Notes: Miller, Ellsbury carry Sox to victory

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Notes: Miller, Ellsbury carry Sox to victory

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
BALTIMORE -- Andrew Miller's starts can be adventures and Wednesday's was no different.

Miller walked six, a career-high, but managed to keep the Orioles scoreless for 5 23 innings, improving to 4-1.

His hairiest moment came in the second, when, with one out, he walked the bases loaded. But he got Craig Tatum to hit into a rally-killing, inning-ending double play.

"He created a rally (for the Orioles) by losing the plate for three hitters," said Terry Francona. "But he got the double play and then he locked it back in and actually threw a lot of strikes. He didn't give up a lot of hard contact.

"The (control problems) kind of came in waves."

"You've got to find it real quick in a moment like that," said Miller of the second inning. "Fortunately, I was able to get back, got out of the inning and rolled from there. But I think the game definitely goes a different way if that (double play) doesn't happen. That was huge.

"That was kind of a momentum shift. They probably had it there when they loaded the bases and it probably deflated them when they didn't get anything out of it."

Miller said he may have rushed himself some in the first two innings because of the heat -- the temperature at gametime was 95 and humid -- and that may have effected his command.

"I had to step back, take a breath and settle down," he said. "Fortunately, I was able to."

Miller has walked 15 in his last three starts, but the Sox are 5-1 in his six starts since being promoted from Pawtucket.

"Obviously, I'd like to pitch deeper," said Miller. "But ultimately, I think what really counts is whether (your team) gets a win at the end of the day. Fortunately, we're doing that when I pitch. That's the goal. We can't go where we want to go if we don't win ballgames."

Jacoby Ellsbury smoked two homers for the second time in his career and now has 15 for the season.

"We've always thought he was going to be a really good player and basically, he's (become) just that," said Kevin Youkilis. "He's maturing and playing the game unbelievable. He always had that ability, but as he's gotten older, he learned
more about himself and the game. It's unbelievable and the results are showing it."

Ellsbury has now hit safely in 29 straight games against the Orioles, dating back to April 17, 2009. In that span, he's hit .445 (57-for-128) with 11 doubles, six homers, 20 RBI and 31 runs scored.

The streak is the longest for any player against the Orioles since the franchise moved from St. Louis to Baltimore in 1954.

Daniel Bard pitched a perfect eighth inning, extending his consecutive scoreless streak to 22 23 innings over 21 games, a club record.

"I feel like I'm throwing the ball well," said Bard, "but there's definitely a lot of luck involved, too, when it comes to something like this. I've just been fortunate that I've made pitches when I've had to and when I have made a mistake, for some reason, they're not hitting them.

"Nothing's really changes about me as a pitcher or anything."

Bard believes the team's use of him has been carefully monitored, allowing him to be more effective.

"That's huge," said Bard. "They've been really good about it and are always talking to me. I had two days off coming into today and my arm felt good. We just have so many guys out there that can get us through the sixth and seventh innings that we really didn't have last year. That's huge (in limiting his workload)."

Until Bard, Ugueth Urbina's 20 straight scoreless outings was the previous club record.

Jon Lester had a morning side session in the bullpen in anticipation of his return to the rotation Monday against Kansas City.

According to ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes, the Red Sox will host the New York Yankees next season on April 20, 2012 -- the 100th anniversary of the first game played at Fenway Park.

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

Sandoval 'starting from scratch' after career fell 'into an abyss'

Sandoval 'starting from scratch' after career fell 'into an abyss'

The Pablo Sandoval redemption tour is underway as the former World Series MVP tries to revive his career after two disastrous seasons with the Red Sox organization.

In an interview with ESPN Deportes, he admits to being “complacent” during his first two seasons in Boston after signing a five-year, $95 million deal. 

"My career had fallen into an abyss because I was so complacent with things that I had already accomplished," Sandoval said. "I did not work hard in order to achieve more and to remain at the level of the player that I am and that I can be."

After dealing Travis Shaw to the Brewers, Sandoval is expected to be the Red Sox primary third baseman in 2017.

"I am not taking anything for granted," he said. "I am here to work hard. I'm not thinking about the position or not. I am starting from scratch, and I am here to show what I can do on the field."

The 30-year-old says he’s following a “really strict routine” this offseason, and it shows. In a recent photo, Sandoval appears noticeably thinner. Sandoval says his wife giving birth to “Baby Panda” has served as inspiration.

"Watching 'Baby Panda' grow up and that he gets the opportunity to see his father play in the majors for seven, eight more years, to get back to the success I had, that's my motivation every day," Sandoval said. "The people that I surround myself with now and my family, they are the key to my success. This has been a life lesson."

Tanguay: Could Red Sox ownership be going for it now, then sell the team?

Tanguay: Could Red Sox ownership be going for it now, then sell the team?

Could John Henry sell ownership of the Boston Red Sox anytime soon, or does he want to keep winning?  Shaughnessy, Merloni, and Tanguay debate.