Notes: Lackey pays for mistakes


Notes: Lackey pays for mistakes

By Maureen Mullen Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON After finally pushing his record above. 500 for the first time all season in his last start, John Lackey could not extend that against the Indians -- who have won just twice in their last 10 games -- Monday night at Fenway Park. Lackey went 6 23 innings, giving up five runs on eight hits, with no walks and five strikeouts. He was not involved in the decision, though, as the Sox lost 9-6. It was the first time in 18 starts this year he has not been the pitcher of record.

Lackey tied a season high with two home runs, giving up back-to-back homers in the seventh -- a two-run shot to Asdrubal Cabrera and a solo homer to Travis Hafner. It was the first time he has allowed consecutive home runs while with the Sox. The last time he did so was Aug. 9, 2008 while with the Angels to the Yankees Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi.

In retiring the first eight batters he faced before giving up a single to Ezequiel Carrera in the third, Lackey recorded a 1-2-3 first inning for the first time this season.

The 17 starts with a decision was a career high. No other pitcher in the majors has had as many decisions to start the year. The last Sox pitcher with at least 17 consecutive decisions in starts was Time Wakefield, who went 16-10 in his first 26 starts in 2007.

I thought he threw the ball really well, said manager Terry Francona. I thought his fastball was crisp, I thought his changeup, as has been of late, was really good. He made some mistakes and paid for them. Tried to get a breaking ball down under a left-hander's bat and left it too much of the plate. Went away to Hafner where hes had a lot of success. Probably throwing too many in a row or didnt quite get it where he wanted to. He hit it a long way. As a staff tonight we paid for our mistakes.

Red Sox pitchers gave up four home runs in the game, with Daniel Bard giving up a go-ahead two-run shot to Cabrera and Matt Albers giving up a ninth-inning solo homer to Jason Kipnis. The four homers allowed tie the Sox season-high for the fourth time this season, and the first since April 9 against the Yankees.

I thought Lackey was good, said catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. I thought he was sharp. Couple of pitches that he left over the plate that they were able to hit. They didnt miss the pitches. But he was sharp. We used all his pitches. I thought his velocity was good, curveball, changeup. So, to me I thought he was really good.

His line did not jibe with how Lackey felt about his outing.

I thought I was better than five runs, he said.

Left-hander Erik Bedard, acquired at the trading deadline Sunday from the Mariners, is scheduled to make his his first start for the Red Sox Thursday against the Indians.

Bedard started Friday for the Mariners against the Rays. He gave up five runs in 1 13 innings, throwing 57 pitches (28 strikes), allowing three hits and four walks with two strikeouts. It was his first start since June 27, after going on the disabled with a sprained knee. He is 4-7 with a 3.45 ERA in 16 starts for the Mariners this season.

The Sox do not have an off-day until Aug. 11, and then have another on Aug. 15, before a doubleheader with the Rays on Aug. 16. Starting Bedard Thursday gives him an extra day rest and allows manager Terry Francona to give his other starters an extra day of rest, as well.

That way we can back up Jon Lester, give him an extra day, Francona said. So everybody slides back a day. We dont have a day off until we leave to go to Seattle on Aug. 11. So up to that point well kind of stick with six starters. Andrew Miller will be in the bullpen Thursday. Bedard I think threw 57 pitches in an inning and one-third. It was almost like he hadnt pitched in a month. The way we interpreted it from the Seattle guys is if he had pitched on Wednesday, they were going to hold him to about 75 or 80. So we probably need to somewhat stick with that also. So well have Andrew out there just to keep an eye on our bullpen. if Miller doesnt pitch in that game, hell take his normal turn Monday in Minnesota. If he does, hell pitch Tuesday in Minnesota and Tim Wakefield will stay on his normalWe can flip-flop those two.

Bedard, a sxith-round pick of the Orioles in 1999, is expected to arrive in Boston on Tuesday.

I talked to him Sunday a little bit, Francona said. He was terrific. Said he was looking forward to it and we talked about his day to pitch sohe can get himself settled when he gets here and everything. We look forward to getting him going. The one thing we have to recognize is he hasnt pitched a lot the last month so we got to kind of want to get him ramped up so we can . . . get the most out of him. Well keep an eye on him.

Francona likes Bedards breaking ball.

The way its been explained to me, he can wake up at 3 o'clock in the morning and he spins his breaking ball. Hes also done it in the American League East, which is something to think about. Ive seen what hes done to us, so were excited.

Francona said Bedards knee would not be an issue.

Hes got the brace on but hes OK, Francona said.

Saltalamacchia went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI, extending his hitting streak to nine games, tying a career high.

I feel good, fell comfortable at the plate, he said. For me just putting quality plate appearances together, feeling comfortable at the plate is good. But its not as good if you dont get the win.

He now has 36 RBI this season, a new career high. He hit his 10th home run of the season in the sixth, a two-run, broken-bat shot to right, scoring Carl Crawford. The splintered end of Saltalamacchias bat landed just past first base.

I was looking at the ball because I hit it on the good part of the bat, he said. I felt the bat break, but I saw the ball still going. So I was kind of trying to see if it was going to hook around the pole or keep going or what.

Marco Scutaro left in the middle of the fourth inning because of dizziness. After the game he said he felt light-headed during batting practice, saying an energy drink could have caused it.

Im feeling batter now, kind of calmed down. Was a little dizzy, he said after the game.

I just felt kind of dizzy and my heart beat was kind of fast, a little shaky, he said.

