Notes: Beckett done in by a couple of pitches

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Notes: Beckett done in by a couple of pitches

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
PHILADELPHIA - For someone who had been felled by the flu and hadn't pitched for 13 days, Josh Beckett didn't pitch horribly Tuesday night.

He made two bad pitches that resulted in four runs, however, and that was way more than Cliff Lee, the opposing starter, needed to beat the Red Sox.

"You can't give that guy two runs in the second inning," said Beckett. "That just lets him go to his whole deal. I've got to battle a little better than that."

Asked if the pitches that Domonic Brown and Shane Victorino smacked for two-run homers were where he wanted him, Beckett, self-effacing as always, cracked: "They were where they wanted them."

Allowing himself some credit, Beckett added: "I felt like I made a couple of nice pitches when I needed to."

Beckett, whose last outing saw him allow just one baserunner in a win over Tampa Bay, "just didn't feel as strong," said Terry Francona. "But I thought he felt like he had to pitch and I thought he did. But the two pitches, that's four runs."

"He made two mistakes," agreed catcher Jason Varitek, "and they got us for two big home runs. Other than that, I thought he did a real good job of trying to get himself back on the mound."

Bobby Jenks and Franklin Morales, both fresh off the disabled list, got an inning each of work Tuesday.

In the eighth, Jenks, activated after missing a few weeks with a strained intercostal, allowed an infield hit and a walk, but also struck out two.

Jenks made a one-inning appearance for Portland (Double A) over the weekend and was eager to contribute after having his first season in Boston interrupted twice by injury twice in the first three months.

"I'm just excited to be back," said Jenks. "I think I might be the most frustrated one here. When I came back from the DL the first time, I was throwing the ball extremely well and then this happened.

"Nobody could be more frustrated than I am or more happy to be back. Hopefully, this will be the last time (he's sidelined with an ailment) and I can just roll into September and the playoffs extremely happy."

Asked how he was dealing with the frustration, Jenks joked: "Lots of Nicorette gum."

To make room for Jenks, the Sox sent Scott Atchison back to Pawtucket.

Morales looked sharp in the seventh inning, getting a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts.

The Red Sox swapped out lefty Tommy Hottovy for lefty Morales, who had been on the DL with elbow inflammation.

Outfielder Carl Crawford tested his pulled hamstring by running six 90-feet sprints at about half-speed.

Crawford is eligible to come off the DL Sunday in his hometown of Houston, but that looks like a long shot.

Francona had Darnell McDonald hitting fifth, despite the fact that the outfielder was hitting just .103 with a homer and three RBI.

"We thought about moving (Jason Varitek) up one," said Francona. "I thought about a few things, but I didn't think there
was a better lineup."

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

Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

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Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

BOSTON -- “I didn’t feel that love after I made a pitching change in the sixth inning,” Terry Francona said after a 45-second standing ovation from Boston fans upon receiving the MLB Manager of the Year award from the BBWAA Thursday.

It’s without question the love for Francona runs deep in the city. Why wouldn’t it? He was the leader in breaking the 86-year old curse, and wound up winning another World Series title for Boston three years later.

Actually, he was more of a co-leader, working alongside the same person who won the MLB Executive of the Year honors from the BBWAA for 2016.

Theo Epstein -- who received an ovation 17 seconds shorter than Francona, but who’s counting -- reminisced about the Red Sox ownership group that took a chance on a young kid who wasn’t necessarily the ideal candidate to take over as GM of a team, but now that’s helped him build the Chicago Cubs into a winning franchise and establish a great working environment.

This October marks 13 years since the ’04 championship, 10 years since ’07 and six years since the pair left Boston. Without question they’ve left their mark on the city and forever changed Red Sox baseball.

And while the fans showed their undying gratitude for Francona with an ovation almost as long as his acceptance speech, the Indians manager recognized the favor the current Red Sox brass has done for him.

“I’d like to thank Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox for getting Chris Sale the hell out of the Central Division,” Francona said.

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].”