Notes: Gonzalez back on hot streak

Notes: Gonzalez back on hot streak
August 26, 2011, 5:04 am
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By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam

ARLINGTON, Texas -- As recently as Monday, Adrian Gonzalez had gone all of August without hitting a single home run.

Now, he's got five in his last three games. Talk about streaky.

"I hit 'em in spurts," said Gonzalez. "Everybody knows that. When I have a good swing, it's just a feeling you have and I hit them in bunches. This is a time right now where I feel good."

For the second time in the last three games --and third time this season -- Gonzalez smacked two homers Thursday night, extending his homer streak to three straight games.

Even more impressive, he's hit the last three homers in a span of three pitches.

Gonzalez homered to straightaway center in the first with no one aboard, then hit an opposite-field tape-measure shot to left-center in the third, scoring Jed Lowrie.

"I hit three balls in Kansas City that felt good," said Gonzalez, recalling the last series, "and I've just been trying to build up on that swing.

Now that he's locked in at the plate, Gonzalez exudes confidence, knowing that he can hit even quality pitches hard and far.

"I think that's obvious," said Gonzalez. "When you're not going well, you're not going up there with the same confidence. When you're not feeling well, you're not ready to swing at the same pitch. You might want to see a pitch or two.

"When you're feeling good, your timing's good and your hand path is good and that (helps) the ball to come off you bat better."

Andrew Miller went almost three weeks between starts recently. The way he's pitched in his last two outings, he's making a case to stay in the rotation.

After limiting Kansas City to a single run over 5 13 innings following a 20-day exile to the bullpen last Friday, Miller was even better Thursday, shutting out a strong Texas lineup over 6 13 innings, allowing just three hits.

"As far as going out there and being steady and consistent," he said, "that's what you're looking for. My pitch count was down (83 pitches) and the goal is to help out the bullpen as much as you can. I'll take it and look to build off that."

Miller spent time with pitching coach Curt Young while pitching in relief and made some changes to his stride, which, in turn, enabled him to repeat his delivery more consistency.

"I'm not thinking about that when I'm out there," he said. "I think the bigger (boost) was getting out there in Kansas City after the layoff and once I got a little momentum in that game, that's carried over."

In 10 starts this season, Miller is 6-1 with a 4.33 ERA. The Sox are 9-1 in those 10 starts.

David Ortiz homered in his first at-bat, extending his hitting streak to nine games. The homer was his 25th of the season, making Ortiz just the second player in Red Sox history to post at least eight 25-homer seasons. The other was Ted Williams, who had 14.

Ortiz had been tied with Jim Rice, who had seven.

The Sox are crossing their fingers about the impact of Hurricane Irene.

In addition to shifting Sunday's scheduled game with Oakland to 5 p.m. Saturday, they hope a few of their injured players can begin rehab assignments with minor league affiliates.

Reliever Bobby Jenks (back), who's been in Fort Myers, is now in Salem, Va., hoping to pitch in a Carolina League game Saturday - weather permitting.

Outfielder J.D. Drew, meanwhile, is scheduled to play Friday and Saturday nights for the Lowell Spinners as he readies a return to the roster, having missed the last five weeks with a shoulder impingement.

Drew took batting practice at Fenway Thursday, as did Kevin Youkilis (back), who is still a week away from returning from a DL stint.

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