Sox shell Gallardo in 12-3 win over Brewers

191542.jpg

Sox shell Gallardo in 12-3 win over Brewers

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen

BOSTON The Red Sox dispatched the Brewers from Fenway Park with a 12-3 shellacking Sunday afternoon in the finale of their three-game set.

The Brewers could do little with Tim Wakefields knuckleball. He gave up just three hits and a walk in eight innings, striking out six. Two of the hits he allowed were home runs, accounting for all the Brewers scoring.

Wakefield earned the win, improving to 4-2 with a 4.26 ERA. He threw 12 pitches in the first inning, 11 strikes. He struck out Milwaukees first two batters, Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart, on a total of six pitches to start the game.

His only blemishes came on a two-run homer to Nyjer Morgan in the second, after Casey McGehees double, and a Prince Fielder homer leading off the seventh.

Wakefields offense rewarded him handsomely in the bottom of the inning, scoring six runs on six hits as 11 batters went to the plate. Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo like Shaun Marcum on Friday night threw 46 pitches in the first inning.

Gallardo allowed the first six batters he faced to reach base before he could record an out. His record fell to 8-4 with a 4.11 ERA. The six runs Gallardo gave up in the first were the first are the most hes allowed in the first inning of a game in his career.

Gallardo went three innings, his shortest outing this season, giving up eight runs (five earned) on nine hits and two walks with four strikeouts. The right runs tied Zack Greinke (on July 16 in Wrigley Field) with the most runs allowed by a Cubs starter this season.

Kevin Youkilis three-run homer in the first, scoring Dustin Pedroia, who reached on a single, and Adrian Gonzalez, who reached on Gallardos error, was the big blow in the first.

Dustin Pedroia, who went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI, homered to lead off the fourth, his sixth of the season. Marco Scutaro had a two-run shot, scoring David Ortiz, in the sixth, his second of the season.

Adrian Gonzalez, who fell a triple shy of the cycle Friday night, recorded his 1,000th career hit in the sixth a triple. He now has three triples this season, 11 in his career.

Although Wakefield threw just 98 pitches (74 strikes), Dan Wheeler came in for the ninth, giving up one hit with one strikeout, to secure the win.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Tim Wakefield
Wakefield went eight crisp innings against the Brewers, improving to 4-2 (4.26 ERA) recording his 197th career win. He needed just 98 pitches (74 strikes), holding the Brewers to three runs on three hits (two home runs) and one walk with a season-high six strikeouts. He set the tone early, needing just 12 pitches (11 strikes) in the first inning. He struck out Milwaukees first two batters Rickie Weeks swinging and Corey Hart looking on a total of six pitches.

The outing was Wakefields longest since going eight innings on July 2, 2010, against the Orioles.

He was excellent, said catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. That's probably the best stuff I've seen from him all year that I've caught him. Even in the bullpen I was having trouble just because the ball was moving everywhere. He was really just kind of throwing it for strikes, too. Getting ahead, but obviously it's a tough pitch to hit as it is anyways.

HONORABLE MENTION: Kevin Youkilis
Youkilis three-run homer into the Monster seats in the first, his 11th of the season, was the big blast in the six-run uprising. It was his third home run in his last seven games. Youkilis has hit safely in eight of his last 10 games, with 14 RBI.

THE GOAT: Yovani Gallardo
Gallardo wasted no time letting the game get out of hand. After starting lead-off batter Jacoby Ellsbury 0-2 (both called), Gallardo couldnt put Ellsbury away. Just as he couldnt put away any of the first six Sox batters he faced.

Gallardos first inning looked like this: Ellsbury single, Dustin Pedroia single, Adrian Gonzalez error to Gallardo, Ellsbury scores, Kevin Youkilis three-run homer, David Ortiz single, J.D. Drew single, Marco Scutaro groundball out, Jarrod Saltalamacchia strike out, Josh Reddick walk, Jacoby Ellsbury ground-rule double, Ortiz and Drew score, Pedroia fly out. Gallardo needed 46 pitches to get through the inning.

His record fell to 8-4 with a 4.11 ERA. The six runs Gallardo gave up in the first were the first are the most hes allowed in the first inning of a game in his career,

Gallardo went three innings, his shortest outing this season, giving up eight runs (five earned) on nine hits and two walks with four strikeouts. The right runs tied Zack Greinke (on July 16 in Wrigley Field) with the most runs allowed by a Cubs starter this season.

THE TURNING POINT
The first inning set the tone of the game for both teams. Wakefields first inning 12 pitches, 11 strikes, striking out the first two batters on a combined six pitches -- let the Brewers know they werent going to have an easy time with his knuckleball.

