Notes: Gonzalez, Ortiz find home-run swings

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Notes: Gonzalez, Ortiz find home-run swings

By SeanMcAdam
CSNNE.com

TORONTO -- As the Red Sox prepare to go into Yankee Stadium for the first time this season, they do so with two of their biggest run producers on home-run streaks.

Wednesday night in the team's 9-3 thrashing by the Toronto Blue Jays, Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz provided two of the three runs with solo homers in the sixth inning.

For Ortiz, it was his second homer in as many nights and fourth in the last nine games.

For Gonzalez, who is as hot as any hitter in the game, it was his sixth homer in the last nine games. He hit two in the series opener here Tuesday.

Gonzalez has surely found his home-run stroke. After hitting just one in his first 28 games, he's hit six in the last week-and-a-half.

Of course, hot Mays are nothing new for Gonzalez. Two times previously in his career, both with San Diego, Gonzalez has reached double figures in homers in May: he hit 11 in May of 2009 and 10 homers in May of 2008.

Ortiz, too, is performing this May like he did a year ago. After hitting just one homer in the first month of 2010, Ortiz exploded the following month with 10 homers and was named the American League Player of the Month for May.

Tim Wakefield officially became the oldest player to appear in a game with the Red Sox, at 44 years and 282 days, passing the previous record-holder, Deacon McGuire, who was 44 years and 280 days old when he played his last game for the 1908 Red Sox.

Wakefield pitched the final inning and a third of scoreless relief for starter John Lackey, coming in with two down in the seventh. Wakefield allowed three hits but also struck out three.

One hitting streak continues for a Red Sox player and another ended.

Jacoby Ellsbury saw his streak snapped at 19 games with an 0-for-4 performance while Carl Crawford (two hits, now hitting .218) saw his streak extended to 11 games.

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

Quotes, notes and stars: Buchholz in 'attack mode'

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Quotes, notes and stars: Buchholz in 'attack mode'

CHICAGO -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 5-2 win over the White Sox:

 

QUOTES

"I think the most encouraging thing was after a couple of hard-hit balls early on, he was still in attack mode.'' - John Farrell on Clay Buchholz.

"The biggest thing centers around his fastball. First inning, he might have been up a little bit. But after that, he was down in the zone and the curveball was a good compliment to that.'' - Farrell.

"Man, I tell you what -- he does it in such big moments.'' - Farrell on David Ortiz.

"If you could paint a picture, I think tonight would be just about what everybody would want to do.'' - Buchholz on his outing.

"I think everybody would be lying if they said they didn't see your numbers; you see them every day. (Being) 0-3 with a six-something (ERA) is obviously not where you want to be.'' - Buchholz.

"Hopefully, this is the start of something good coming out of him.'' - Ortiz on Buchholz.

"You feel like the luckiest man on planet earth - finally hitting the ball where no one's at!'' - Ortiz on beating the shift with a single through the shortstop hole in the seventh

 

NOTES

* When the Red Sox homer, they're 11-6.

* Clay Buchholz's win was his first since last July 10.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

* Mookie Betts has scored at least one run in 10 of his last 14 games.

* David Ortiz is now one homer from tying Carl Yastrzemski for second-most homers in franchise history at 452.

* Ortiz tied Gary Sheffield for 25th place all-time in homers with 509.

 

STARS

1) Clay Buchholz

After five straight poor outings, Buchholz turned in a gem, giving up two runs in the first, then nothing else for the next six innings.

2) David Ortiz

As he so often does, Ortiz delivered when the Red Sox needed him most, clocking a two-run homer in the fifth to turn a one-run deficit into a two-run lead.

3) Jose Abreu

The White Sox slugger belted a two-run homer in the first to give him five RBI in the two games in this series.

 

First impressions: Buchholz 'passes test' in 5-2 win over White Sox

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First impressions: Buchholz 'passes test' in 5-2 win over White Sox

CHICAGO - First impressions from the Red Sox' 5-2 win over the White Sox.

If this was some sort of must-win proposition for Clay Buchholz, he passed his test.

Buchholz found himself behind 2-0 just three batters in when he allowed a two-run homer to Jose Abreu, but he righted himself nicely after that.

Buchholz pitched seven innings and didn't allow another run. In fact, Buchholz only yielded two more hits after the first - both singles.

John Farrell said he wanted to see Buchholz attack the strike zone with his fastball, pitch with a quicker tempo and not rely so much on his secondary stuff. To varying degrees, Buchholz accomplished all three and finished strong - retiring the last 10 hitters in a row and 16 of the last 17.

 

Josh Rutledge had a nice night off the bench.

Rutledge was a last-minute addition to the lineup when Hanley Ramirez was scratched with the flu and Travis Shaw was shifted from third base to first base.

Rutledge reached base three times with two singles and a walk. One of the singles drove in the fourth run, scoring Chris Young with an important insurance run.

 

David Ortiz broke out of his U.S. Cellular slump in a big way.

Coming into the game, Ortiz was hitless here in his last 19 at-bats and when he hit into a double play in the first and flied to center in the third, that stretched to 0-for-21. Since the start of 2014, those first two at-bats made Ortiz 1-for-26.

But in the fifth, Ortiz hammered a pitch from Carlos Rodon into the seats in right for a two-run homer, giving the Red Sox their first lead of the series.

For all the talk about Ortiz's difficulty hitting lefties, he's now third among lefty batters in homers off lefthanded pitchers since last July 2.

 

The home run power continues to be in short supply beyond Ortiz.

Last season, the Red Sox didn't have anyone hit 20 homers other than the (then) 39-year-old Ortiz.

Might the same thing happen again this year?

Ortiz hit his sixth homer last night, again leading the club. Mookie Betts is the only other hitter on the Sox with more than three homers -- and he hasn't hit one in his last 58 at-bats, dating back a week and a half.