It started during BP and then I came up here to the clubhouse and I ate something, and feeling kind of good. But when the game started, I start kind of feeling like that again. But it wasnt as bad as like BP time. And I just told them, they check and everything was fine.

Francona said Scutaro was examined during the game and checked out fine but will be re-examined on Tuesday.

Just not something to play with, Francona said.

Mike Aviles pinch-hit for Scutaro in the fourth, making his Fenway debut as a member of the Sox. He also took Scutaros place at shortstop.

Jed Lowrie, on the DL since June 17 with a left shoulder strain, began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket Monday night, going 0-for-2, playing the first three innings at shortstop. He is expected to serve as the PawSox DH on Tuesday.

Everything was fine physically, Francona said.

Adrian Gonzalez went 1-for-4, extending his hit streak to 11 games, his longest of the season. He is batting.511, going 24-for-47 with three doubles, a home run, 12 RBI, 10 runs scored and 4 walks in that span.

Dustin Pedroia went 2-for-5, extending his home hit streak to 23 games since June 4. He is batting .419 in that span. It is the third longest home hitting streak by a Sox batter since 1919, and the longest since Nomar Garciaparras 31-game stretch from April 20 June 28, 2003.

Carl Crawfords third-inning home run was his seventh of the season and first since June 8 at Yankee Stadium. It was just his second home run of the season at Fenway. The other was June 5 against the As.

There is no official word on right-hander Clay Buchholz, who was examined by Dr. Robert Watkins in Los Angeles Monday. It is believed the right-hander has a stress fracture in his back and could be shut down for the season. The teams medical staff, general manager Theo Epstein, and Buchholz were expected to talk about Watkins findings. Francona said there could be some news after Mondays game or on Tuesday.

The scheduled pitching match-ups for the series against the Indians are John Lackey and Cleveland right-hander Josh Tomlin Monday night, Josh Beckett and left-hander David Huff on Tuesday, Tim Wakefield and Carlos Carrasco (who will appeal his six-game suspension) on Wednesday, and Bedard and right-hander Justin Masterson on Thursday. Lester, Lackey, and Beckett are expected to start the three games against the Yankees at Fenway Park this weekend.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen.

Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner


Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

BOSTON -- “I didn’t feel that love after I made a pitching change in the sixth inning,” Terry Francona said after a 45-second standing ovation from Boston fans upon receiving the MLB Manager of the Year award from the BBWAA Thursday.

It’s without question the love for Francona runs deep in the city. Why wouldn’t it? He was the leader in breaking the 86-year old curse, and wound up winning another World Series title for Boston three years later.

Actually, he was more of a co-leader, working alongside the same person who won the MLB Executive of the Year honors from the BBWAA for 2016.

Theo Epstein -- who received an ovation 17 seconds shorter than Francona, but who’s counting -- reminisced about the Red Sox ownership group that took a chance on a young kid who wasn’t necessarily the ideal candidate to take over as GM of a team, but now that’s helped him build the Chicago Cubs into a winning franchise and establish a great working environment.

This October marks 13 years since the ’04 championship, 10 years since ’07 and six years since the pair left Boston. Without question they’ve left their mark on the city and forever changed Red Sox baseball.

And while the fans showed their undying gratitude for Francona with an ovation almost as long as his acceptance speech, the Indians manager recognized the favor the current Red Sox brass has done for him.

“I’d like to thank Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox for getting Chris Sale the hell out of the Central Division,” Francona said.

Offseason just like any other for Bogaerts

Offseason just like any other for Bogaerts

BOSTON -- At first, 2016 seemed like the “Year of Xander.” It turned out to be the “Year of Mookie,” with Bogaerts dropping off a little as the season progressed.

The Red Sox shortstop saw his average peak at .359 on June 12. At that point he’d played in 61 games, hit eight home runs, 20 doubles and knocked in 44 runs. Although Mookie Betts had six more home runs and three more RBI in that same span, Bogaerts had six more doubles and was hitting 69 points higher.

The two were already locks for the All-Star Game and Bogaerts still had the edge in early MVP talk.

Then things took a turn after the very day Bogaerts saw his average peak.

Over the next 61 games, Bogaerts still managed seven homers, but only had six doubles and 27 RBI, watching his average drop to .307 by the end of that stretch. At first glance, .307 doesn’t seem like an issue, but he dropped 52 points after hitting .253 in that span.

And in his remaining 35 games, Bogaerts only hit .248 -- although he did have six homers.

But throughout it all, Bogaerts never seemed fazed by it. With pitchers and catchers reporting in less than a month, Bogaerts still isn’t worried about the peaks and valleys.

“You go through it as a player, the only one’s who don’t go through that are the ones not playing,” Bogaerts told before the Boston baseball writers' dinner Thursday. “I just gotta know you’re going to be playing good for sometime, you’re going to be playing bad for sometime.

“Just try to a lot more better times than bad times. It’s just a matter of trusting yourself, trusting your abilities and never doubting yourself. Obviously, you get a lot of doubts when you’re playing bad, but you just be even keeled with whatever situation is presented.”

Bogaerts level head is something often noted by coaches and his teammates, carrying through the days he finds himself lunging left and right for pitches. That’s also carried him through the offseason while maintaining the same preparation from past seasons -- along with putting on some weight.

“I don’t know how much I put on, but I feel strong,” Bogaerts said to “I mean, I look strong in the mirror.

“Hopefully, I’m in a good position when the season comes because I know I’ll lose [the weight].”