Notes: Reyes having control problems for Sox


Notes: Reyes having control problems for Sox

By SeanMcAdam

CLEVELAND -- Dennys Reyes wasn't assured of a spot on the Red Sox' Opening Day roster until the day before the team left Florida. If he doesn't start pitching better soon, he may be the first player out the door.

Reyes had made three appearances before Tuesday night and though he was unscored upon, he had allowed the leadoff batter to reach in two of them.

For a lefty specialist, utilized mostly to get a key hitter or two, that's a recipe for disaster.

But Wednesday night was a new low for the veteran lefty. He entered the game in the bottom of the sixth, hit two batters and walked a third. Of the 12 pitches he threw, 11 were balls.

"He's not commanding,'' said Fracona. "We're all looking for that two-seam movement down in the zone, get some ground balls. But everything seems like it's up to his arm side. He's missing by a lot. He's just not commanding.''

"I couldn't command anything,'' said Reyes. "I was throwing behind my body. My mechanics were gone today. I take the fault for today's game. They gave me the game with the game close and I let it get away.''

The Sox have at least two other left-handed options at Pawtucket: Rich Hill and Hideki Okajima.

Outfielder Carl Crawford had his second two-hit game in the last three, but what stood out was his aggressive style when he got on base.

Crawford, hitting second for the second straight game, singled off pitcher Mitch Talbot's glove with one out in the second, then stole second.

In the fifth, he walked, stole second and took third on a groundout to the right side. Finally, in the seventh, he had an infield single to short and scored on Adrian Gonzalez's first homer as a member of the Red Sox.

The two steals were his first with the Red Sox. It marked the 57th time in his career that Crawford had a multi-steal game.

"When he gets on,'' said Francona, "he'll start using his legs and hopefully create some havoc. That's what he used to do against us.''

Daisuke Matsuzaka was tagged with the loss after allowing three runs on six hits. Like Josh Beckett the night before, Matsuzaka's night was cut short because of a high pitch count.

In five innings, Matsuzaka threw 96 pitches, nearly matching the 106 thrown over five frames by Beckett Tuesday night in the series opener.

''It took him until about the fifth inning before he was actually throwing more strikes than balls,'' said Francona. "That's just a hard way to pitch successfully. He didn't give up a ton of runs, but again, he's almost at 100 pitches after five. That's a hard way to stay out there.''

The loss was the first in Matsuzaka's career in Cleveland during the regular season. Before Tuesday night, he had made two starts, won them both and held the Indians scoreless over 15 innings.

Adrian Gonzalez hit his first homer as a member of the Sox, a two-run shot in the seventh off Frank Hermann. Gonzalez also had a double. Of the 10 extra-base hits the Sox have collected over the first five games, Gonzalez has three of them . . . Dustin Pedroia was 0-for-3 and saw his hitting streak snapped at four games.

Sean McAdam can be reached at Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

NLCS: Cubs beat Dodgers 8-4, head home with 3-2 series lead


NLCS: Cubs beat Dodgers 8-4, head home with 3-2 series lead

LOS ANGELES - Jon Lester pitched seven sharp innings, Addison Russell hit a tiebreaking homer and the Chicago Cubs moved one win from their first World Series trip in 71 years by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-4 on Thursday.

The Cubs grabbed a 3-2 lead in the NL Championship Series and will have two chances to wrap up that elusive pennant back home at Wrigley Field.

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