. He has a .730 slugging percentage off lefties this season. Nine of his last 20hits have been off lefties.Carl Crawford went 1-for-5 with a run scored and a triple. He has a season-high six-game hitting streak, and has hit in 11 of his last 12 games, at a .327 clip with 10 extra-base hits and 12 RBI, after no extra-base hits and 1 RBI in his first nine games coming off the disabled list.
The triple was the 114th of his career, most among active players.David Ortiz said after the game he is hoping to play during the four-game series in Cleveland, if everything goes well... I dont have a table set, he said. Not yet but Im getting closer.

Betts and Bradley Jr. combine for seven RBI, Red Sox roll to 9-2 win

red_sox_mookie_betts_032817.jpg

Betts and Bradley Jr. combine for seven RBI, Red Sox roll to 9-2 win

The Boston Red Sox put up six runs in the first inning and coasted to a 9-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.

Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. led the way for the Red Sox with four and three RBI respectfully. Both outfielders had two-run home runs in the Sox’ big first inning.

Knuckleballer Steven Wright gave up one earned run in four innings, his ERA for the spring is now 0.68.

The Red Sox are back in action again on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m when Rick Porcello makes his final spring training start against the Minnesota Twins.

Hernandez has chance at Red Sox opening day roster after Rutledge injury

Hernandez has chance at Red Sox opening day roster after Rutledge injury

Infielder Marco Hernandez may make the Red Sox roster after all.

Fellow infielder Josh Rutledge, the presumptive 25th man on the Red Sox, suffered a left hamstring strain on Tuesday against the Pirates, according to reporters in Florida, including Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald.

If Rutledge isn’t ready for opening day, Hernandez, a left-handed hitter, may have his crack. 

The question is whether the Sox would be comfortable without a right-handed bat to complement both Pablo Sandoval and Mitch Moreland on the corners. Rutledge was going to give the Sox that right-handed look they sought. (When Hanley Ramirez's shoulder will be healthy enough to play first base is unclear, but isn't expected to be too long.)

Neither Rutledge nor Hernandez has played first base in the majors or minors.

A big-league rookie last year, Hernandez has done decently against lefties at the upper levels of the minors, hitting .328 vs. them at Triple-A Pawtucket last season in 67 at-bats. He hit .315 in 54 at-bats at Pawtucket, with a .318 average against them that season in 88 at-bats for Double-A Portland.

Rutledge is a Rule 5 draft pick who has to remain on the major league 25-man roster the whole season or the Sox risk losing him. Placement on the disabled list doesn’t affect his status unless he’s on the disabled list for a very lengthy time.

An alternative option is Steve Selsky, who has first-base experience, but he's already been optioned.