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

Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox make 'outstanding comeback' vs. Rangers

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Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox make 'outstanding comeback' vs. Rangers

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 8-7 win over the Rangers:

QUOTES

* “(Matt) Bush has tremendous arm, but what we’ve seen . . . I don’t know that there’s anyone that throws a hard enough to get it by Mookie [Betts]. Just lightening bat speed . . . The dugout erupted when he caught it.” - Farrell said on Betts’ ninth inning homerun.

* “It was an outstanding comeback. Just a tremendous character win tonight by our guys. The work that our bullpen did tonight was just outstanding. ” - John Farrell said following the comeback win over Texas.

* “Koji comes back after a couple of rough outings and was vintage Koji here tonight.” - Farrell said on Uehara striking out the side in the ninth to earn the save

* “The homerun. Without that homerun, you don’t get to that wild pitch.” - Jackie Bradley said on what the Red Sox dugout was more excited about in the ninth.

* “Winning, to me that’s everything. I definitely want to go out there and throw the baseball better. I want to win myself. But at the end of the day I want the Red Sox to win.” - David Price said following the Red Sox win, despite his inability to keep the game close throughout the duration of his start.

NOTES

* David Ortiz extended his hitting streak to 10 games with his fourth inning single. He’s now 12 for his last 36 during his 10-game hitting streak.

* Sandy Leon’s ninth inning double was his 12th hit of the year. He’s now 12-for-22 (.545) to start his 2016 campaign. Four of his hits are doubles and he also has four RBI. 

* David Price’s 2.1-inning start is his shortest with Boston yet. The lefty gave up a season-worst 12 hits -- the most hits he’s given up since May 8th last season in a 6.1 inning start.

* Hanley Ramirez’s two-run homerun marks his third in the last ten games.

* The Red Sox improve to 22-3 when Jackie Bradley Jr. hits a homerun following his 13th homerun of the season.

STARS

1) Mookie Betts

Betts had over three hours between his two base hits, but his second proved the most important. He launched a 2-0 fastball into left center, tying the game in the ninth.

2) Jackie Bradley Jr.

Bradley laced a homerun into the right field second deck to put Boston in striking distance at 7-4. In addition to knocking in two runs, he scored in the ninth after he walked, starting the ninth inning comeback. 

3) Koji Uehara

Despite struggling of late, Uehara was called on to close and struck out the side to seal the win. He was the final piece of the 6.2 innings of relief from the bullpen that came in one of Boston’s biggest wins of the year.

Nick Friar can be followed on Twitter: @ngfriar

First impressions of the Red Sox’ 8-7 win over the Rangers

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First impressions of the Red Sox’ 8-7 win over the Rangers

First impressions of the Boston Red Sox’ 8-7 win over the Texas Rangers:

Boston’s offense is always in striking distance.

The Red Sox had an uphill battle from the get-go thanks to David Price’s tough outing.

But somehow they took advantage of Texas’ equally bad pitching—that just happened to be more spread out than Boston’s bad pitching.

If Jackie Bradley Jr. doesn’t earn a walk, or Sandy Leon doesn’t fight tooth and nail for a two-out double in the ninth, that Mookie Betts homerun can’t happen.

The Red Sox need another long outing from Steven Wright.

Obviously they’d prefer a strong performance -- but the knuckler may need to bite the bullet if he’s off Saturday night.

Boston’s bullpen has been used and abused of late, and needs some rest following the Chicago series and a 2.1 inning outing from Price.

Price continues to struggle against the Rangers in his career.

Even when he was able to walk out of the first with just the one run after a bases loaded double play, but couldn’t clamp down with two outs.

The biggest reason he struggled wasn’t his velocity—although it seemed down most of the night—but his location. He left a lot of pitches up in the zone and Texas is not the team you can do that with.

Although Price was bound to have a rough start, this start went worse than anyone could’ve anticipated. To say this was a bad start is putting it nicely.

Texas gave him a nice wake-up call. He still has room to grow.

Matt Barnes had a solid performance.

It wasn’t his best, but given the situation, he did well. First off, the Rangers are a very hot team and swing early in the count. Barnes left the ball up time after times, but only surrendered the one run.

Additionally, he entered the game far earlier than he’s used to -- in the midst of a blowout where his team was on the wrong end. That’s not an easy thing to walk into for a reliever, especially one who’s used to pitching late in tight ballgames.

He gave Boston a chance when the offense started to gain momentum.

Hanley Ramirez’s power continues to show.

Although he’s not hitting at the rate he did to start the year, Ramirez laced another homer against the Rangers Friday night.

This homerun may have been his most impressive, coming on a 1-2 slider away, driving it to straightaway center -- the deepest part of the ballpark.

Boston just saw what they look like when they almost blow games.

All season the talk around the league has been how explosive the Red Sox lineup is.

Well, the Rangers offense is right there with them. The league’s hottest team didn’t waist any time scoring, and had 15 hits before Boston pitching recorded an out in the fifth inning.

Although the Red Sox outslugged Texas late, they saw what a potent offense outside the AL East can do -- and how bad pitching can undo all of that.

Nick Friar can be followed on Twitter: @ngfriar