Gonzalez, Youkilis enjoy ASG at the plate


Gonzalez, Youkilis enjoy ASG at the plate

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
PHOENIX -- Some players worry that taking part in the Home Run Derby can mess with their natural swings.

Adrian Gonzalez, apparently, isn't one of them.

A day after finishing second to Robinson Cano in the annual Home Run Derby, Gonzalez homered in the fourth inning to provide the American League with their only run in a 5-1 loss to the National League.

"It was great for the time being, said Gonzalez, "but we gave up three runs in the next inning, so it was short-lived. But it was a great experience.

Gonzalez, however, said there was no correlation between his showing Monday night in the derby and his home run in the game Tuesday night.

"I don't focus on that, he said. "It's a lot different when a guy is throwing BP (compared) to Cliff Lee pitching.

Lee got ahead of Gonzalez 0-and-1 with a fastball away, but then threw him a front-door cutter that Gonzalez was able to line to right-center.

"I got it up enough in the air to carry out of the park, said Gonzalez.

The homer was the first for anyone in the All-Star Game dating back 29 innings. Before Gonzalez's shot, the last All-Star homer was hit by current teammate J.D. Drew in the 15th inning of the 2008 All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium.

Gonzalez became the 13th Red Sox player to homer in the All-Star Game.

After going hitless in his first All-Star Game in 2008, Kevin Youkilis now seems to have the hang of it.

Youkilis had just one at-bat, but managed a single in the American League's 5-1 loss to the National League at Chase Field.

It marked the second time in the last three seasons that Youkilis has taken advantage of his one All-Star at-bat with a hit.

"It's good to get hits in the All-Star Game," he said. "The past two times now, I've had hits. It's good to get those and maybe build up my All-Star Game stats."

Youkilis, who was a late addition to the squad because of injuries to others, made the most of the opportunity.

"It was a good time," said Youkilis. "Unfortunately we didn't come out on top, but it was a lot of fun. It was exciting to represent the Red Sox."

Youkilis said the All-Star experience "goes quick. Fortunately, this is not my first one. With your first one, it speeds up on you a little bit. So I got to sit back a little bit and enjoy it."

The loss -- the second in a row by the American League -- means the National League champs will enjoy home field advantage in the World Series.

But that's a long way off and Youkilis said he wasn't concerned.

"I'm not disappointed," said Youkilis. "I have the philosophy that we have to win on the road anyway. For us, we'll have to go into someone else's place to play if we're in the World Series."

As a first-time All-Star, Jacoby Ellsbury tried to take everything in, socializing with players from all over the game.

"I just tried to meet everybody," he said, "and have conversations with everyone. The game was fun and so was the Home Run Derby. I just tried to soak everything in and enjoy it."

Ellsbury got two plate appearances in the AL's 5-1 loss to the NL and struck out both times.

He faced two Atlanta Braves in his plate appearances -- starter Jair Jurrjens and Jonny Venters -- and struck out against both.

"You're coming it, facing guys you've maybe never seen before," he said. "They're obviously the best in the game at what they do. Unfortunately tonight didn't go my way, but I loved the experience. I had a great time out there.

"It's fun. I enjoyed it. The next couple of days, I'm sure I'll look back and think of something that was pretty special to me."

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam.

Red Sox recall infielder Mike Miller, ship Cuevas back to PawSox


Red Sox recall infielder Mike Miller, ship Cuevas back to PawSox

The Red Sox made another pitcher-for-infielder roster swap today, sending William Cuevas back to Pawtucket and bringing up Mike Miller as his replacement.

The Sox had summoned Cuevas from the PawSox over the weekend when they ran through their bullpen in Friday night's come-from-behind victory over Texas and he pitched twice against the Rangers, holding them to two hits over 2 2/3 scoreless innings on Saturday and Sunday. Deven Marrero had been shipped out when Cuevas arrived, leaving the Sox with only one backup infielder (Marco Hernandez).

Now they have two again, with Miller making his first trip to the major leagues. He's been primarily a second baseman for Pawtucket, though he's also seen action at short and third. Miller -- the team's ninth-round selection in the 2012 draft -- had a combined .251 average in 46 games for the PawSox and six games for Double-A Portland.

However, his stay with the Red Sox will likely be as short as Cuevas'. Brock Holt may soon be ready for reactivation, after having missed more than a month because of a concussion, and he could take Miller's roster spot when he returns.

Bogaerts taking aim at Red Sox and MLB hits records


Bogaerts taking aim at Red Sox and MLB hits records

A change of scenery is a must for the Red Sox after the rough series in Texas, where they were lucky to walk away with one win.

The pitching staff's struggles were the most apparent, but Xander Bogaerts had arguably his worst series of the season -- 2-for-12 at the plate and two errors in the field.

Although Bogaerts now finds himself three points behind José Altuve (.347) for the American League batting lead, he still leads the major leagues with 108 hits. He has more hits than Daniel Murphy, who’s at .349 in the National League.

And despite his weekend struggles, the Boston shortstop is in position to make a run at history  -- the single-season hits record.

Bogaerts is already in a comfortable spot to break Wade Boggs’ Red Sox record of 240 hits, set in 1985. Through 74 games, Bogaerts has 10 more hits than the Hall-of-Famer had at that point in the season.

He's also ahead of the pace set in 2004 by Ichiro Suzuki, who established the MLB record for most hits in a season with 262 that year. Bogarts has five more hits than Ichiro had through 74 games.

There's no guarantee he'll reach 262, or anything close. Ichiro had a strong finishing kick in '04, batting .418 with 159 hits after his 74th game. In fact, in his final 74 games, he hit .433 with 141 hits. He's left challengers in the dust before: Altuve was equal to Ichiro's pace in 2014 -- both had 105 hits in their first 76 games -- but wound up with "only" 225 hits.

So, admittedly, Bogaerts is facing an uphill battle.

He does have a one advantage over Ichiro, though. In 2004, Suzuki -- still playing for the Mariners -- usually had Randy Winn hitting behind him. Although Winn was a respectable player, he doesn’t command the respect of the hitter who's usually behind Bogaerts: David Ortiz.

Opposing pitchers still don’t plan to attack Bogaerts, but it’d only be worse if pretty much anyone other than Ortiz was coming up next.

And there’s one last set of statistics to consider:

Suzuki finished 2004 with 80 games in which he had at least two hits. That’s 49.7 percent of the games he played in.

Bogaerts has done that 33 times -- 44.6 percent of his games. So he needs to string together some big games if he intends to make an improbable run at the 12-year-old record.

Improbable, yes.

But definitely not impossible.