Notes: Francona squashes Jenks-Guillen beef

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Notes: Francona squashes Jenks-Guillen beef

By SeanMcAdam and MaureenMullen
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Before the Bobby Jenks-Ozzie Guillen flareup spun completely out of control, the Red Sox and White Sox brokered a verbal cease fire Sunday morning.

Terry Francona, who had been in communication with White Sox bench coach Joey Cora earlier in the week, spoke with Guillen about calling a truce between the Chicago manager and new Red Sox reliever.

Jenks appeared to re-ignite things last week when he told the Chicago Tribune that the relationship between White Sox GM Kenny Williams and Guillen was a "distraction'' to White Sox players. Guillen returned fire Saturday and warned that his son, Oney, had more damaging information to tweet about Jenks if the reliever persisted.

Francona called Jenks into his office and advised the pitcher to drop the war of words.

"That's over,'' said Francona said of the controversy. "I spoke to Bobby and I went back and forth with Ozzie (via text). I'm confident that will be over. I dont care if they like each other, but Bobbys a Red Sox and we have to move on. I think he understands that.

"We're just making sure it goes away. It doesn't need to happen. He played for the White Sox and now he plays for the Red Sox.''

Jenks added: "It is what it is. At this point, you know, Im tired of it. I just want to move on. Im a Red Sox now, and thats all Im going to worry about. From this point on, Ive got nothing else to say. Guillen's going to have his say. Whatever. I'm a Red Sox and that's all that matters.

The Sox were set to defend their four-year streak as winners of the Mayor's Cup, awarded each spring to the winner of the spring series between Fort Myers' two teams: the Red Sox and Twins.

Francona jokingly observed that Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire had moved up Sunday's starter Carl Pavano to open the series, then noted that the Sox were using two of their own five starters: Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz.

Reminded that the Sox had won the last four Cups, Francona said: "It's hard not to be arrogant.''

Francona noted that the Sox will face the Twins three days in a row -- Sunday night, Monday and Tuesday afternoon. That represents three of the five games between the two this month.

"There's a lot of anxiety,'' said of the games at the start of the Grapefruit League schedule. "It's like facing the Yankees on Opening Day -- it's too much, too soon.''

Newcomer Dennys Reyes, who arrived in camp Saturday after a delay caused by visa issues, threw a 32-pitch side session, which impressed pitching coach Curt Young.

"Curt was ecstatic,'' said Francona. "Reyes will face hitters on the back field Tuesday. Young said he was really pleased with how game-ready Reyes looks. He had no qualms about letting him face hitters.''

In his 16-season career, Mike Cameron has stolen 296 bases. Limited to just 48 games last season with a lower abdominal strain, he went without a stolen base for the first time since 1996, when he appeared in just 11 games for the White Sox.

Sunday against the Twins, he wasted little time demonstrating that he is healthy.

In the second inning, his ground ball to Twins second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioka forced Kevin Youkilis at second base, with Cameron avoiding a double play. With Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the next batter, at the plate, Cameron stole second base.

I thought that was the exciting part of the night, Francona said. Cam runs down the line, his stride looks good, that was the most exciting thing of the night for me.

Hideki Okajima had a difficult outing, giving up three consecutive singles before a bases-clearing triple. He went one inning, giving up four runs on five hits with two strikeouts.

Oki had a couple grounders and then the flare into center, Francona said. And then he tried to sneak a fastball with the bases loaded and it clears the bases.

Every time it seemed like we got in trouble, balls were elevated in the middle of the plate, which is what happens.

Darnell McDonald, playing left field, nearly caught Jason Repkos second-inning triple, which scored Chris Parmelee with the first Twins run. McDonald crashed into the wall, the ball glancing off his glove.

Lars Anderson and Mark Wagner both hit solo home runs.

Brandon Duckworth gave up two runs on three hits in the eighth.

The Sox and Twins play again Monday, the second of their three straight games. The Twins now have a one-game lead in the five-game Mayors Cup series. Francona joked if they lose Monday, hell consider bringing Beckett back on Tuesday.

Dustin Pedroia, who made his exhibition debut Saturday, was not in the lineup last night, but said he felt "great . . . everything's fine,'' the day after his first spring appearance.

The Sox are likely to have their starting outfield -- left fielder Carl Crawford, center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury and right fielder J.D. Drew -- on the field Monday against Minnesota.

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

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen

Quotes, notes and stars: Wright "today was tough"

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Quotes, notes and stars: Wright "today was tough"

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 10-3 loss to the Rangers:

 

QUOTES

* “On a night when he didn’t have the consistency to the knuckleball that we’ve seen from many of his starts, he went to his fastball a little bit more. [Against] a good fastball hitting team . . . He’s typically made good adjustments staying over the rubber to get his release point out front -- that wasn’t the case [tonight].” John Farrell said about Steven Wright struggling with his knuckleball in his 4.2 inning outing.

