Ross does it all for Red Sox vs. Chicago

Ross does it all for Red Sox vs. Chicago
April 18, 2014, 12:30 am
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(USA Today Sports Images)

CHICAGO -- For someone who isn't exactly blessed with great foot speed, David Ross was seemingly everywhere Thursday night.

There he was behind the plate, helping to guide Jon Lester through eight innings of one-run ball.

There he was at the plate, slicing an opposite-field double just inside the first base bag in the ninth inning, scoring the go-ahead run in what had been a 1-1 game.

And there he was, pinned against the protective barricade in front of the Red Sox dugout, making a terrific play on a foul pop-up by Paul Konerko in the fifth inning.

Ross often partners well with Lester and on Thursday night, the two quickly established a good rhythm. Lester sliced up the White Sox lineup early, retiring the first 16 hitters he faced.

"Oh man, that was fun,'' said of being the batterymate to Lester on a night when the lefty was so effective. "He pitched like he normally does.''

But Ross's contributions went beyond his role as catcher. In the ninth, with runners at first and second and one out, he faced Chicago reliever Ron Belisario.

"The first pitch he threw, I didn't really see real good,'' chuckled Ross. "He painted one away and I needed to get my foot down. That's what I did. He threw me a back-door sinker and I just threw my hands up.''

Ross isn't necessarily known for his offense, but it was nice for him to contribute with the bat.

"It's a really good feeling,'' he said. "It's nice. I don't get a lot of credit for hitting a lot of times, but I try to battle and have good at-bats for my teammates and go up there and do the best I can. I like to be known as a catcher, but I know I can hit. I have a lot of confidence in myself.''

Finally, there were two plays from Ross that helped the cause. After racing over to snare a foul pop-up from Paul Konerko and preserve, for the time being, the pitcher's no-hitter, he found himself awaiting a relay throw from infielder Dustin Pedroia in the seventh.

A double by Alejando De Aza got tracked down in the right field corner by Daniel Nava, who got the ball to Pedroia, who threw a pea to the plate.

Just one problem for Ross: barreling toward him was one of the biggest players in the game, slugger Adam Dunn.

"I know he doesn't slide,'' laughed Ross. "He's not a big slider. I tagged him and I said, 'Thanks for not running me over.' He said, 'I can't anymore (because of the new plate collision rule).' We were laughing about that. But he's a big boy rounding third.

"Dustin gave me a perfect throw, but that's a scary one on your blind slide and you've got that big tank running down there. It was a little frightening.''