Notes: Bullpen falls flat, rested for Yankees series

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Notes: Bullpen falls flat, rested for Yankees series

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Follow @dannypicard

BOSTON Red Sox manager Terry Francona said that entering the sixth inning, with Erik Bedard out of the game, and left-handed reliever Franklin Morales coming in to face the big lefty Travis Hafner, the team was feeling pretty good.

That feeling didnt last long, as Hafner scorched a double off the top of the wall in deep center field. On the very next pitch, Carlos Santana blasted a go-ahead two-run home run over the center-field wall to give the Cleveland Indians a 5-3 lead which they never lost in their 7-3 win over the Red Sox on Thursday night at Fenway Park.

Morales picked up his first loss of the season while recording only one out, but after Alfredo Aceves got two outs in the sixth to end the inning, the Red Sox were able to use Andrew Miller for 2.2 innings.

Those 2.2 innings werent great innings by any means, as Miller allowed two more runs. But if Boston takes anything positive out of its bullpen experience on Thursday night, its that Millers 71 pitches saved the rest of the arms for the weekend series against New York.

A lot of pitches, said Francona on Millers relief appearance. The one good thing is that he kept our bullpen in order. We didnt use Aceves very much. We didnt go to Albers, we didnt go to Pap, we didnt go to Bard. So we go into the weekend against New York kind of caught up.

Its trying to pound the strike zone with his stuff. When he does that consistently, theres a lot to like about him.

Jacoby Ellsbury was the only Red Sox player to have a multi-hit night on Thursday. He finished the game 2-for-3 with a walk, a strikeout, and a run scored. Ellsbury has now reached base safely in each of his last 17 games.

Speaking of streaks, Adrian Gonzalez extended his season-high hit streak to 14 games, going 1-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.

Meanwhile, Dustin Pedroia snapped his 25-game Fenway park hit streak with an 0-for-4 night.

He said after the game that it had nothing to do with the apparent shoulder injury he suffered in the third inning, as Jason Kipnis went in on him hard at second base to break up a double play.

Pedroia was slow to get up, forcing Francona to run out. But Pedroia stayed in the game, and afterwards said, Ya Im alright. I just landed on my shoulder. Im alright.

Thursday nights paid attendance of 38,477 was the largest at Fenway Park in the post-World War II era.

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

After strong bullpen session, Koji Uehara could be back by Labor Day

After strong bullpen session, Koji Uehara could be back by Labor Day

BOSTON - For a bullpen that could use all the help it can get right now, there's the prospect that Koji Uehara could rejoin the Red Sox on Labor Day.

Uehara, who's been out since July 20 with a strained pectoral muscle, threw a bullpen Monday at Fenway that impressed John Farrell.

"He came out of today's work session in good fashion,'' said Farrell. "It was 25 pitches to hitters with good intensity to both his fastball and split. It's been impressive to see how he's handled the volume, and now, three times on the mound, the intensity to his bullpens and BP.''

Next up for Uehara will be a bullpen session Wednesday morning, followed by a live batting practice session Saturday in Oakland.

Since both Pawtucket's and Portland's seasons are over on Labor Day, Uehara won't have the option of going on a rehab assignment to face hitters before being activated.

But the Sox believe that he can build arm strength through these side sessions and BP sessions -- enough so that he could return to the active roster soon.

"We'll re-assess where is after Sunday,'' said Farrell, "and I wouldn't rule out activation [after that]. What we've done with Koji is just review how he feels after each session and we'll take it from there.''

Uehara, 41, is 2-3 with a 4.50 ERA, and while he's had a propensity for giving up homers (eight in just 36 innings), he had been throwing better before being injured.

And given the performance of the bullpen in general and the recent poor showings from Matt Barnes, the Sox would welcome Uehara back as soon as he's ready.

"The one thing that Koji has proven to us,'' noted Farrell, "is that, even with limited spring training work [in the past], he's been a very effective pitcher for us and obviously, he has a chance to make a very positive impact once he does return.''

Uehara's progress since late July has been a pleasant surprise for the Sox, who feared at the time of the injury that he might be done for the season.     

"To his credit,'' said Farrell, "he's worked his tail off and advanced fairly rapidly and he's withstanding the intensity that he's put into [the work]. A healthy Koji certainly adds to our bullpen.

 

Red Sox among ‘roughly half’ of MLB who’ll attend Tebow workout Tuesday

Red Sox among ‘roughly half’ of MLB who’ll attend Tebow workout Tuesday

Maybe Tim Tebow could be the eighth-inning guy? 

OK, OK. Maybe not. Still, the Red Sox will be among the “roughly half” of the MLB teams who will attend the former Heisman Trophy winner and Patriots’ 2013 training camp phenomenon’s baseball tryout on Tuesday in Los Angeles.

Tebow is 29 and hasn’t played organized baseball since he was a junior in high school. He was an All-State performer in Florida back then.

Based on his accuracy and mechanics throwing a football, maybe DH would suit Tebow better than the mound.