Gallardos sloppy first inning 11 batters, six runs allowed, 46 pitches was all the offense the Sox would need although they would go on to do further damage. Coming out of the inning in a 6-0 hole was more than Gallardo and the Brewers could overcome.

STAT OF THE DAY: 44321
Tim Wakefield earned the win, going eight innings with six strikeouts, at 44 years, 321 days old. The last American League pitcher that age to earn a win throwing as many innings with as many strikeouts was Nolan Ryan at 45 years, 155 days on July 4, 1992 against the Yankees while with the Rangers.

With the win Wakefield improved to 4-2 (4.26 ERA) with 197 career victories.

QUOTE OF NOTE:
I think his role is exactly what hes doing. We talked about it going in, that theres probably going to be starts for him. Dont know where theyre going to be. And because of his versatility hes filled that role and hes filled it unbelievable. I think youre fortunate on a staff when you have a guy like that. And going into the season he knew what his role was. In all honesty, you dont know when the starts are going to be. But he prepared real well and hes really helping us out.

--Manager Terry Francona on Tim Wakefields performance this season

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Red Sox claim RHP Doug Fister off waivers, sign INF Jhonny Peralta

Red Sox claim RHP Doug Fister off waivers, sign INF Jhonny Peralta

 

BOSTON — They have the right idea, if not yet the right personnel.

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has brought on a pair of former Tigers in an effort to help the Red Sox’ depth.

It’s hard to expect much from righty Doug Fister — who mostly throws in the 80s these days and is to start Sunday — or from Jhonny Peralta, who’s going to play some third base at Triple-A Pawtucket. Fister was claimed off waivers from the Angels, who coincidentally started a three-game series with the Red Sox on Friday at Fenway Park. Peralta, meanwhile, was signed as a free agent to a minor league deal.

Neither may prove much help. Fister could move to the bullpen when Eduardo Rodriguez is ready to return, Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said. The Sox hope E-Rod is back in time for the All-Star break.

That’s assuming Fister is pitching well enough that the Sox want to keep him.

But at least the Sox are being proactive looking for help, and it’s not like either Peralta or Fister is high-risk.

Fister, 33, threw 180 1/3 innings last year with the Astros, posting a 4.64 ERA. He hasn’t been in the big leagues yet this season.

Said one American League talent evaluator earlier this year about Fister’s 2016: “Had a nice first half. Then struggled vs. left-handed hitters and with finishing hitters. No real putaway pitch. Has ability to pitch around the zone, reliable dude.”

Does uncertainty for Carson Smith mean Red Sox need bullpen help?

Does uncertainty for Carson Smith mean Red Sox need bullpen help?

BOSTON — Tyler Thornburg’s gone for the season and there’s really no telling when the other set-up man the Sox expected to help in 2017, Carson Smith, will be back.

The Sox have already made inroads, if minor ones, in bolstering their third-base situation and rotation. Smith’s situation leaves a question of whether the Sox will need to pursue help in the bullpen as well.

There's not an easy answer to settle on at this point.

For one, the timetable with the right-hander Smith — whose shoulder has bothered him on the way back from Tommy John surgery — isn’t clear.

“He's in a no-throw [time] through the weekend,” Sox manager John Farrell said Friday afternoon at Fenway Park. “He'll be reevaluated on Monday to hopefully initiate a throwing program. He's responding favorably to the treatment. He continues to rehab as he's been. We have not closed the book in a sense on anything Carson can contribute this year.”

What does this year mean, though? Will they be able to know by July, by the trade deadline?

“Still too early to tell,” Farrell said. “We thought he was days from starting his rehab assignment after his last live BP session in New York [on June 6]. Unfortunately, that was put on hold for the time being. To get into any kind of timeframes, timetables, I don't know that any of us can predict that right now.”

The Sox relievers have done extraordinarily well without either Thornburg or Smith. Can that continue without reinforcements? The bullpen’s ERA entering Friday was 2.94, the second best mark in the majors. Its innings total, 217, was the second. lowest in the majors. 

So it’s not like the entire group is about to collapse from fatigue. But a guy like Joe Kelly, for example, isn’t someone the Sox want to use back to back.

It’s a young group and ultimately an inexperienced group. But Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has already fallen into the trap of trading for premium set-up men twice, and that’s a dangerous road to pursue again. Perhaps a smaller trade makes more sense.

“Well, at this point, we’re open minded to help,” Dombrowski said when asked if he was targeting either third-base or relief help. “I’m not going to get into specifics at this time on what else we’re looking for. Keep an open mind on a lot of ways on which we can improve. We have guys coming back and both the spots, I think Carson Smith is very important to us and our bullpen has pitched great. The other day, we struggled but that was one of the few times we really struggled all year. 

“I think Carson still has a chance to come back and help us this year.”