Red Sox right Tuesday night's wrongs in win

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Red Sox right Tuesday night's wrongs in win

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen

BOSTON Beating the Yankees, 9-5, Tuesday night at Fenway Park improving their season record to 11-3 over the Bombers the Red Sox were able to do something they couldnt in the series-opener loss Monday night: Get timely hits, and big hits, too.

Every member of the Sox lineup had at least one hit. Yankees starter Phil Hughes gave up six runs on eight hits in 5 23 innings.

We stayed on him, kept pressure on him, said Jacoby Ellsbury. I thought throughout the lineup we did a tremendous job, just kept putting pressure on him.

Each time the Yankees went ahead in the third (by 1-0) and sixth (by 5-4) innings the Sox came back and put multiple runs on the board, led by two-run homers from David Ortiz in the fifth, Jacoby Ellsbury in the sixth, and Jason Varitek in the eighth.

We had a big hit out of David and Adrian Gonzalez was able to get on with a base hit, and David hits a big two-run homer, Varitek said. Some things dont go our way. A ball bounces around in right field in the sixth, allowing two runs to score. The next thing you know were in a tie game and then were down one. Jacoby comes up with a huge homer.

Josh Beckett was the beneficiary of the offensive outburst, improving to 12-5 with a 2.54 ERA. He is the first Sox pitcher to record four wins in a season since Al Nipper in 1987.

I thought I made some pitches whenever I needed to, Beckett said. But tonight wasnt about me. We had some guys that have been sticking out all year that stuck out big time.

Variteks home run was his 10th of the season. At 39 years, 142 days, he is the oldest Sox batter to homer in a game since Ellis Burks at 39 years, 210 days on April 8, 2004. On a six-game hitting streak, Varitek added a hit-and-run in the fifth, scoring Josh Reddick, who walked. Varitek went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI.

That hit-and-run was something we practiced, Varitek said. Tito does a lot with me and he has over the years. Its one of the first ones this year.

Ellsburys blast, off Yankee reliever, lefty Boone Logan, into the first row of Monster seats in left-center, scored Varitek. Asked the last time he hit a home run to left, Ellsbury was quick to answer with tongue in cheek.

Today in BP, he said.

He was unaware it was his first career home run to left field. Ellsbury worked the count to 3-and-1, taking two sliders for balls, before turning on Logans 95-mph four-seamer.

Probably wouldnt have seen that a couple of years ago, manager Terry Francona said. He stays back now, he stays balanced . . . Balls that were doubles or outs are turning into a home run. I think he gets more confident as he each day passes.

Laying off the sliders is just being ready to hit and recognizing the pitches early, Ellsbury said. That allowed me to get in a good hitters count. Ended up putting a good swing on that ball. Im just hoping to drive Tek in, peppering the wall. But its nice to see it go out.

Ortizs home run, his team-leading 28th of the season, gave him a season-high 14-game hitting streak, his longest with the Sox, and second-longest of his career, behind a 19-gamer with the Twins in 2002. During his current streak, he is hitting .509 (27-for-53) with seven double, seven home runs, 16 RBI, and eight walks.

Hes a huge run producer, said Pedroia. Hes one of the reasons why we score so many runs. We need him to continue to hit because we dont need him out there playing defense.

Before Variteks hit-and-run in the sixth, Reddick worked his way back from being down 0-2 to Hughes to work an eight-pitch walk, setting up the run.

Those are grinding at-bats, Pedroia said. That's what makes our offense good. We got guys who can hit but in certain situations when their pitching is tough you got to do the little things to help us win. We just got to continue to do that throughout the year.

Despite the decisive win, the Sox wouldnt call this a statement game, though.

It was a nice win, Ellsbury said. I thought the fans, there was a lot of electricity. We feed off that. It was a fun win.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen.

Bogaerts has three hits, three RBIs as Red Sox beat Rangers, 11-6

Bogaerts has three hits, three RBIs as Red Sox beat Rangers, 11-6

BOSTON - Xander Bogaerts had three hits and three RBIs, Dustin Pedroia had a two-run double during a four-run seventh inning and the Boston Red Sox beat the Texas Rangers 11-6 on Tuesday night.

Rick Porcello (3-5) won for just the second time at home despite allowing 11 hits in 6 2/3 innings. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner struck out four and allowed five runs, four earned.

Joey Gallo got his 14th homer for Texas, and Shin-Soo Choo went 2 for 5 with two RBIs.

Texas entered having won 11 of 12. The 11 runs allowed marked a season high.

Andrew Cashner (1-4) pitched five innings, allowing five runs, six hits and four walks. He also threw a pair of wild pitches, one of them allowing Bogaerts to score from third and put Boston up 2-1 after three.

