Notes: Crawford bounces back up the order


Notes: Crawford bounces back up the order

By Sean McAdam

CLEVELAND -- For the third time in four games, Carl Crawford is in a different spot in the lineup.

Crawford hit third in the first two games in Texas before being dropped to seventh in the series finale Sunday, responding with a two-hit game.

For Tuesday's opener here at Progressive Field, Crawford is hitting second with Dustin Pedroia third.

"In the big picture, I don't think it matters," said Terry Francona. "I just thought hitting him third the first couple of days, coupled with being new, I thought he was trying to do too much. Maybe this will get him and Jacoby Ellsbury back-to-back, get them on base and let them cause some havoc.

"We may drop him down in the order, at least for while, at least against lefties just to kind of make our batting order look a little better. We'll see. But again, when guys are hitting and kind of get into a groove, that won't matter much. I just think he was trying too hard the first couple of days."

Francona hinted that he might flip-flop Crawford and Pedroia from the second or third spots from time-to-time.

"I don't think it matters," said Francona. "Our batting order might change a little bit early on, depending on who's pitching for them, who we have available, how we're swinging it. I don't think it's as big a deal as people are making it out to be."

Jarrod Saltalamacchia was in the lineup for the fourth straight game. There had been some speculation that Jason Varitek might be in the lineup Tuesday to catch Josh Beckett, with whom he's worked well in the past.

Saltalamacchia is hitless in 10 at-bats through the first three games, but Francona said he wanted to get the young catcher going at the plate.

"I'd like Tek to catch Wednesday night or Thursday afternoon," explained Francona, "one or the other, so if we did it tonight, it wouldn't match up right. He's going to catch one of the two and I'd really like to get Salty going here. He was so over-anxious and swinging it everything. I'd like to get him settled in."

Francona spoke to Saltalamacchia Tuesday and advised him to try to relax.

"It's a long year," he said. "It's human nature. This game can humble you in a minute."

It's possible that Saltalamacchia allowed the poor performance of the starting pitchers in Texas to carry over to his at-bats.

"I think he had a lot on his plate," said Francona. "A lot of balls we were throwing weren't going where we wanted them to. That was a tough couple of days. Any good catcher, I think they take the performance of the pithing staff personally."

Dennys Reyes pitched in each of the first three games of the season, the first Red Sox pitcher to do so since Jeff Gray (April 8-11, 1991).

Sean McAdam can be reached at Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels


Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels:


* “He just had very good command the entire night. Stayed ahead in the count [and] pitched to all quadrants of the strike zone. He used his four-seamer in on some powerful right-handed hitters in their lineup.” John Farrell on Rick Porcello’s performance.

* “We needed a win bad and swung the bats well and played good defense. That’s a big win for us.” Rick Porcello said after his win in an interview with NESN.

* “24 hours ago we were probably in a much different place mentally after a ball game like tonight.” Farrell on the win.

“That was probably the first time I sat on off-speed pitches this whole year. I took a chance, took a gamble.” Jackie Bradley Jr. said on his home run.


* Rick Porcello completed his first game in a Red Sox uniform in the 6-2 win. The CG was the fifth of his career and his first since he threw three in 2014. The righty has 14 wins, one win shy of tying his career high.

* Xander Bogaerts had his first multi extra-base hit performance of the season since June 11. He’s only done that twice this season. He extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

* David Ortiz logged his 85th RBI of the season in the win and Mookie Betts his 67th. Heading into Friday night’s game, the two were one of five pairs of teammates ranking in the top 20 in RBI. The list includes Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Donaldson, Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story, Adam Duvall and Jay Bruce and Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant.

* Dustin Pedroia has now reached base safely in 32 straight games.


1) Rick Porcello

Porcello had his first complete game in a Red Sox uniform, stopping Boston’s losing skid at four games.

2) Xander Bogaerts

Bogaerts finished with a double and a home run -- the only Boston hitter with multiple hits. He also led the Red Sox with three RBI and scoring twice in the win.

3) Dustin Pedroia

In addition to walking in his first two at-bats, Pedroia had a base hit -- and another walk -- scoring twice on the night.

First impressions of the Red Sox' 6-2 win over the Angels


First impressions of the Red Sox' 6-2 win over the Angels

First impressions of the Red Sox 6-2 win over Los Angeles:

Rick Porcello is not fazed by his fellow staff members’ struggles.

Although his teammates continue to deal with frustrations on almost a nightly basis, Porcello got the job done and put Boston in a position to win once again.

The second-inning double by Daniel Nava should have been a single, had Jackie Bradley Jr. not misplayed a funny hop. If that hit is a single, the next ground ball is a double -- and the following grounder ends the inning.

One of the most impressive components of his outing was dealing with Cole Kalhoun, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols to finish his outing after already facing them three times on the night.

Xander Bogaerts had his first multi-hit game in a week.

Which in the grand scheme of things isn’t a long time -- but that can feel like a long time given the shortstop’s output this year.

It was also his first multi extra-base hit performance since June 11.

Oddly enough, those are his only two games of that kind this season.

In addition to the win, Porcello did the bullpen a favor.

Not necessarily because the relievers needed rest, but with Ziegler’s last two rough nights, they could use a break.

Although Joe Kelly and Clay Buchholz got warm late, it was more so to keep them fresh for the coming games since they haven’t thrown much.

Additionally, he gave an example for the Red Sox starting rotation that they are in fact capable of going the distance.

Tim Lincecum is barely a shell of what he used to be.

That first inning was hard to watch. The former Cy Young Award-winner threw eight straight balls, and somehow managed to work past. Even his final throw to first base in he opening frame looked like it was going off the mark.

Just hard to watch in general, which made it all the more shocking that the Red Sox couldn’t score against him.

Good for them that he never adjusted, and they took advantage of it in the ensuing innings.

Merloni: ‘Missed opportunities left and right’ for Red Sox

Merloni: ‘Missed opportunities left and right’ for Red Sox

Lou Merloni talks about the Red Sox losing 6 out of the last 7 games and if David Price should have stayed in the game for the 9th inning.