Valentine on Ross: 'What's there not to love?'

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Valentine on Ross: 'What's there not to love?'

BOSTON -- Cody Ross is getting used to the postgame podium.
It's a place you only go if you're the manager, that night's starting pitcher, or the unquestionable hero.
Ross' two home runs and six RBIs in Wednesday's night's 10-1 win got him a podium appearance, a floor above the Red Sox clubhouse. And his ninth-inning, three-run walk-off home run in Thursday night's 3-1 win over Chicago put him there again, for the second straight night.
"I want to be the guy up every time in that situation," said Ross afterwards. "I always have, my whole life. I just like that pressure, and I like just being there in the moment."
Hitting in the number five spot in Boston's lineup, Ross stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with Dustin Pedroia on second base and Nick Punto on first, one out, and the Red Sox trailing 1-0.
Ross ripped a 1-1 inside fastball down the left-field line and into the monster seats, forcing the rest of the team to greet him at home plate.
"In that situation, with a runner on second, I'm just trying to get a pitch I can handle and get good wood on it, and just try to create something," said Ross. "Fortunately, he threw me a fastball in, and it was really in. And I just kind of dropped the head on the ball, and kept it fair somehow.
"I look up and Punto's staring right at me with this evil look on his face," Ross added on the celebration at home plate. "And he grabs my jersey and just starts yanking on it. He became famous in St. Louis for that. They call him the shredder. So, we got to meet the shredder tonight."
And at first, Ross wasn't sure it was going out.
"As soon as it left my bat, I got this really exciting feeling," said Ross. "And then I had flashbacks of Wednesday night, when I hit the same ball that hit the wall. And I was thinking, 'OK, even if it hits the wall, Punto's fast enough to score from first, and we'll still win 2-1.' So, that was all going through my mind."
Ross finished the game 2-for-4 and it marked his third-career walk-off home run, proving again, that he likes to have the pressure on him.
"He loves that situation," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine afterwards. "He loves to be in the big spotlight, and you know, he went deep, three runs, we win. That's as much fun as the guys have had in a long time. It's a good feeling.
"I love his smile, I love his swing, I love his energy," Valentine later added. "What's there not to love? Especially tonight."

Porcello loses 10th game as Red Sox fall to Twins, 4-1

Porcello loses 10th game as Red Sox fall to Twins, 4-1

BOSTON -- Twins rookie lefty Adalberto Mejia is feeling more comfortable each time he takes the mound.

Mejia pitched 5 2/3 innings in his second straight scoreless start, Max Kepler hit a two-run homer and Minnesota rebounded from two consecutive losses against Boston to beat the Red Sox 4-1 on Wednesday night.

"He did a nice job," Twins manager Paul Molitor said about Mejia. "He had to kind of battle. It's kind of becoming a little bit of his MO to burn through pitches, but similarly to his last start, he kept walking off the field with zeros."

Kepler also had an RBI single, and Miguel Sano added an RBI double to help the Twins improve to 24-11 on the road.

Mejia (3-3) allowed five hits, struck out three and walked one in his 11th career start. On Friday night at Cleveland, he held the Indians to two hits over five innings in a victory.

"I feel calmer every time I'm out there," he said through a translator. "I think that's why I did better."

Brandon Kintzler got the final three outs for his 21st save.

Boston starter Rick Porcello (4-10) gave up four runs on six hits in six innings, striking out six and walking two. It was his 14th straight start going at least six innings, the AL's longest active streak.

"It's not like they're beating the cover off the ball," Porcello said. "It's just a couple things here and there that I've got to clean up. I'm not making excuses for myself. I definitely hold myself accountable for the loss tonight."

Red Sox manager John Farrell was back in the dugout after serving a one-game suspension Tuesday for poking umpire Bill Miller in the chest during an argument Saturday.

The Red Sox stranded 11 baserunners, and at least one in every inning. Farrell thought his team may have been pressing a bit.

"I thought there were times we might have expanded the strike zone a little bit, trying to make something happen," he said.

With Minnesota leading 2-0 in the sixth, Kepler lined his homer off the back of Boston's bullpen.

In the first, the Twins scored a pair of two-out runs when Sano hit his RBI double down the third-base line and scored on Kepler's broken-bat single.

Xander Bogaerts drove in Boston's run with a bases-loaded grounder in the seventh.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Twins: LHP Glen Perkins resumed throwing Tuesday after a setback last week following offseason shoulder surgery. Molitor said the club is still formulating a plan for him. He's been sidelined all season and pitched in just two games last year.

Red Sox: DH Hanley Ramirez missed his third straight game after getting hit by a pitch on the left knee Sunday. "He'll go through a full workday today," Farrell said. "He's feeling improved."

MATCHES OWN RECORD

Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia played his 98th consecutive error-less game, matching the best mark in club history he set for a second baseman from 2009-10.

LOOKS FAMILIAR

This season has started like 2015 for Porcello, the AL's reigning Cy Young Award winner.

Two years ago when he struggled badly, the righty lost nine of his initial 13 decisions and finished 9-15 with a 4.92 ERA.

ROSTER MOVE

Minnesota right-hander Phil Hughes was activated from the 10-day disabled list and LHP Craig Breslow was put on with rib cage soreness.

Hughes had been on the DL since complaining of a "dead feeling" in his pitching shoulder on May 21. He allowed one run in three innings during three rehabilitation appearances in Triple-A.

Molitor plans to use him out of the bullpen.

UP NEXT

Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (4-5, 6.23 ERA) looks to continue his success in Fenway Park in the series finale Thursday. He's allowed only one run over 15 innings in two career starts.

Red Sox: LHP David Price (2-2, 4.76) has won his last five decisions against Minnesota, posting a 1.84 ERA.