Notes: Crawford not frustrated by slump

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Notes: Crawford not frustrated by slump

By MaureenMullen
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- Like everyone else, Carl Crawford -- who went 0-for-3 in the Red Sox' 3-2 loss to the Rays Tuesday night, dropping his average to .152 -- is surprised by the Red Sox' slow start.

Yes its a little shocking," he said. "We definitely didn't think wed be in this position right now, but since we are we just got to do what we have to do to get back on top.

In this situation its such a surprise that you didn't expect it so you worry about it a little bit. But we know its still uphill battle and were going keep working and try to get to the point where were winning games again.

Frustration, though, has not set in yet.

Not really, he said. Not as much as you would think. Theres a lot of guys in here that really care about whats going on and we understand what kind of team we have. We know its going to be an uphill battle but guys are up for the challenge.

For the fourth time in 11 games this year, the Red Sox failed to get more than five hits or two runs.

This is the only fourth time in their history that the Sox have started 2-9. The other seasons: 1996, 1927, and 1925.

After Tuesdays loss to the Rays, the Red Sox fell to 7-for-52 (.135) with runners in scoring position.

I think were struggling outside of just runners in scoring position, Jason Varitek said. I think guys are taking better at-bats, hitting balls hard. Take Monday night. Kevin Youkilis lined out three times and then he finally found a way to get one in. Those things can make a difference between somebody getting it going and for those things I believe they will.

Darnell McDonalds first hit of the season was a solo home run leading off the third inning. It is the second season in a row that his first hit was a home run. Last year he did so in his first at-bat.

Kevin Youkilis started as the designated hitter for the first time in his career, in his 802nd career game. Since Youkilis first career game, May 14, 2004, 21 other players have served as the Sox DH. He was also hit by a pitch for the 69th time in his career, by David Price in the eighth inning. He is two HBPs shy of Mo Vaughns team record.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia's wife delivered their third child at 6:23 Tuesdaymorning. The baby (to be named later) is the third girl for thecouple, weighing in at 8 pounds, 4 ounces, and 20 inches long.Saltalamacchia said his wife and daughter are fine, but he was prettytired after a night of no sleep and sat out Tuesday night's game.

Salty knew he'd be off Tuesday two days ago,Terry Francona said. His wife had the baby and he had his hands full. Heknew going in he wasnt going to catch tonight."

Francona had not had a chance to check in with Daisuke Matsuzaka afterthe right-handers disastrous outing Mondaynight.

I didn't see him yet, he said.Pitching coach Curt Young will talk to the pitchers every day. Thehard thing for me is I can't have a casual conversation with Dice. Itseasy to have one with anybody. John Lackey walks into the clubhouseor Jon Lester or whoever. You can't do that with Dice-K besidessaying hello. Thats frustrating. That doesnt mean he can't pitch butits hard to have that casual conversation where you can ask, Hey,what are you thinking? Everything has to go through atranslator.

Francona said Matsuzaka has beenworking on his English.

Hes done a good job,Francona said. Hes done a real good job. Its not like Spanish toEnglish where we could all pick a word and kind of fake your waythrough it a little bit. This is a completely different . . . No, hesactually done a real good job. And around the field especially theresa lot that he can understand, which reallyhelps.

He understands. He knows whats goingon.

Francona said Matsuzakas latest outing wouldnot change the managers perspective.

He had ahorrendous second inning. Francona said. I think if we do do thingslike that well set ourselves up for some really bad mistakes. It wastough to watch. But if you make decisions based on emotions and after abad start, we wouldnt have a team left. You cant dothat.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen

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.”