Third inning proves fatal in loss to Angels

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Third inning proves fatal in loss to Angels

BOSTON Early in the game, it appeared the Red Sox had shaken off the lethargy and poor play that had become all too common, jumping out to a six-run lead against the Angels. Instead that lead quickly turned into a two-run deficit as the Sox staggered through what was arguably their worst defensive inning of the season.Left-hander Franklin Morales started the game. He faced eight batters over the first two innings, holding the Angels scoreless on 32 pitches. But despite the 6-0 lead his offense provided him after two innings, Morales couldnt get through the third.He faced eight batters in the third, recording just two outs. Right-hander Clayton Mortensen replaced him, and, facing four batters could not get anyone out. With eight runs in. right-hander Junichi Tazawa replaced Mortensen, needing just one pitch to end the inning.In all, the Angels sent 13 batters to the plate, with eight scoring. It tied the most runs the Sox have allowed in an inning this season. The Angels had six hits (one shy of season high hits allowed by the Sox), three walks, while another batter reached on an error. Six of the runs were unearned, the most allowed in an inning by the Sox since giving up eight in the eighth inning on July 14, 2006, against the As.It was one of those things where we scored six and they came back and we didn't really help our guys out, said Dustin Pedroia, who had a season-high four hits and five RBI, and matched a season-high with three runs scored. But it was a wild game.That it was. And the third inning was the wildest. The eight runs were the most the Angels have scored in one inning against the Red Sox since nine in the first inning on July 18, 1994.Angels No. 9 batter Chris Iannetta led off the inning with a single to right. Mike Trout grounded into a force out, erasing Iannetta. Torii Hunter singled to right, sending Trout to second. With Howie Kendrick batting, Trout stole third. Kendrick singled to center, scoring Trout, sending Hunter to second. After Mike Trumbo struck out, swinging at a 97-mph fastball from Morales, Alberto Callaspo and Kendrys Morales walked, scoring Hunter. Erick Aybar reached on an error by third baseman Pedro Ciriaco, allowing Kendrick to score and Callaspo to go to third. That also ended Morales outing.But the Angels were not done. Mortensen entered, giving up a walk to Vernon Wells, scoring Callaspo. Iannetta singled to left, driving in two runs with his second hit of the inning. Trout singled, driving in Wells and sending Iannetta to third. Hunter singled to right, scoring Iannetta, and driving Mortensen from the game.Tazawa entered, getting Kendrick to ground out to Dustin Pedroia to end the inning.While the Sox would battle back to tie the score or reclaim the lead several times, this inning appeared to emotionally deflate them."We didn't play as well as we could that inning, said manager Bobby Valentine. There's some plays that could have been made. And they wound up with eight runs.
"There's no quit in this team, though. I was real proud of the guys. That last couple innings, we didn't hold them, and that's my fault. They did great. They did a great job."Morales threw 63 pitches in all, 35 for strikes. He threw 31 facing eight batters in the third. It was the second-shortest start of his career, after going just two innings on April 21, 2009, at Arizona while with Colorado. The six runs allowed match his season high.Even though it appeared he had gotten the third out of the inning until it went for an error Valentine opted to take the left-hander out of the game at that point."Well he had plenty of pitches left, he just wasn't throwing them over, Valentine said. The first two innings, he had a real good split, and then the third inning, he didn't have the split. He was trying to get it back, and when he didn't do it, he was overthrowing his fastball.
"And he got a ground ball to third base in a 6-2 game, that could have been the third out, too."Instead it went for an error, extending the inning for five more batters and six more runs.
When you get six runs you never want to get complacent, said Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who was watching from the dugout at that point in the game as Ryan Lavarnway got the start. You want to just step on peoples necks and continue to go. I think thats what guys were trying to do. They just strung some hits together. But its tough to watch, especially when your pitchers out there battling, competing. But it was obviously going to be one of those nights regardless of who was in the game because their guys were giving it up too.Still, the Sox sensed they could pull out a win.Yeah, absolutely, said Pedroia. It was a crazy night and you feel like whoever is hitting last is going to win, one of those things. So I had confidence in our team until we lost. You have to feel that way.

Benintendi, Red Sox hang on to beat Cubs, 5-4

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Benintendi, Red Sox hang on to beat Cubs, 5-4

BOSTON - Andrew Benintendi hit a solo homer off Jake Arrieta during a five-run first inning and the Boston Red Sox held on to beat the Chicago Cubs 5-4 Friday night.

Every Boston starter had at least one hit, and Hanley Ramirez, Mitch Moreland, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Christian Vazquez also drove in a run each.

Left-hander Drew Pomeranz (2-1) got the win with six innings of two-run ball, surrendering solo homers to Kris Bryant and Albert Almora Jr. in the early innings before settling in. He allowed six hits and two walks while striking out seven.

Boston has won its last nine interleague games at Fenway Park.

Arrieta (3-1) logged his shortest start since Aug. 28, 2014, lasting only 4 1/3 innings and giving up 10 hits and three walks with five strikeouts.

Broadcasting role unlikely for Ortiz, who met with Red Sox this week

Broadcasting role unlikely for Ortiz, who met with Red Sox this week

BOSTON - It's a tad ironic the Red Sox met with David Ortiz on Tuesday about his post-playing career, and then the offense went out and did nothing and Xander Bogaerts was publicly lamenting Ortiz's absence two days later.

John Henry, Tom Werner, Ortiz and his agent, Fern Cuza, met at Fenway Park on Tuesday to discuss the retired slugger’s future role with the organization, team president Sam Kennedy said. 

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Nothing's imminent, but there's one thing Ortiz is unlikely to do with the Sox in the near future: broadcasting. He could still do some of that in the postseason for say, FOX, but it appears an arrangement with NESN isn't in the cards for now, per Kennedy.

Ortiz's role with the Red Sox is still expected to be wide-ranging, something bigger than the standard alumnus agreement. He seems set on taking his time, enjoying his retired life, saying over the weekend he wants to be able to give the job the time it deserves. 

Kennedy in April was unsure if anything would get done this year. 

As for the team's play without Ortiz, and Bogaerts' comments?

"This is an incredibly talented ballclub," Werner said Friday at a luncheon benefitting the Red Sox Foundation and the Foundation To Be Named Later. "I’m really not terribly concerned. Like all fans, I’m a bit frustrated when we don’t give great pitching run support.

"We struggled the last couple of nights. It’s frustrating to think that Chris Sale, who I think is the best pitcher in the American League, doesn’t have much run support. But it’s April. I've been taught to not really look at the standings 'til July. Frustrated by the past two days, but look at the standings, and we’re only one win behind the Cubs. So you know, I mean I wish we were playing a little bit better,  but the team is going to bounce back."

Werner reiterated the Sox have room in their budget to add players ahead of the trade deadline.