Notes: Ellsbury scorching hot in June


Notes: Ellsbury scorching hot in June

By SeanMcAdam Red SoxInsider Follow @sean_mcadam
TORONTO -- Jacoby Ellsbury was already having a fine season for the Red Sox -- reaching base regularly, leading the league in stolen bases and helping to ignite the Red Sox offense.

Then came the month of June. And now Ellsbury has taken his game to another gear, another level.

Friday night, in the Red Sox' 5-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays, Ellsbury had three hits and three runs scored while extending his hitting streak to seven straight.

In the month of June, Ellsbury is 17-for-38 (.447) and in eight games, has scored nine runs and stolen six bases.

"He's stealing bases, running . . . '' said Terry Francona. "We've talked about it. When he's going in that leadoff spot, we're a different team.''

Unsurprisingly, the Red Sox have gone 7-1 in those eight games with Ellsbury leading the offense.

He's hitting .316 for the season and on-base percentage of .374.

And thanks to his team-best 21 doubles and seven homers -- good enough for third on the Sox, behind only sluggers Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz -- Ellsbury's slugging .482, giving him an impresssive .857 OPS.

Dustin Pedroia rejoined the Red Sox Friday and was immediately inserted back in the lineup, a day after a procedure revealed that there's nothing more wrong with his ailing right knee that a deep bruise.

"The safe thing to do was to go in there and let Dr. Gill see it,'' said Pedroia. "It's been bugging me for a while, so as long as I continue to play and just deal with it, that's good, I guess.

"The biggest thing was to make sure I'm okay right now and he said I am, so I'll play.''

Pedroia said "the pounding'' of the knee has made things worse, but he'll continue to ice it and get treatment.

"I landed awkwardly one time,'' he said, "and it kept bugging me. But I'll figure it out.''

The infielder said it's unlikely occasional rest is going to help much.

"I like playing, I like being out there,'' he said. "If I'm hurting, I'll be smart and go tell Francona.''

"He plays . . . that's what he does,'' said Francona. "I wouldn't look for him to have too many days off.''

Pedroia said he doesn't necessarily get any benefits from a day off.

"One day is really not going to help,'' he said. "I actually feel better when I don't have a day off. I guess I get some blood flow in there. That's why I don't really like taking days off.''

Pedroia is hitting just .247 and said earlier in the week that he sometimes finds it difficult to achieve the proper balance in the batter's box, what with his surgically-repaired left foot and the sore right knee.

"I've been driving the ball,'' he said, ''but it's been in the middle of the field. That's the part that's been tough. Instead of pulling it or hitting the ball to right-center. That will change.''

Nor is Pedroia concerned over the prospect of playing the next six games on artificial turf surfaces -- three at Rogers Centre and three at Tropicana Field at St. Petersburg.

"I actually feel better on turf,'' said Pedroia. "Turf doesn't bother me. I don't weigh that much.''

"I'm sure he'll relax a little bit more now,'' said Francona. "He still has pain in his knee, but he knows now that he's not going to hurt himself.''

By his own admission, Jarrod Saltalamacchia doesn't yet feel 100 percent after spending Wednesday night in a New York hospital thanks to either food poisoning or a stomach infection.

But he felt good enough to be back in the lineup Friday.

"Usually I get real sick once a year,'' said Saltalamacchia, "but that was by far the worst.''

"As long as he can play Friday,'' said Francona, "that helps us because Jason Varitek can come back and catch Saturday. He might not be his most energetic self, but sometimes, you've got to play.''

Francona wasn't willing to commit to Tim Wakefield permanently taking Daisuke Matsuzaka's spot in the rotation, but it certainly seems like the spot is Wakefield's for now.

Last week, Francona had said the team might alternate Wakefield and Alfredo Aceves in that spot, depending on opponent and other factors, but Aceves' fine work in the bullpen, finishing games with multiple innings twice, may have changed his perspective.

"For now, Wake starts Tuesday,'' said Francona. "Wake's been throwing the ball pretty well. So has Aceves. But with Wake throwing the ball pretty well as a starter, I think Aceves can be a little bit more valuable . . . he does so many things out of the bullpen, maybe we can maximize both guys better.''

The team said Daisuke Matsuzaka underwent successful Tommy John surgery Friday, with Dr. Lewis Yocum performing the procedure.

Rich Hill, who underwent the same procedure Thursday in Pensacola, Fl., texted Francona Friday and said he was doing fine.

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

Britton: Red Sox don't have anyone else to call up and pitch

Britton: Red Sox don't have anyone else to call up and pitch

Tim Britton of the Providence Journal joins Michael Felger on Sports Tonight to discuss another poor outing by Eduardo Rodriguez and what other options the Red Sox have at pitcher.

Quotes, notes and stars: E-Rod, Red Sox 'capable of more'

Quotes, notes and stars: E-Rod, Red Sox 'capable of more'

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 13-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays: 



"The bottom line is, he's capable of more, we're capable of more. We need to get better and we had a chance to share that after the game here tonight. We collectively have to get better.'' - John Farrell on Eduardo Rodriguez and the rest of the Red Sox.

"We can't continue to expect our offense to climb out of holes, as we've been. We've got to set the tone and lead the way from the mound more than we are.'' - Farrell on falling behind early.

"Yeah, I think guys are playing hard. I mean, hell, our shortstop ran a 3.9 down the line in the ninth inning, down seven runs - then went first-to-third. So, yeah, that was pretty cool.'' - Dustin Pedroia, asked whether he was satisfied with the effort of the club.

"Do you honestly think I'm going to tell you that? I was talking to him about baseball. That's basically it. I talk to all my teammates every day.'' - Pedroia, when asked what he said in a mound visit with Rodriguez.



* The 13 runs allowed by the Red Sox tied a season-high and the 18 hits were the most they've given up this season.

* The Red Sox have been outscored 22-0 in the first innings of their last 15 games.

* The Sox dropped to 4 1/2 games back in the American League East, their biggest deficit of the season.

* On the current road trip, Red Sox starters have combined for a 13.20 ERA.

* Boston has allowed first-inning runs in six of their last eight games.

* David Ortiz collected his 1,703rd RBI, passing Reggie Jackson and moving into 24th place all-time.

* Sandy Leon (two-run homer) has five extra-base hits in 29 at-bats this season. Last year, he had two in 114 at-bats.

* Bryce Brentz had his first three-hit game, first multi-RBI game and first multi-extra-base hit game of his career.



1) Nick Franklin

Franklin, making just his second start of the season, had a career-high five RBI with three hits, including his first homer since last Sept. 15.

2) Logan Forsythe

From the leadoff position, Forsythe banged out three hits, knocked in three runs and scored two to pace the Tampa Bay offense.

3) Evan Longoria

It wouldn't be a series between these two teams without Longoria doing some major damage. The veteran third baseman had three hits and two runs scored as part of the conga line that was the Rays lineup.