Crawford, Iglesias finish homestand with flair

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Crawford, Iglesias finish homestand with flair

By DannyPicard
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- @font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; It was the fastest Jose Iglesias has ever run, according toRed Sox manager Terry Francona.

As Carl Crawford ripped a 3-and-2 fastball off the top of theGreen Monster in left-center, Iglesias in as pinch-runner after Jed Lowrie walked put hishead down and took off from first.

There was no question he was being sent home. But a play athome plate was just as inevitable.

The throw to home was late and Iglesias, making his second major-league appearance in as many days in the bigs, slid home with the winning run, giving the Red Sox a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Twins in11 innings on Monday night at Fenway Park.

It was a win that came on what Francona called a good nightto pitch. The wind was blowing in hard, and hard-hit balls were being knockeddown and kept in the park.

And as happy as the Red Sox were to see the speedy,wide-eyed Iglesias race home from first to score the game-winning run, theywere just as jacked up to see Crawford whos now batting .211 on the season drive home the game-winner.

It wasnt like we knocked them all over the ballparktonight, said Francona after the win. It was a good night to pitch. The windwas blowing in hard. We run Iggy, get some speed there, just in case somebody doesbang a ball off the wall. And thats exactly what Crawford did.

I think as Iggy is here more, hell probably be a littleeasier to read that ball off the wall, added Francona. He probably didnt getout as far as he could have. But he was probably running about as fast as hellever run. Carl took a great swing.

The 11th-inning double marked Crawfords only hit of thenight. It also was his eighth career walkoff hit, and his second of the season. His other in a Red Sox uniform came on May 1 aninth-inning single that scored Jed Lowrie to defeat the Seattle Mariners, 3-2.

Crawford has shown plenty of signs hes turning the page on a dismalmonth of April. The double extended his season-high hit streak to nine games, in which he is hitting .361(13-for-36).

And for those looking to pinpoint that average on Crawfordsability to use the wall at Fenway, Francona warns the Red Sox dont necessarilywant him to try and do that.

I think hes certainly strong enough, Francona said. But I dont think he has that Adrian Gonzalez inside-out swing,or that he necessarily manipulates the bat that way. Nor do we really want himto. Because I think hes more of a reactionary-type hitter. But hes certainlystrong enough to hit that wall when he hits the ball good.

And now that Crawford seems to be hitting the ball a wholelot better in the month of May, his teammates arent surprised to see himbeginning to break out.

The one thing Ive learned, is that, as a professionalplayer, youve got to believe and trust in what you do, said Gonzalez. At theend of the day, its not your batting stance. Its not your hands. Its notyour feet. Its your mind.

The Red Sox hope Crawfords mind keeps him hitting likehe did in their latest homestand. And theyll also keep taking walkoff hitsfrom him as well.

Walkoffs always are nice, you always feel good at the endof the day, said Crawford. So I'd do that anytime if I could.

Danny Picard is onTwitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

Quotes, notes and stars: Pomeranz 'made one pitch that hurt' Red Sox

Quotes, notes and stars: Pomeranz 'made one pitch that hurt' Red Sox

BOSTON - Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 4-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers:

QUOTES:

"He pitched as we had anticipated at the time of the trade.'' - John Farrell on Drew Pomeranz.

"I had a good curveball and I was locating my fastball a lot better. I was in a lot better counts all night, but I made one pitch that hurt us.'' - Pomeranz on his outing.

"He was able to limit the damage against a very good offensive team. He pitched well enough to win. I just wish we could have put more runs on the board for him.'' - Jackie Bradley Jr. on Pomeranz.

 

NOTES:

* Until Monday night, the Red Sox had won their last six series openers.

* Drew Pomeranz has allowed four or fewer hits in 12 of his 18 starts this season.

* Eleven of Travis Shaw's last 15 hits have been for extra bases.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. had his 25th multi-hit game.

* Sandy Leon is hitting .500 (11-for-22) with runners in scoring position.

* The Red Sox are 21-21 in games decided by two or fewer runs.

* Dustin Pedroia (walk, single) has reached base in 28 straight games.

* Xander Bogaerts has 133 hits through 97 games. Since 1940, only Wade Boggs (134 in 1983; 135 in 1987) and Adrian Gonzalez (135 in 2011) had more.

STARS:

1) Justin Verlander

Verlander has enjoyed a bounce-back season of sorts this year, and the Red Sox got to see it up close Monday night as Verlander limited them a single run over six innings.

2) Jose Iglesias

The former Red Sox shortstop haunted his old team with a two-run homer in the sixth to put the Tigers ahead to stay.

3) Drew Pomeranz

The lefty absorbed the loss, but pitched well enough to win, giving up two runs in six innings while striking out seven.

 

First impressions: Pomeranz is better, but Red Sox fall to Tigers

First impressions: Pomeranz is better, but Red Sox fall to Tigers

First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers:

 

1) The same problem remains for Joe Kelly

As a starter, no one doubted Kelly's fastball, and the velocity with which he threw it. But the problem was, Kelly's fastball was often quite straight, and most major league hitters can hit a fastball without movement, no matter how hard it's thrown.

In his first appearance as a reliever for the Red Sox, the same problem reared its head.

Kelly started off Justin Upton with a 99 mph fastball. After an 89 mph slider, Kelly next threw a 101 mph fastball.

But Upton drove it on a line to the triangle for a triple, and two batters later, trotted home on a soft flare to center by James McCann.

Velocity is one thing and can produce some swings-and-misses. But ultimately, Kelly is going to need more than straight gas to get hitters out.

 

2) Drew Pomeranz was miles better in his second start

Pomeranz failed to get an out in the fourth inning of his Red Sox debut and was charged with five runs.

So when Pomeranz -- who allowed just one hit through the first three innings Monday night -- allowed a leadoff single to Miguel Cabrera to start the fourth, there was uneasy sense of deja vu at Fenway.

But Pomeranz quickly erased Cabrera on a double play and through five innings had allowed just three hits and a walk.

He got into some trouble in the sixth when he allowed a one-out, two-run homer to Jose Iglesias, erasing what had been a 1-0 Red Sox lead.

But Pomeranz was far sharper than his first outing, threw his curveball for more strikes and kept the Tigers mostly off-balance. His line (6 IP; 4 H; 2 ER; 2 BB; 7 K) will be more than good enough on most nights.

Just not Monday night.

 

3) They may lead MLB in runs scored, but there are still nights when the Red Sox offense can frustrate

It happened last Friday when they loaded the bases with no out against the Twins - and failed to score in a 2-1 loss.

It was more of the same Monday night when the Sox loaded the bases in the ninth -- and managed just one run.

The problems weren't limited to the ninth, of course. The Sox put the leadoff man on in both the seventh and eighth innings -- and didn't score.

For the game, the Sox left 11 men on and were just 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position.