McAdam: Calls go unanswered on road

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McAdam: Calls go unanswered on road

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

OAKLAND, Calif. -- As they have already demonstrated this season, the Red Sox need no help when it comes to losing on the road.

Nonetheless, they may have received some unsolicited contributions from the umpiring crew in the opener of their nine-game road trip Tuesday night, nudging them toward their worst start to a season on the road in franchise history.

It's likely that the Red Sox weren't going to do with much against Oakland A's lefty Brett Anderson, who shut them out for eight innings before turning things over to his bullpen for a scoreless ninth in a 5-0 victory for the A's.

But every time the Sox had opportunities, a break seemed to go against them.

With just one baserunner in the first three innings, the Sox put the leadoff man on in the fourth after a walk to Dustin Pedroia.

Pedroia took off for second with Adrian Gonzalez at bat, hoping to put himself in scoring position. But Anderson whirled and threw to first baseman Daric Barton, who in turn, fired down to shortstop Cliff Pennington to nab Pedroia.

Pedroia was so convinced that Anderson had balked that he could be seen shouting the word on his way to second; manager Terry Francona was so convinced he immediately was ejected by home plate umpire Jim Reynolds.

"The rule is, you can't deceive a baserunner," said Francona. "He went in two different directions. He started to the plate, changed his mind, landed toward the plate . . . For me, it was a balk all the way."

"I don't know, man . . . I don't know," said Pedroia, shaking his head in disbelief after the game. "I thought it was pretty obvious. I think I was yelling mid-run. It's hard to believe they couldn't see that.

"That's upsetting. That should have been a runner on second with Adrian up; instead, Anderson throws a nasty pitch and Adrian strikes out and he keeps rolling. It makes it tough."

Anderson then went on to retire the next nine hitters in succession and 10 of the next 11. The lone runner to reach was Gonzalez in the seventh, who hit a tapper back to the mound that Anderson first bobbled, then threw wildly to first.

Another bizarre call in the eighth, with Oakland holding a slim 1-0 lead, managed to turn against the Sox.

David Ortiz led off with a single to right and gave way to pinch-runner Jacoby Ellsbury. With Mike Cameron at the plate and the count full, Ellsbury took off for second.

Cameron appeared to perhaps check his swing as Ellsbury broke for second, representing the potential tying run. Ellsbury seemed to have beaten the throw, but second-base umpire Andy Fletcher made no call.

After a few seconds, it was ruled that Cameron had interfered with catcher Kurt Suzuki, resulting in a double play, with Ellsbury out at second because of the interference.

"I'm confused a little bit," said Francona, who was watching from his office in the visitor's clubhouse. "When acting manager DeMarlo Hale went out, he asked, 'Whattaya got?' and he was told interference on Cameron . . . Then Hale went out in between innings and he was told by the umpires, 'No, no interference - Fletcher called Ellsbury out on the steal attempt at second.'

"So I'd like to find out what really happened. It was hard for me in here. I never saw a call made at second on the stolen-base attempt. It looked to me like they were covering up a little bit. It looked to me like there was a little bit of ambiguity. Something was not right there.

"Cam came across the plate. But then when Hale went out after the inning, he was told they called Jacoby out on the steal. Which, clearly, he wasn't, and, clearly, they didn't make a call. So I don't know."

The Sox have been shutout in the last 20 road innings. The same offense which averaged six runs per game in the four games against Toronto didn't make the trip West.

"It's a small sample," said Francona of the road woes. "But in a 1-0 game, we needed a break and we didn't get anything."

"It's tough," concluded Pedroia. "But we'll get breaks."

Just not Tuesday night.

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

Farrell: Sandoval could possibly return to Red Sox for postseason

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Farrell: Sandoval could possibly return to Red Sox for postseason

Thought to be lost for the season after shoulder surgery this past spring, Pablo Sandoval could possibly return to the Red Sox for the postseason, Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters Saturday.

Sandoval joined the team in St. Petersburg, where the Red Sox are playing the Tampa Bay Rays. Farrell said Sandoval had played in instructional league games in Florida and was "well ahead of schedule."

He could be an option to be activated if another player is injured. 

“One of the things I put in my mind that I have to work,” Sandoval told Boston Herald. “I learned a lot of things about this surgery so I had to work hard to be on the field as soon as possible.

“There are a lot of things I’ve been doing, working out, doing things so I can get better and better everyday.”

Sandoval, 30, is in the second year of a five-year, $95 contract. He lost his starting third base job to Travis Shaw in spring training and in April an MRI revealed he needed surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder, which was to have ended his season.

He appeared in only three games this season and hit .245 with 10 homers and 47 RBI in 126 games in 2015. 

Saturday's Red Sox-Rays lineups: Porcello goes for 22nd, Holt at 3B

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Saturday's Red Sox-Rays lineups: Porcello goes for 22nd, Holt at 3B

Closing in on the A.L. East title, the Red Sox look to make it 10 wins in a row tonight when they play the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg.

Right hander Rick Porcello (21-4, 3.08 ERA) goes for his 22nd win for the Red Sox, opposed by Rays right-hander Matt Andriese (8-7, 4.41). Porcello is coming off a complete game victory in Baltimore.

The Red Sox began the day with a magic number of four to clinch the A.L. East with eight games to play. They could clinch a wild-card spot tonight with a victory and a Baltimore Orioles loss. 

Brock Holt starts at third base and Chris Young is in left field for Boston.

The lineups:

RED SOX
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Brock Holt 3B
Chris Young LF
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Sandy Leon C
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Rick Porcello RHP 

RAYS
Logan Forsythe 2B
Kevin Kiermaier CF
Evan Longoria 3B
Brad Miller 1B
Corey Dickerson LF
Nick Franklin DH
Mikey Mahtook RF
Alexi Ramirez SS
Curt Casali C
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Matt Andriese RHP