Gonzalez makes his 1,000th hit a memorable one

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Gonzalez makes his 1,000th hit a memorable one

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen

BOSTON -- Adrian Gonzalez needed just a triple to hit for the cycle Friday night.

Yeah, that ain't gonna happen, he joked at the time.

On Sunday afternoon against the Brewers at Fenway Park, Gonzalez hit his 1,000th career hit.

And sure enough, it was a triple.

Its definitely something that you dont think about when you come into the league, he said of the milestone hit. But its nice to get it and move on. I always said statistics arent something I focus on. Its nice to get there but its already behind us.

While Gonzalez was nonplussed by the milestone, manager Terry Francona was impressed.

He's not going to stop at 1,000 hits, Francona said. Youll probably see 2,000 down the road a little bit. Hes a pretty good hitter.

Gonzalez, who will never be known for his speed, found the irony that the milestone came on a triple, into the triangle in center field.

I never drew that up, especially on something (the 1,000-hit plateau) you never even think you're going to get close to, he said. So, its nice to get and nice to put it behind and keep going and focus on some more."

His three triples this season (11 in his career) are just one behind team leader Carl Crawford.

I was telling speedster Jacoby Ellsbury, who has two, I got more triples than you do. Whats going on? Gonzalez said. He just said, Hey, you're faster than me.

When I hit it I was thinking double and once it got into that corner out there and I was pretty close to second base, I said if they throw me out from out there that means that Im really, really, really slow

Just as he was unimpressed by his milestone, Gonzalez is equally unfazed at the prospect of facing the Padres over the next three games. Gonzalez, a San Diego native, spent the past five seasons with the Padres, for whom he hit. 288, with 161 home runs, 501 RBI, slugging .514 with an on-base percentage of .374.

Another series, he said. I got a lot of friends on a lot of teams. So Im going to treat it just like another series. Im definitely going to hang out with the guys and talk to them. I mean, Ive been on the phone with them the whole season so its not like I havent talked to them. But once the game starts its just another series, another game.

Its just another series. I dont like to look into things like that.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

First impressions: Porcello settles in, helps Red Sox beat Rays, 9-4

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First impressions: Porcello settles in, helps Red Sox beat Rays, 9-4

First impressions from the Red Sox' 9-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays:

 

* Rick Porcello followed form.

Porcello has, throughout the season, struggled some in the early innings before making some adjustments and stabilizing as the game wears on.

So it was Monday night against the Rays.

Coming into the start, Porcello had compiled a 4.15 ERA in the first three innings with a 2.13 ERA in innings four through six.

Sure enough, Porcello allowed four straight hits and two runs in the third inning. After that, he looked like a different pitcher. He did yield a solo run in the fifth when he gave up a leadoff double and two groundouts.

But from the fourth through the seventh, he faced 13 hitters and retired 12 of them, including five by strikeout.

 

* Travis Shaw showed signs of digging out his funk at the plate.

Shaw was 0-for-6 to start the homestand, and since the beginning of August, had compiled an anemic .141/.236/.264 slash line with only four extra-base hits (two doubles, two doubles).

That resulted in Shaw losing playing time to Aaron Hill at third, and being dropped lower in the batting order.

But Monday, Shaw smacked a double to right -- the kind of extra-base power that he almost routinely flashed in the first half -- and later added two singles for a three-hit night.

It marked the first multi-hit game for him since July 26, better than a month ago.

 

* Lo and behold, the Red Sox can collect hits with the bases loaded.

The team's struggles in that department have been well-chronicled. Coming into the night, the Sox were hitting just .211 in such situations, ranking them 14th out of the 15 A.L. teams.

Time after time, the Sox have failed to come through with the bases full, sometimes even with no outs.

But that wasn't the case Monday. Twice, in fact, the Sox had innings with the bases loaded and both times, they scored.

In the second, Brock Holt's single to left scored Chris Young, though Sandy Leon was cut down at the plate when the Sox tried to get two runs out of it.

In the seventh, a sharp single to center by Sandy Leon scored two more.

 

After strong bullpen session, Koji Uehara could be back by Labor Day

After strong bullpen session, Koji Uehara could be back by Labor Day

BOSTON - For a bullpen that could use all the help it can get right now, there's the prospect that Koji Uehara could rejoin the Red Sox on Labor Day.

Uehara, who's been out since July 20 with a strained pectoral muscle, threw a bullpen Monday at Fenway that impressed John Farrell.

"He came out of today's work session in good fashion,'' said Farrell. "It was 25 pitches to hitters with good intensity to both his fastball and split. It's been impressive to see how he's handled the volume, and now, three times on the mound, the intensity to his bullpens and BP.''

Next up for Uehara will be a bullpen session Wednesday morning, followed by a live batting practice session Saturday in Oakland.

Since both Pawtucket's and Portland's seasons are over on Labor Day, Uehara won't have the option of going on a rehab assignment to face hitters before being activated.

But the Sox believe that he can build arm strength through these side sessions and BP sessions -- enough so that he could return to the active roster soon.

"We'll re-assess where is after Sunday,'' said Farrell, "and I wouldn't rule out activation [after that]. What we've done with Koji is just review how he feels after each session and we'll take it from there.''

Uehara, 41, is 2-3 with a 4.50 ERA, and while he's had a propensity for giving up homers (eight in just 36 innings), he had been throwing better before being injured.

And given the performance of the bullpen in general and the recent poor showings from Matt Barnes, the Sox would welcome Uehara back as soon as he's ready.

"The one thing that Koji has proven to us,'' noted Farrell, "is that, even with limited spring training work [in the past], he's been a very effective pitcher for us and obviously, he has a chance to make a very positive impact once he does return.''

Uehara's progress since late July has been a pleasant surprise for the Sox, who feared at the time of the injury that he might be done for the season.     

"To his credit,'' said Farrell, "he's worked his tail off and advanced fairly rapidly and he's withstanding the intensity that he's put into [the work]. A healthy Koji certainly adds to our bullpen.