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: Pedroia was focused on winning, not streak

Quotes, notes and stars: Pedroia was focused on winning, not streak

BOSTON -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 8-3 win over the Royals:

QUOTES

“I hadn’t really thought about it. Trying to win games. It’s late in the year . . . I don’t really have time to sit back and pat myself on the back for anything. We’re trying to win as a team.” - Dustin Pedroia on the importance of the 11-for-11 stretch in his career.

“It’s fun. It’s why you go to work in December, January, February. It’s all the work you put in up to this point. It feels good to go out there and get the results you expect to get, especially against a team like [the Royals] who is hot as they are right now.” - David Price on pitching meaningful games with a playoff-like atmosphere.

“Yeah, yeah we [knew about the streak] . . .  It was an awesome roll and it was fun to see . . . Every time I went up to hit, I let Salvador Perez know.” - Xander Bogaerts on Dustin Pedroia’s 11-for-11 streak.

“I think we’ve been able to handle velocity very well. We’ve got good bat-speed in out lineup, and we’re able to handle that.” - John Farrell on the offense thriving against good pitching.

 

NOTES

* David Ortiz played in his 1,000th game at Fenway Park, becoming the fifth player to do so.

* Ortiz also became the first player ever to play 2,000 games as the designated hitter.

* Mookie Betts scored his 100th run of the season off his 29th home run of the year, joining Fred Lynn, Johnny Pesky and Ted Williams as the only players to reach 100 runs before turning 24.

* The Red Sox hit back-to-back home runs for the fourth time this season with Betts and Hanley Ramirez going yard in the fifth.

* With his 2-for-4 day at the plate, Jackie Bradley Jr. improved to 34-for-94 (.362) batting ninth.

 

STARS

1) Dustin Pedroia

Pedroia finished 4-for-5, extending his streak to 11 hits in 11 at-bats, finishing one shy of tying the MLB record.

2) David Price

Price logged his fourth straight quality start with his six-inning, two-run start. He also dropped his ERA below 4.00 for the first time since his Opening Day start with Boston.

3) Salvador Perez

Perez finished 2-for-3 with two home runs. Saturday marked only the second multi-home run game of his career.

First impressions: Price, Pedroia lead Red Sox to 8-3 win over Royals

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First impressions: Price, Pedroia lead Red Sox to 8-3 win over Royals

BOSTON -- First impressions from the Red Sox 8-3 win over the Kansas City Royals:

 

David Price has found a groove.

Price finally brought his ERA below 4.00.

He’d been about that mark since his second start of the season. Twenty-six starts later, he finally reached the mark.

Saturday’s start marked Price’s fourth-straight quality start. Price will soon eclipse the 200-strikeout, reaching 186 K’s with his seven-strikeout performance.

Although the lefty hasn’t been at his best throughout much of the year, he’s caught fire of late.

Possibly at the most important part of the season, too.

 

Dustin Pedroia just missed making history, can’t buy an out.

Boston’s second baseman entered Saturday with seven hits in his last seven at-bats. He stretched that streak to 11-for-11 with a 4-for-4 game.

He had the chance to go 12-for-12 in the eighth, but weakly grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.

He’s also the first Red Sox player with three straight four-hit games at Fenway Park since 1913.

Boston’s second baseman continues to prove that his struggles in recent years were directly related to injuries, not diminishing performance.

 

The offense passed a big test.

It might’ve appeared that Danny Duffy was a middle-of-the-road pitcher with the way Red Sox hitters tattooed him in Saturday’s win.

But the right only had one loss in 19 starts, with a 2.66 ERA (2.61 as a starter).

Between the long balls and Dustin Pedroia’s incessant ways of late, they ballooned his ERA to 3.01.

A respectable number, still, but a jump of nearly a half of a run.

 

Sandy Leon’s in a minor cold spell.

Possibly the greatest story of Boston’s 2016 offense, Leon hasn’t had too many struggles along the way.

But after finishing 0-for-4 Saturday night, he’s only 2-for-21 (.095) in his last five games.

Saturday also marked only the third time all season where he was held hitless in back-to-back games.

These things happen to everyone, but it was starting to look like Leon didn’t fall under the category of “everyone.”