Notes: Red Sox pitchers continue to struggle

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Notes: Red Sox pitchers continue to struggle

By MaureenMullen
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- Daisuke Matsuzaka's night against the Rays was rough, but he isn't the only Red Sox pitcher who has been knocked around this season.

The starters have each had two turns now, posting a combined ERA of 7.24 (41 earned runs, 51 innings), while giving up 60 hits, 23 walks, and 14 home runs with 37 strikeouts. John Lackey and Josh Beckett have each recorded wins, with Beckett and Jon Lester posting the only quality starts.

After Matsuzakas departure Monday night, Tim Wakefield gave up five earned runs in 3 13 innings, and Dan Wheeler allowed four earned runs in one inning. Only Alfredo Aceves held the Rays scoreless, throwing two perfect innings, with two strikeouts. The Red Sox pitching staff has a combined 7.29 ERA.

I think just collectively we just have to go out and there and do a better job all the way around, said catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Were not hitting the ball and not throwing the ball. Beckett had a great game Sunday night. So, we just have to step it up and continue to do well.

Wakefields 3 13 relief innings were the most hes pitched out of the bullpen since also throwing 3 13 on June 3, 2002, at Detroit. The seven hits he allowed were the most in relief since a career relief-high eight on April 28, 2001 against Kansas City.

The last time the Red Sox allowed at least 20 hits to the Rays was July 24, 2003, when they gave up 21 at Fenway. The 16 runs are the most the Sox have ever allowed to Tampa Bay. The previous high was 15 (also July 24, 2003).

David Ortiz hit his first triple of the season. He is the only American League player with at least one triple in each of his 12 seasons since 2000. Adrian Gonzalez also tripled, making them the first DH and first baseman to triple in the same game since Reggie Jefferson (DH) and Brian Daubach (1B) on Aug. 9, 1999, at Kansas City.

J.D. Drew extended his hitting streak to seven games, batting .348 in that stretch. He has reached base safely in his eight games this season.

Sam Fuld, a native of Durham, NH, who was playing in his first game at Fenway Park, nearly hit for the cycle, going 4-for-6 with three runs scored, and three RBI. Needing just a single to complete the feat, Fuld came up to bat in the ninth but doubled down the left-field line. The home run was just the second of his big-league career. He is the fourth New Hampshire-born player to hit a home run at Fenway, joining Phil Plantier, Kevin Romine, and Red Rolfe.

Johnny Damon went 3-for-5 with two runs scored, three RBI, a walk, and a home run.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen

Pedro Martinez tells WEEI Ortiz will make comeback this season

Pedro Martinez tells WEEI Ortiz will make comeback this season

Never say never?

While Red Sox officials said at the team's annual Winter Weekend at Foxwoods on Saturday that they'd be traveling to the Dominican Republic to talk to David Ortiz about a role with the team, Pedro Martinez told WEEI he sees Big Papi returning to his old role - designated hitter - this season.

CSN's Trenni Kusnierek and WEEI's John Tomase talked to Martinez on their show Saturday at Foxwoods and Martinez said his old teammate would be making a comeback despite the long, emotional farewell tour last season. 

For the full interview with Martinez, click here.

Red Sox executives Tom Werner, Sam Kennedy and Dave Dombrowski made no mention of Ortiz returning as a player when talking about their Dominican trip. Ortiz has repeatedly said he is going to stay retired. 

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- While there’s a deal of anticipation going into Spring training with the four Killer B’s, David Price and Pablo Sandoval’s shot at redemption and Rick Porcello looking to be something similar to his 2016 self, there’s one name that trumps them all.

Chris Sale.

The lankly lefty received an ovation from fans at the Friday night Town Hall, kicking off Red Sox Winter Weekend. With his consistent success, there’s reason to be excited.

But there’s also reason for apprehension given the way Sale’s departure from Chicago was depicted. But he’s made sure to clear the air.

“I wouldn’t say . . . ya know . . . I loved my time in Chicago,” Sale said when asked if it was time to leave the Windy City. “My best baseball memories are there [and] will be there forever. I love the city; I love the people in the organization.

“It was time for both sides to do something different, I guess. I talked to (White Sox Senior V.P.) Rick on the phone, I talked to (White Sox pitching coach Don) Coop (Cooper). We’re all cool, it’s fine. We understand where both of us are, it happens in baseball, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Chicago.”

He didn’t seem irritated discussing the issue, and certainly wasn’t timid -- we all know that’s not in his DNA.

He genuinely seems excited to deal with the large sum of Sox fans and to call a new place home -- in a city his wife’s fond of no less.

But ultimately, he’s focused on winning, nothing else.

“Every time I’m out there it’s gonna be all I got,” Sale said. "Every time, no matter what. Can promise you that.”