Iglesias shows another defensive flash of brilliance

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Iglesias shows another defensive flash of brilliance

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It was only one play late in an exhibition game, but Monday afternoon, shortstop Jose Iglesias showed why the Red Sox have such high hopes for him.

With Minnesota's Sean Burroughs on first after walk in the top of the seventh inning, infielder Michael Holliman hit a grounder up the middle.

Iglesias glided over behind the second base bag and never flinched when the ball took a bad hop on the infield dirt. Iglesias simply adjusted his glove a few inches higher, snared the ball in the pocket, then, with his momentum carrying him away from the second base bag, flipped to Pedro Ciriaco for the forceout.

It was a remarkably instinctive play that hinted at Iglesisas' defensive brilliance.

"I'm just reacting to the ball," he said. "It was a bad (hop) and I caught it."

"That was special," said Andrew Bailey, who was pitching at the time. "He can play some defense, that's for sure. The ball took a funny hop on him. He was able to stay with it and get the out. So that was great. Definitely saved the first and third or maybe more than that. And that's a big league
play right there."

Of course, his play in the field isn't in question. But the Red Sox still have to be convinced that he can hit enough to warrant being in the major leagues.

He went 0-for-3 Monday and is hitting .231 in Grapefruit League play this spring.

"I feel very good at the plate," he said. "I've made a couple of adjustments, little things. I feel more disciplined and I'm driving the ball way better. I learned from last year."

Iglesias is unsure what the Red Sox plan to do with him at the start of the season.

"I don't know what my chances are of making the team," he said. "I only care about coming here and getting better every single day. Whatever happens at the end of the spring, I can't control that. I don't know what's going to happen. Whatever happens at the end of the spring, I have to do. They're going to do what's best for my career, for my development."

Asked if he was ready to play at the big league level, Iglesias said: "I'm working hard. I do my best. I don't know -- I haven't played here yet. But I feel very good."

The game marked Iglesias' return to game action after missing about a week with a strained groin.

"The groin feels good," said Iglesias. "I really felt good. My groin feels better and I'm ready to play."

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.