Sox bullpen finding its identity

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Sox bullpen finding its identity

BOSTON With three perfect innings in Saturdays 4-1 win over the Indians, the Red Sox bullpen continues to be impressive.

Andrew Miller, Vicente Padilla and Alfredo Aceves each pitched one inning after Felix Doubront held the Indians to one run on three hits. Aceves picked up his seventh save.

Since May 1, Sox relievers have posted a 1.66 ERA, giving up 10 earned runs over 54 13 innings in 11 games. Even more impressive, three of those runs belong to outfielder Darnell McDonald, who pitched the final inning of the 17-inning May 7 marathon loss to the Orioles.

Miller was the first reliever out of the pen on Saturday. In five outings spanning five scoreless innings since being activated from the disabled list May 6, Miller has given up just two hits with no walks five strikeouts. Saturday was his career-high third straight day of pitching. He has earned holds in consecutive outings for the first time in his career. He needed just 10 pitches (seven strikes) to get through the seventh.

You still wonder when you go to the bullpen, but Andrew Miller has been fabulous, Bobby Valentine said. He continued his streak of throwing strikes with quality pitches.

I'm enjoying it," Miller said. "It's easy to say that when you're having success. Right now I'm liking it. It's fun to come in in these situationsThe expectation to pitch is fun, and so far it's been great."

Padilla and Aceves still have hefty ERAs of 5.40 and 6.14, respectively. Much of Padillas numbers can be attributed to his one-third of an inning April 21 against the Yankees, when he gave up five earned runs. In his five outings in May, spanning six innings, he has a 1.50 ERA. Since that April 21 outing, he has allowed just one earned run in 7 23 innings over eight appearances for a 1.17 ERA.

Aceves, likewise, has settled into his role. He has pitched three consecutive days, picking up saves in the last two. Since being charged with a blown save and loss to the Yankees in that April 21 game when he gave up five runs without recording an out, Aceves has appeared in nine games, giving up two earned runs over 11 23 innings for a 1.54 ERA. In that span, he has recorded five of his seven saves.

Its really fun out there, Aceves said of the Sox bullpen. I like it.

David Price improves command, indicates he's pitching through ailment

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David Price improves command, indicates he's pitching through ailment

BOSTON — David Price and Rick Porcello showed improvement on back-to-back nights Friday and Saturday, important signs for the Red Sox after a difficult month for both pitchers prior to this homestand.

Price on Saturday night went six innings and allowed three runs, two earned, in a 6-3 loss to the Angels. He fanned five and his velocity has been consistently better this year than last year.

But the most important number was his walk total: one. He walked three batters in his previous start, and four in both of his starts prior.

“Two outings ago, the first start here in Fenway,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “There was better timing in his delivery and overall better separation over the rubber. And he carried that through I thought, even though there's a higher pitch count in Houston, and has been able to maintain it here. I can't say there was one specific thing. It's been more the timing over the rubber. And you're seeing him pitch out of the stretch exclusively. Just less moving parts in a better position to repeat it.”

After Price’s final inning, the telecast captured Price calling pitching coach Carl Willis into the tunnel. Neither Farrell nor Price detailed the conversation. 

“Yeah, everything was fine,” Farrell said of the conversation. “Everything is OK there.”

Price made it sound like he’s dealing with some sort of physical ailment, but was vague.

“There's a lot of stuff going on right now,” the pitcher said when asked about the desire to stay out there. “You don't want it to linger into the next start, or two or three weeks from now, and that's why we did what we did.”

Asked to elaborate, Price reinforced that the decision was to save his body for another day.

“You never want to come out of a game. But you have to look forward at the time,” Price said. “You don’t want today to cost you your next start or you know, the start after that. So that’s what happened.

“It has nothing to do with my elbow or anything like that. This is — you get past one thing and there’s another So that’s what it is.”

Price in New York in early June felt a blister develop on his ring finger. He missed an in-between start bullpen because of it.

Asked about the blister Saturday, Price said, “That one’s gone.”

Farrell indicated the blister was diminished, if not entirely gone.

“He's been dealing with that,” Farrell said. “I think while it's still present and maybe not as severe as it was when it first happened, I'm sure he's going to check on it occasionally."

Red Sox threaten late, but can't come back in 6-3 loss to Angels

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Red Sox threaten late, but can't come back in 6-3 loss to Angels

BOSTON - JC Ramirez rebounded from his shortest career start with six solid innings, Cameron Maybin doubled home a run and scored another and the Los Angeles Angels held off the Boston Red Sox 6-3 on Saturday night.

The Angels look for their fifth series win in their last six on Sunday.

Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer for the Red Sox, who lost for only the third time in their last 13 home games.

Ramirez (7-5) allowed one run and four hits with five strikeouts after lasting just three innings and giving up five runs in his previous start.

Blake Parker struck out pinch-hitter Chris Young with the bases loaded for the final out for his first save of the season after Boston scored twice in the ninth.

Red Sox manager John Farrell was ejected by third-base umpire and crew chief Bill Miller after Fernando Abad was called for a balk, scoring a run that made it 5-1 in the seventh.