* “The ball was spinning a lot out of my hand. It was a little bit hard to grip the ball because the humidity. But it was the opposite -- it was real sticky. That’s the first time I’ve had that ever. But I still felt like I should have figured that out. It was one of those things where I think I started trying to hard . . . I was trying to the throw the kitchen sink at them but it wasn’t working.” Steven Wright said about struggling to find his knuckleball in the 10-3 loss.

* “It’s hard for me because you want to go out there and try and go as deep as you can to try to help the bullpen, but, you know, today was tough, a tough day for me.” Wright said on his disappointment with only going 4.2 innings.

 

 

NOTES

 

* Hanley Ramirez laced his fourth homerun in his last 11 games. In his nine career games at Texas, Ramirez has six homeruns.

* David Ortiz went hitless for the first time since June 12th. Boston’s designated hitter also hasn’t hit a home run since June 17th -- his third longest homerless spell of 2016.

* Xander Bogaerts scored his 57th run of the season, putting him one run behind Ian Kinsler -- the fourth highest total in the majors.

 

 

STARS

 

1) Adrian Beltre

The ex-Red Sox third baseman finished 2-for-4 with an RBI, a walk -- scoring the team high three runs.

 

2) Ian Desmond

Desmond laced his 13th homer of the season in his second at-bat of the game, sparking Texas’ offense with its first run of the game.

 

3) Elvis Andrus

Andrus ended Steven Wright’s day quickly with a three-run triple in the fifth inning, finishing 1-for-2 with two walks and a run.

First Impressions from Boston's 10-3 loss to Texas

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First Impressions from Boston's 10-3 loss to Texas

First impressions of the Red Sox 10-3 loss to Texas:

 

Steven Wright can’t be stellar every night.

Although it’s seemed like it lately, it’s just not possible -- especially with a knuckleball.

He wasn’t even that bad Saturday night. He just didn’t get any help from his defense in the fifth frame.

But there’s no denying he didn’t have his best stuff. But whatever the reason, he couldn’t find consistent command or movement from his knuckler and he gave up some hard hits as a result.

Did he receive a fate worse than he pitched? Yes. But what Boston saw from Wright in his Saturday start is there will be times his go-to pitch is off -- and there’s really no way to work around that.

 

Hanley Ramirez’s “timing issue” seems to be coming around.

Although he hasn’t necessarily caught fire, Ramirez hit another home run -- once again to right field.

He’s shown more patience at the plate, and not trying to pull every ball out of the yard.

Ramirez doesn’t have everything completely figured out, but his homeruns have been plenty valuable at this point.

 

Ian Desmond is no joke.

The newly converted centerfielder is 5-for-10 against Boston pitching this series with a run and two RBI.

The ex-Nationals shortstop has good pop and good speed still. He seems to be a lot more comfortable in his new home after hitting .233 for Washington last year with 19 homeruns -- hitting his 13th Saturday night.

 

For all the criticisms Boston’s bullpen has received, the Rangers’ is definitely worse.

Although there wasn’t the same miraculous comeback witnessed Friday night -- and Boston’s pen wasn’t particularly stellar in the loss -- the Ranger relievers did not look good in the second game of the series.

They put themselves into deep counts right away -- and was lucky Boston’s offense was off.

Boston’s bullpen has its faults -- no question -- but it’s not nearly as bad as the one in Texas.

 

The Red Sox unfortunately have to rely on Clay Buchholz Sunday.

The bullpen is beaten down once again. The righty is still fighting for his job, so this would be the best time for him to pitch competitively into the sixth inning -- and maybe even longer.

Saturday's Red Sox-Rangers lineups: Wright tries to stay on roll

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Saturday's Red Sox-Rangers lineups: Wright tries to stay on roll

Knuckleballer Steven Wright will try to stay on a roll, as will the Red Sox, as they continue their three-game series tonight (9:20) against the Rangers in Arlington, Texas.

Wright (8-4, American League-leading 2.01 ERA) faces Rangers right-hander A.J. Griffin (3-0, 2.94), in his first start since coming off the 15-day disabled list.

The Red Sox rallied to win the series opener 8-7 with a four-run ninth inning.

The lineups:

RED SOX
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Travis Shaw 3B
Bryce Brentz LF
Christian Vazquez C
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Steven Wright RHP

RANGERS
Shin-Soo Choo RF
Ian Desmond CF
Nomar Mazara LF
Adrian Beltre 3B
Prince Fielder DH
Roughned Odor 2B
Elvis Andrus SS
Mitch Moreland 1B
Robinson Chirinos C
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A.J. Griffin RHP