Notes: Albers, Reyes not sharp before final cuts

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Notes: Albers, Reyes not sharp before final cuts

By SeanMcAdam
CSNNE.com

SARASOTA, Fla. -- While emphasizing that the remaining relievers aren't in a "pitch-off,'' the Red Sox had to be monitoring the work of both Matt Albers and Dennys Reyes against the O's.

Neither was particularly sharp.

Albers walked two and gave up a run. The walks were the first of the spring for Albers, who had previously made eight appearances, covering 11 13 innings without issuing a walk.

"I think I was just overthrowing a hair,'' he said. "I was cutting the ball off just a little bit. I wasn't missing by much. Maybe I was trying to be a little too fine and just missed down a little bit.''

"He's had good life in the strike zone every time he's pitched.'' said Francona. "He's been very consistent. He's done exactly what we hoped he would do.''

Albers knows roster decisions are coming, but by now is accustomed to the process.

"I've been through last-minute roster cuts before,'' said Albers. "The last few years in Baltimore, I didn't find out I made the team until the last couple of days. It's in the back of your head that it's coming up pretty soon, but you try to put that out of your mind and go out there and pitch.''

Reyes walked the first batter he faced, then gave up a single to Brian Roberts before getting a lineout and a double play.

"I started a little rusty because the mound in the bullpen is way too high,'' Reyes said. "I got out to the mound in the field and it felt like I was throwing uphill.''

Like Albers, Reyes is patiently expecting word on his fate.

"I'm waiting,'' he said. "I think I'm ready to go. Hopefully, I make it.''

Francona hinted that the Red Sox could make their final roster cuts Monday.

The Sox have 31 players in camp, though a handful -- including Paul Hoover, Drew Sutton, Nate Spears -- have been told they won't be making the club.

Francona and many of the players will be leaving Fort Myers at 7 a.m. Monday morning for a 2 12-hour bus ride to Dunedin, making it difficult for the manager to meet with players who are being optioned out or releases.

But the Sox want to avoid postponing the cuts until Tuesday morning, hours before the team charters to Houston for an exhibition game en route to Friday's season opener in Arlington, Texas.

The Sox worst-ever spring losing streak stretched to 10 with a 4-3 loss to the Orioles.

J.D. Drew hit a two-run homer in the third and Drew Sutton delivered a run-scoring triple, but the Sox allowed three runs in the botom of the eighth to wipe out a 3-1 lead.

Youre talking to a guy who cheats when hes playing his kids in Monopoly,'' said Francona, "so I want to win. But we wouldnt have brought in minor-league pitcher Santos) Luis who gave up with the winning runs, if it had been a crucial game. You try and do what youre supposed to do, and you always just want to play the game right. I think we would all rather win than lose. I dont think its creating an atmosphere of panic.

Jason Varitek caught Jon Lester in the camp game and went 0-for-3 . . . Lester's pitching line in the camp game: 5 IP, 9 H, 5 R 4 ER, 0 BB, 5 K. 77 pitches, 50 strikes . . . Kevin Youkilis and Carl Crawford will play in a minor-league game there Monday . . . John Lackey will make his final start of the spring in Dunedin agaist the Blue Jays while Jonathan Papelbon and Daniel Bard will pitch in a minor-league game in Fort Myers.

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

Quotes, notes, and stars: "No sign" of Ortiz slowing down

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Quotes, notes, and stars: "No sign" of Ortiz slowing down

Quotes, notes, and stars from the Red Sox' 4-2 win over the Yankees.

QUOTES:

* "He gathered himself and got a little rhythm as the night went along.'' - John Farrell on Henry Owens.

* "That's a rarity for Betances to leave his breaking ball up like he did. Once David saw it up, he attacked.'' - Farrell on David Ortiz's game-winning homer.

* "There's no sign of him slowing down. Tonight is a prime example of it. Key moment, big hit when we need it. There's a long resume there and it's continuing to build.'' - Farrell on Ortiz's ability to deliver in the clutch.

* "There were some mechanical adjustments that I made. I came out a little erratic, trying to do too much, maybe focusing too much. But as game went on, I kind of got into a rhythm.'' - Owens on his start.

* "I saw him throw a lot of breaking pitches to Mookie. The one they hit stayed up a little longer than usual. He's the kind of pitcher that, if you go up there looking for everything he's got, you're done.'' - Ortiz on his game-winning homer off Dellin Betances.

NOTES:

* Over his career, David Ortiz has hit 29 go-ahead homers from the eighth inning on.

* Ortiz has eight homers in his last 24 games against the Yankees.

* The win was the first this season for the Red Sox in a game in which they were tied or trailing after seven innings.

* The Red Sox have won five of their last six and seven of their last 10.

* The Yankees have been limited to three runs or fewer in their last six games.

* In 21 games, the Yankees have faced 10 lefty starters; in 22 games, the Red Sox have faced two.

* Masahiro Tanaka has issued just one walk in his last three starts.

STARS:

1) David Ortiz

With one swing of the bat, Ortiz untied a 2-2 game in the bottom of the eighth with a game-winning two-run homer.

2) Jackie Bradley Jr.

Bradley's penchant for delivering a big hit continued as he rapped a two-run double to left in the seventh to erase a 2-0 Yankee lead.

3) Masahiro Tanaka

He shut the Red Sox for six innings before allowing three hits and two runs in the seventh.

First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-2 win: Ortiz has flair for the dramatic

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First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-2 win: Ortiz has flair for the dramatic

First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-2 win over New York Yankees...

* David Ortiz still has a flair for the dramatic.

Matched against Yankees reliever Dellin Betances, Ortiz cracked a two-run homer into the Monster Seats to snap a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning. Ortiz now has 18 RBI in 23 games -- he didn't start in four of those games - and at 40, remains the one hitter opposing teams want to face with the game on the line.

Before the homer, Ortiz was 0-for-7 against Betances, with four strikeouts.

* All things considered, Henry Owens did OK.

Owens didn't fool anybody. He couldn't command his fastball, and when the Yankees did hit it, they hit it pretty hard. He walked three and hit another. But Owens managed to limit the damage in a big way, allowing just two hits in six innings despite 10 baserunners.

Occasionally, he would get bailed out by his changeup, which seems to be the lone pitch he has that is better than average by major league standards.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. continues to hit when it counts.

Bradley got the Red Sox offense going with a two-run, two-out double off Masahiro Tanaka, when the Sox were down to their final seven outs.

In the last week along, Bradley hit an extra-inning homer; a solo homer that represented the only run of the game; a ninth-inning triple; and Friday's big two-base hit.

That he has 10 RBI from the bottom of the order suggests he can provide some sock from that spot.

* Matt Barnes continues to make strides.

Since allowing a homer to Kevin Kiermaier on the last homestand, Barnes has allowed just one run in his last four appearances, covering 6 1/3 innings, while holding opposing hitters to a .208 batting average (5-for-24).

* The Yankees bullpen gets all the attention, but in relief of Owens, Barnes, Koji Uehara and Craig Kimbrel faced nine hitters and retired them all.

McAdam: Gordon suspension is proof MLB testing works

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McAdam: Gordon suspension is proof MLB testing works

Kevin Millar, John Farrell and Sean McAdam talk about Dee Gordon’s 80-game suspension for PED violations.