Julien: I'll be a fan of Francona's wherever he goes

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Julien: I'll be a fan of Francona's wherever he goes

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
WILMINGTON Claude Julien is a member of the Boston sports coaching fraternity, and he truly earned his place after leading his hockey club to a Stanley Cup championship last June.

Julien talked about the support he received from the other coaches in Boston, and Sox manager Terry Francona on more than one occasion asked me to pass along the message to Julien that he liked his coaching style and appreciated the way he went about his business.

It was pretty clear the words of encouragement and praise meant something to the Bs coach, and he said Saturday morning that he planned to reach out to the Sox skipper after Francona was removed from his managing duties at Fenway on Friday. Julien caught some of the press conferences and heard the same things that everyone has around Boston when it comes to differences with ownership -- and perhaps some of his players.

Julien said he empathized with Francona, and it hit close to home for the Bs coach because the two men had very similar styles when it comes to running their individual teams.

The one thing I know is that the job that Francona has done here is tremendous, said Julien. Two World Series and the way hes conducted himself through everything, Im going to be a fan of his no matter where he ends up. I know hes going to end up somewhere. I like the way hes handled his group.

In certain ways Im a lot like him as far as trusting your players and showing them the respect that they deserve. You give them as much leash as they can take. Youve got to give them that opportunity to lead the way. Im not big on throwing players under the bus and he never has.

Juliens job came under fire last season when the Bruins were battling consistency in the middle of the year coming off the playoff collapse against the Philadelphia Flyers, and there was probably a time when he might have thought hed be long gone from Boston prior to Francona. After all, Julien and his staff were likely one Game 7 loss to the Montreal Canadiens in the first round away from their pink slips, and it sounded as the Bs coach would have handled things the very same way as Francona had that day come.

"It was interesting last night to really listen to him because there were a lot of things that I could see myself saying, Julien said. Hes a gentlemen thats well respected hes going to take the high road. That was pretty obvious. I have nothing but tremendous respect for him for what hes accomplished and how hes deal with tough times.

Though the NHL is renowned for high turnover in their coaching ranks, it doesnt look like the Bs coach, thats won both a Jack Adams Award and a Stanley Cup during his highly successful four-year run in Boston, has anything to worry about anytime soon.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Saturday's Red Sox-Royals lineups: Young in LF, Hill at 3B vs. KC lefty Duffy

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Saturday's Red Sox-Royals lineups: Young in LF, Hill at 3B vs. KC lefty Duffy

The Red Sox look to end their three-game losing streak tonight when the play the middle game of their three-game series with the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park.

Against Royals' left-hander Danny Duffy (11-1, 2.66 ERA), the Red Sox start right-handed hitters Chris Young in left field and Aaron Hill at third base. Duffy has won his past 10 decisions and came into Saturday with the fifth-best ERA in the American League. He joined the rotation from the bullpen on June 1.

Left-hander David Price (12-8, 4.00) gets the start for the Red Sox. Price has won his past three decisions, going eight, six and eight innings and not allowing more than three runs in each start. 

The Royals won the series opener 6-3 Friday night.

The lineups:

ROYALS
Paulo Orlando CF
Cheslor Cuthbert 3B
Lorenzo Cain RF
Eric Hosmer 1B
Kendrys Morales DH
Salvador Perez C
Alex Gordon LF
Alcides Escobar SS
Christian Colon 2B
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Danny Duffy LHP

RED SOX
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Sandy Leon C
Chris Young LF
Aaron Hill 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
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David Price LHP

Quotes, notes and stars: Betts has first career five-hit night

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Quotes, notes and stars: Betts has first career five-hit night

BOSTON - Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 6-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals

QUOTES:

"We continually do a great job in creating opportunities and I'm confident that (the struggles with men in scoring position) will turn.'' - John Farrell

"When you start off with a five-run spot in the first, that's a tough deficit to overcome.'' - Steven Wright.

"That's how it goes sometimes. Sometimes, we score when we're not expecting to and then when we need to score, sometimes it doesn't happen.'' - Mookie Betts on the team going 4-for-15 with RISP.

 

NOTES:

* The loss was just the third in the last 13 series openers for the Red Sox.

* The game marked the first time in 20 home games in which the Sox never led.

* Boston was 4-for-15 with runners in scoring position.

* The first four hitters in the order were 13-for-19 (.684). The fifth-through-nine hitters, however, were just 2-for-21 (.095).

* Mookie Betts (five hits) leads the majors with 55 multi-hit games.

* Dustin Pedroia has reached base in each of his last eight plate appearances.

* David Ortiz's double was the 625th of his career, passing Hank Aaron to move into 10 place in MLB history.

* Ortiz leads the A.L. in doubles (41) and extra-base hits (72).

 

STARS:

1) Eric Hosmer

Hosmer cranked a three-run homer into the Monster Seats four batters into the game, and the Royals were off and running with a five-run inning.

2) Ian Kennedy

The Royals starter wasn't dominant, allowing nine hits in 5 1/3 innings, but he bailed himself out of a number of jams and limited the Sox to just two runs.

3) Mookie Betts

Betts had his first career five-hit night and knocked in two of the three Red Sox runs, though he also got himself picked off first base.