May 1, 2011: Red Sox 3, Mariners 2

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May 1, 2011: Red Sox 3, Mariners 2

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- Carl Crawford hasn't had many hits for the Red Sox. But he made his only one on Sunday count.

Crawford drilled a single through a drawn-in infield, scoring Jed Lowrie from third and giving the Red Sox a 3-2 walkoff win over the Seattle Mariners.

Lowrie had reached when Ichiro Suzuki lost his liner to right in the sun for a triple.

The Sox had taken a two-run lead in the third on David Ortiz's double off The Wall, scoring Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia.

Tim Wakefield pitched brilliantly over 5 23 innings, but lost a chance to record a win when Bobby Jenks faced five hitters and walked three while allowing a single.

The Sox overcame a strong start by Felix Hernandez who allowed two runs over seven innings while striking out 10.

Player of the Game: Carl Crawford

Given his first month with the Red Sox, Crawford was a highly unlikely hero Sunday.

Hitting just .155 entering Sunday's game, Crawford delivered a walkoff single in the bottom of the ninth, scoring Jed Lowrie from third with two outs.

Crawford had just 15 hits all season before coming through with the game-winner off Seattle reliever Jamey Wright.

Honorable Mention: Tim Wakefield

Making his first start of 2011, Wakefield was superb through 5 23 innings, out-pitching Cy Young Award-winner Felix Hernandez.

Wakefield stepped in for an emergency start with Clay Buchholz sidelined with a stomach flu and allowed just three hits and a walk.

After 76 pitches, Wakefield was yanked after allowing a two-out single in sixth.

The Goat: Bobby Jenks

For the second time in the last three games, Jenks pitched poorly. Following a bad outing Friday in the series opener, Jenks relieved Tim Wakefield with one on, two out and the Red Sox leading 2-0.

By the time he got out of the inning, five Mariners had come to the plate and four had reached base (single, three walks), costing Wakefield a chance at the win.

The Turning Point: Lowrie's sun-aided triple

From the fourth through the eighth, the Red Sox had exactly one baserunner against Seattle pitching.

Then, two outs away from extra innings, Ichiro Suzuki couldn't see Jed Lowrie's sinking liner to right with two outs in the ninth, losing the ball in the strong late-afternoon sun as the ball nicked off his glove and went for a triple. After a groundout by Marco Scutaro, Crawford's single proved the game-winner.

By the Numbers: 2

The win was just the second one-run win of the 2011 season for the Red Sox. The only other came April 22 at Anaheim.

Quote of Note:

"I really need their support right now and I appreciate it.'' -- Carl Crawford on his teammates, who bolted from the dugout and swarmed him after his game-winner.

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

Offseason just like any other for Bogaerts

Offseason just like any other for Bogaerts

BOSTON -- At first, 2016 seemed like the “Year of Xander.” It turned out to be the “Year of Mookie,” with Bogaerts dropping off a little as the season progressed.

The Red Sox shortstop saw his average peak at .359 on June 12. At that point he’d played in 61 games, hit eight home runs, 20 doubles and knocked in 44 runs. Although Mookie Betts had six more home runs and three more RBI in that same span, Bogaerts had six more doubles and was hitting 69 points higher.

The two were already locks for the All-Star Game and Bogaerts still had the edge in early MVP talk.

Then things took a turn after the very day Bogaerts saw his average peak.

Over the next 61 games, Bogaerts still managed seven homers, but only had six doubles and 27 RBI, watching his average drop to .307 by the end of that stretch. At first glance, .307 doesn’t seem like an issue, but he dropped 52 points after hitting .253 in that span.

And in his remaining 35 games, Bogaerts only hit .248 -- although he did have six homers.

But throughout it all, Bogaerts never seemed fazed by it. With pitchers and catchers reporting in less than a month, Bogaerts still isn’t worried about the peaks and valleys.

“You go through it as a player, the only one’s who don’t go through that are the ones not playing,” Bogaerts told CSNNE.com before the Boston baseball writers' dinner Thursday. “I just gotta know you’re going to be playing good for sometime, you’re going to be playing bad for sometime.

“Just try to a lot more better times than bad times. It’s just a matter of trusting yourself, trusting your abilities and never doubting yourself. Obviously, you get a lot of doubts when you’re playing bad, but you just be even keeled with whatever situation is presented.”

Bogaerts level head is something often noted by coaches and his teammates, carrying through the days he finds himself lunging left and right for pitches. That’s also carried him through the offseason while maintaining the same preparation from past seasons -- along with putting on some weight.

“I don’t know how much I put on, but I feel strong,” Bogaerts said to CSNNE.com “I mean, I look strong in the mirror.

“Hopefully, I’m in a good position when the season comes because I know I’ll lose [the weight].”

Sandoval’s offseason transformation doesn't guarantee he's Sox starting third baseman

Sandoval’s offseason transformation doesn't guarantee he's Sox starting third baseman

BOSTON - The weight room, as much as Instagram, has been Pablo Sandoval’s home in the offseason leading up to the 2017 season.

His change in diet and routine have clearly led to visible results, at least in terms of appearance. His play is yet to be determined. But his manager and teammates have taken notice.

“Compliments to Pablo,” John Farrell told reporters before Thursday’s BBWAA dinner. “He’s done a great job with the work that he’s put in, the commitment he’s made. He’s reshaped himself, that’s apparent. He knows there’s work to be done to regain an everyday job at third base. So, we’ll see how that unfolds. We’re not looking for him to be someone he’s not been in the past. Return to that level of performance.”

Farrell noted that Brock Holt and Josh Rutledge are the other two players in contention for time at third base and while others, such as prospect Rafael Devers, may get time there in the spring, those are the only three expected to compete for the job.

“The beauty of last spring is that there’s a note of competition in camp,” Farrell said. “And that was born out of third base last year [when Travis Shaw beat out Sandoval at the third base]. That won’t change.”

Sandoval's 2016 season ended after shoulder surgery in April. 

While the manager has to be cautiously optimistic, Sandoval’s teammates can afford to get their hopes up.

“Pablo is definitely going to bounce back,” Xander Bogaerts told CSNNE.com “Especially with the weight he’s lost and the motivation he has to prove a lot of people wrong, to prove the fans wrong.

“He’s been a great player for his whole career. He’s not a bad player based on one year. Playing in Boston the first year is tough, so, hopefully this year he’ll be better.”

Prior to Sandoval’s abysmal 2015, his first season in Boston, when he hit .245 with 47 RBI in 126 games, the 2012 World Series MVP was a career .294 hitter who averaged 15 home runs and 66 RBI a year.

If Bogaerts is right and Sandoval can be that player again, that will be a huge lift in filling in the gap David Ortiz left in Boston’s offense.