First Pitch: Thursday, September 8

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First Pitch: Thursday, September 8

By ArtMartone
CSNNE.com

Welcome to First Pitch, aquick spin around the world of Major League Baseball . . . or at leastthe corner of it that most concerns the Red Sox. For a complete wrapupof Wednesday's action, check out Craig Calcaterra's AndThatHappened(hardballtalk.nbcsports.com).

IF YOU HAVEN'T GOT ANYTHING GOOD TO SAY . . . then we can't really say a whole lot about the Red Sox' ghastly 11-10 loss to the Jays

Except that it means a continuation of Tim Wakefield's Sisyphian quest for his 200th win, thanks mostly to a Daniel Bard meltdown. (All stories and videos csnne.com)

Hmm. Yeah, that's about it.

SOME PEOPLE SAY WHY. I SAY WHY NOT? The Boston Globe's Peter Abraham thinks the place for Clay Buchholz, whenever he returns to action, is the starting rotation. But Curt Schilling doesn't think we'll be seeing much, if anything, of Buchholz come October. (weei.com)

ANOTHER MISSING PERSON: Nor, surprisingly, may we see much of Marco Scutaro at shortstop next month. (csnne.com) Or at least not as much as we'd expect.

I TAKE IT BACK. THERE IS SOME GOOD NEWS: Ex-big league catcher and manager Buck Martinez has seen a world of improvement in Jarrod Saltalamacchia since the beginning of the season. (Providence Journal)

AND A LITTLE MORE: The Sox didn't lose any ground to the Yankees in the A.L. East race, thanks the Orioles' 5-4, 10-inning win. (New York Post)

KEEP ON TRUCKING: More and more, it appears David Ortiz has some productive years left. The question is, will they be in Boston? (Boston Herald)

DON'T LOOK NOW . . . but it appears the Yankees have a better starting rotation than the Red Sox. (foxsports.com) It's one of the reasons the Sox are dropping in cbssports.com's Power Rankings.

BUT I DON'T FEEL THAT BAD: Jeff Francoeur threw out A's rookie Michael Tucker at first base from right field. "You kind of feel bad to do it to a guy playing his fourth game in the big leagues," said Francoeur. "But, hey, that was really fun." (Kansas City Star)

OLD FRIENDS: Victor Martinez has a chance to become the ninth player in the last 50 years to drive in 100 runs with 12 or fewer homers (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com) . . . Kevin Millwood, who spent most of the summer at Pawtucket, has been a feel-good story for the Rockies since joining Colorado, but he finally struggled Wednesday in a 5-3 loss to Arizona (AP) . . . Carl Pavano got his eighth win of the season (twinkietown.com) . . . Carlos Pena may only be hitting .227, but he hit his 26th homer in the Cubs' win over the Reds and is on pace to finish with an OPS over .800 for the fourth time in five years (rotoworld) . . . Yes, that was Coco Crisp's 40th stolen base. (AP)

AND FINALLY . . . Looks like this feud between Nyjer Morgan and the Cardinals is getting interesting. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels

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Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels:

QUOTES

* “He just had very good command the entire night. Stayed ahead in the count [and] pitched to all quadrants of the strike zone. He used his four-seamer in on some powerful right-handed hitters in their lineup.” John Farrell on Rick Porcello’s performance.

* “We needed a win bad and swung the bats well and played good defense. That’s a big win for us.” Rick Porcello said after his win in an interview with NESN.

* “24 hours ago we were probably in a much different place mentally after a ball game like tonight.” Farrell on the win.

“That was probably the first time I sat on off-speed pitches this whole year. I took a chance, took a gamble.” Jackie Bradley Jr. said on his home run.

NOTES

* Rick Porcello completed his first game in a Red Sox uniform in the 6-2 win. The CG was the fifth of his career and his first since he threw three in 2014. The righty has 14 wins, one win shy of tying his career high.

* Xander Bogaerts had his first multi extra-base hit performance of the season since June 11. He’s only done that twice this season. He extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

* David Ortiz logged his 85th RBI of the season in the win and Mookie Betts his 67th. Heading into Friday night’s game, the two were one of five pairs of teammates ranking in the top 20 in RBI. The list includes Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Donaldson, Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story, Adam Duvall and Jay Bruce and Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant.

* Dustin Pedroia has now reached base safely in 32 straight games.

STARS

1) Rick Porcello

Porcello had his first complete game in a Red Sox uniform, stopping Boston’s losing skid at four games.

2) Xander Bogaerts

Bogaerts finished with a double and a home run -- the only Boston hitter with multiple hits. He also led the Red Sox with three RBI and scoring twice in the win.

3) Dustin Pedroia

In addition to walking in his first two at-bats, Pedroia had a base hit -- and another walk -- scoring twice on the night.

First impressions of the Red Sox' 6-2 win over the Angels

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First impressions of the Red Sox' 6-2 win over the Angels

First impressions of the Red Sox 6-2 win over Los Angeles:

Rick Porcello is not fazed by his fellow staff members’ struggles.

Although his teammates continue to deal with frustrations on almost a nightly basis, Porcello got the job done and put Boston in a position to win once again.

The second-inning double by Daniel Nava should have been a single, had Jackie Bradley Jr. not misplayed a funny hop. If that hit is a single, the next ground ball is a double -- and the following grounder ends the inning.

One of the most impressive components of his outing was dealing with Cole Kalhoun, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols to finish his outing after already facing them three times on the night.

Xander Bogaerts had his first multi-hit game in a week.

Which in the grand scheme of things isn’t a long time -- but that can feel like a long time given the shortstop’s output this year.

It was also his first multi extra-base hit performance since June 11.

Oddly enough, those are his only two games of that kind this season.

In addition to the win, Porcello did the bullpen a favor.

Not necessarily because the relievers needed rest, but with Ziegler’s last two rough nights, they could use a break.

Although Joe Kelly and Clay Buchholz got warm late, it was more so to keep them fresh for the coming games since they haven’t thrown much.

Additionally, he gave an example for the Red Sox starting rotation that they are in fact capable of going the distance.

Tim Lincecum is barely a shell of what he used to be.

That first inning was hard to watch. The former Cy Young Award-winner threw eight straight balls, and somehow managed to work past. Even his final throw to first base in he opening frame looked like it was going off the mark.

Just hard to watch in general, which made it all the more shocking that the Red Sox couldn’t score against him.

Good for them that he never adjusted, and they took advantage of it in the ensuing innings.

Merloni: ‘Missed opportunities left and right’ for Red Sox

Merloni: ‘Missed opportunities left and right’ for Red Sox

Lou Merloni talks about the Red Sox losing 6 out of the last 7 games and if David Price should have stayed in the game for the 9th inning.