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

New season, new pitcher, new persona: The evolution of Rick Porcello

New season, new pitcher, new persona: The evolution of Rick Porcello

BOSTON -- Just over a year ago, Rick Porcello made his return from the 15-day disabled list, and the righty's not only been a new pitcher, but a new person at times.

“Pretty Ricky” is still the mild-mannered, well-spoken pitcher off the field, but between the white lines the 27-year-old's unexpectedly shown a gritty side of late.

Part of his alter ego is his sweat-crowned cap that's helped him find a way into Red Sox Nation’s heart by indirectly paying homage to Trot Nixon, one of Boston’s most hard-nosed players in recent history.

“I don’t know how that happens,” Porcello said bewildered by his unsightly, yet lucky hat. “It’s disgusting. Trust me, I don’t even want to put it on.

“I wear the same hat throughout the course of the season if things are going well, and if they’re not I change it out.”

His hat is one of the more glaring changes to the 2016 version of Rick Porcello -- given the contradiction with his nickname. But what’s also come to surface with his Cy Young-caliber pitching is his toughness.

And we’re not talking about his ability to get out of jams -- although that’s been the case too. We’re talking about his frustration every time he gets pulled in the middle of an inning, and, even more so, chirping at opposing players -- like he did Chase Headley, giving some life to the Red Sox-Yankee rivalry that’s been in a lull the last few seasons.

“I’m not really sure why I did it [to Headley] and in Detroit,” Porcello said his recent change in behavior. “I don’t like to be vocal like that. I like to just try to go out there and do my job. That’s really it. I’m not a guy that screams at guys on the mound.

“But I think there are times, when, if you feel strongly about something that’s going on, then you need to speak up instead of just letting it continue. That’s all that was.”

If you haven’t heard Rick Porcello in the postgame interview following his starts, those reactions on the mound aren't something anyone would expect from him. He’s always one to take his time articulating his points in detail -- far from some of the shoot-from-the-hip players Boston’s had in the past.

“I don’t think that’s really indicative of my personality or anything like that,” the righty said on his changing mound presence. “I mean, when I’m between the lines, I’m definitely not trying to make friends with the other team. I’m trying to beat ‘em. That’s really all I care about, is us winning games. If I feel like they’re doing something to alter that -- and it’s not right -- then I’ll say something. But I don’t fell like I’m running around like a hothead just screaming at everybody.

“It’s a little bit different when you’re between the lines and you’re competing. We’re in a race right now. You’re emotions are going to be running high. Certain things at certain levels that you get to on the field you don’t get to in any other aspect in your life. Whether it’s the adrenaline or just the emotion that comes through, those sorts of things. I think a lot of guys when they’re competing and they get into that moment, they turn into a bit of different person or a different animal. That’s all that is.”

The Cy Young candidate also mentioned the recent outbursts were more situation-based, rather than results of playing both Boston’s greatest rival or his old team.

While it’s made his already impressive starts even more entertaining, Porcello doesn’t want his competitiveness to mistaken for disrespect towards the game or his opponents. But he intends to get the message across that he’s not only passionate about winning, but will speak up if he deems it necessary.

“It’s a fine line between being composed and when something goes down then you say what you need to say or you’re just running around like a hothead,” Porcello said. “I definitely don’t want to be the latter. But I’m passionate about what we’re doing and I’m passionate about our team and winning. Anything can happen when you’re out there and those things are at stake.”

Nick Friar can be followed on Twitter @ngfriar

Quotes, notes and stars: Barnes takes the blame in loss

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Quotes, notes and stars: Barnes takes the blame in loss

BOSTON -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 10-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals:

QUOTES

“That one’s one me. I’ve got to do a better job of securing that lead and getting out of that inning.” - Matt Barnes on giving up the lead.

“When he tries to go down and away to right-handers, the ball’s leaking back to the middle a bit. That was the case against [Lorenzo] Cain [and Raul] Mondesi in this case tonight. It’s on the plate first pitch, bases loaded he’s trying to get a strike to get ahead. But in general, Barnes has pitched to the edge at times and missed, and then when he’s on the plate it’s probably found the middle of the plate a bit too much.” - John Farrell on Barnes’ outing.

“I think everybody in that bullpen believes in every single person down there.” - Barnes said on the bullpen.

“It was good, everything was good . . . Just the fastball command was a little out of control.” - Eduardo Rodriguez on his left hamstring and his performance.

 

NOTES

* David Ortiz launched his 31st home run of the season, which also marked the 534th of his career, tying Jimmie Foxx for 18th on the all-time home run chart.

* Mookie Betts recorded his Major League-leading 56th multi-hit game of the season.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. finished 1-for-2, bumping his average to .317 (77-for-243) at Fenway this season.

* The Red Sox grounded into four double plays, tying their season high on 6/12 against Minnesota.

* Matt Barnes’ ERA jumped from 3.68 before Sunday’s game to 4.45 after giving up 5 runs without recording an out.

 

STARS

1) Raul Mondesi

Mondesi’s bases-clearing triple in the sixth opened the floodgates and gave Kansas City the lead they would continue to build off.

2) Matt Strahm

 Strahm relieved Yordano Ventura after his short 4 and 1/3-inning outing. He held the Red Sox scoreless through 2.2 innings to earn his second win of the season.

3) Salvador Perez

Perez launched his sixth home run in his last eight games against Boston. He became the Royal to homer in three-straight games at Fenway since Billy Butler did in 2011.