Dombrowski defends John Farrell after group strategy meeting on Monday

Dombrowski defends John Farrell after group strategy meeting on Monday

 

The Red Sox braintrust had a meeting on Monday's off-day to strategize with a 22-21 team that's underperforming and in third place.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told NESN's Tom Caron on the Sox pre-game show that he was part of a meeting with Farrell, assistant general managers Eddie Romero and Brian O'Halloran and vice president of baseball research and development Zack Scott.

"We sat down yesterday for over a couple hours," Dombrowski told Caron. "I [had] already talked to some of our scouts and just kind of [went] over our club to try to get it to fit together a little bit. Because some of those things, the injuries, and even the guys that are playing, like in Hanley [Ramirez's] case, it does affect what you’re trying to do. So normally at this time of year, I think you have a better pulse [of the team]. But I think we need a little bit more time. We just really haven’t flowed as a club. We haven’t played as well as I think we’re capable of and I think we need to give ourselves that opportunity."

Asked about Farrell's job security, Dombrowski defended a manager whose 2018 option was picked up over the winter.

"Well, we won a divisional crown last year," Dombrowski said. "He managed very well for us at the time. I think that John, as well as everybody else, is frustrated by our performance and that we haven’t taken off, but we’re not buried either. I mean, we’re four games out of first place and we really haven’t been in a flow. And when you look at it, it’s like, OK, last week Thursday we won two great games in St. Louis. I wasn’t with the team, I was in Salem. 

"Well I looked at the match-up on Thursday, and I’m thinking, well if [Sonny] Gray throws like he’s capable, I’m not sure what we’re going to get out of [Hector] Velazquez at that particular time. And of course, Velazquez didn’t have a very good outing. So you lose that ball game. Is that John’s fault? I can’t put that on John. 

"Friday night, you have Chris Sale, he threw the ball very well. Well the play that Trevor Plouffe made on Hanley Ramirez, I don’t know if he’s made a play like that all year long. Mookie Betts, in the ninth inning gets a line drive right at the third baseman. Well you have a chance to score five or six runs, didn’t happen. No excuses, but it’s one of those where I think to pin those things on John Farrell are just not fair. I think we’re in a position where he’s managed well, he’s managed divisional champions. I think we’re in a position, we have a good club. We just need to get in a better flow of things."

Dombrowski felt the Sox were harder to evaluate a quarter into the season than most teams would be.

"Because the reality is when you look at our ballclub, it really hasn’t been together at all at any point during the year for me," he said. "So I think when you look at it, you say OK, well, we need to improve our fourth and fifth starters. Well, David Price comes back next week — we think he’ll be back next week. So that’s a pretty big addition, that’s like making a major trade. 

"I still think Drew Pomeranz, although he has scuffled at times, should be a fourth-, fifth-type starter on a good club. … We need to straighten him out. I think he’s capable of doing that. When you talk about bullpen, our bullpen’s been good but I still think we’re going to get Carson Smith in a short time period, so that’s another addition that we have.

"Third base, you know has been a hole for us where Pablo Sandoval could be back very soon. I’m not sure where Brock Holt fits into that whole equation. So we’re really on our fifth third baseman right now when you look at it. Pablo is there, and then Brock Holt was there. Marco Hernandez is going to have surgery, we’re going to miss him for the rest of the year. Josh Rutledge has been over there."

Holt, out with vertigo, and the Red Sox are regrouping. Holt's exhausted the 20 days permitted for a minor league rehab stint, and is heading to Pittsburgh to meet concussion expert Micky Collins. Another rehab stint figures to follow eventually, barring a change in diagnosis.

Hernandez is to have surgery on his left shoulder Friday, which likely ends his season.

Hanley Ramirez can still be the DH, but his sore shoulders have relegated him to only that position, not first base. That's part of the reason Sam Travis was added to the roster Tuesday.

"There’s a couple reasons behind it," Dombrowski said of Travis' call-up.  "We’re in a position where we have a roster spot for a positional player. Secondly, we’ve talked about giving Mitch [Moreland] a little bit of a blow on his feet at times, to not play too many games. And we faced a left hand pitcher tomorrow [in the Rangers' Martin Perez]. He’s been hitting the ball well, Sam has. 

"We’re trying to sit [Moreland] a little bit vs. the left-handed pitching. Even though he’s done OK, we just don’t want him to get too tired as the year goes on. And the reality is, originally that was going to be Hanley [playing first base vs. lefties]. Well, Hanley’s not available to do that now, so we needed to make an adjustment ourself on how to do that. And with the extra roster spot, Pawtucket right down the road, we figure it’s a good chance to give him that opportunity. 

"In Hanley’s case, not playing first base, people don’t realize at times how much that changes the mix of your club. Because at some time, we are going to have Chris Young get at-bats and DH at that point."