Notes: Wakefield hits a snag vs. White Sox

175737.jpg

Notes: Wakefield hits a snag vs. White Sox

By MaureenMullen
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Making his third start since joining the rotation after John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka both went on the disabled list, Tim Wakefield finally hit a speed bump. On Wednesday afternoon at Fenway Park, that speed bump was the White Sox, who trumped the Red Sox, 7-4, sweeping a three-game set.

Wakefield, who was not involved in the decision, went six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and a walk with four strikeouts. In his previous two starts, he pitched a combined 13 23 innings, giving up three runs, for a 1.98 ERA, on nine hits and two walks with five strikeouts. He threw 98 pitches, 67 strikes.

I think I pitched better than the results showed, Wakefield said. Obviously, one ball that got hit hard was the one by Lillibridge. Other than that, I made some pitches when I needed to. Got behind in the count, got back even in the count. Big strikeout on Dunn there to get an out in that one inning the second out in the fourth. Other than that, I felt great. Got to 90 pitches, got us through the sixth. Unfortunately, we lost.

Chicago's Brent Lillibridge hit a home run in the sixth inning and also had an RBI double after the Dunn strikeout in the fourth.

Wake was pretty good, manager Terry Francona said. The ball was dancing. He elevated a couple and paid for it. Lillibridge twice always here at home the right-hand hitter, if he elevates it, hes got a chance to get hurt. But he pitched very well.

If not for the fifth inning when the White Sox scored two runs after what the Red Sox thought was a missed call by second base umpire Marty Foster on a tag play Wakefield thought his team might have had the win.

Its huge, Wakefield said. It cost us two runs. Pretty much probably cost us the game.

With Lackey set to come off the DL on Sunday, it is likely Alfredo Aceves, who has also been filling in with spot starts, will return to the bullpen while Wakefield stays in the rotation. Knowing when his turn is coming up helps, Wakefield said.

Its a little easier to get in a routine yeah, absolutely, he said. I feel great physically and been throwing the ball well and hopefully I can continue to do so.

The Sox had not lost four straight games since starting the season 0-6. They were swept at home for the second time this season. The first was a two-game set with Tampa Bay on April 11 and 12.

The Red Sox were swept in their home series with the White Sox for the second straight season and have lost seven straight to Chicago at Fenway going back to Aug. 27, 2009. That ties their longest losing streak ever to the White Sox in Boston, going back to July 12, 1958-May 14, 1959.

David Ortiz has hit safely in 12 of his last 14 games, going 22-for-55 (.400) with 13 extra-base hits (seven doubles, six home runs). He has hit a home run in back-to-back games for the fourth time this season and has four home runs in his last eight games.

With two RBI, Jarrod Saltalamacchia has nine RBI in his last 10 games. Over the Sox last 18 games, catchers have combined for 15 RBI.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen.

Quotes, notes and stars: Ramirez knows error 'can't happen'

red_sox_hanley_ramirez_072816.jpg

Quotes, notes and stars: Ramirez knows error 'can't happen'

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels ofAnaheim

Quotes:

"I tried to get two (outs) before I got one. That can't happen." - Hanley Ramirez on his throwing error which cost the Red Sox the game.

"Executing pitches - that's the name of the game." - David Price on improvement he showed from his last start.

"Fourth time through the order, middle of the lineup. . . Price had done his job. In a one-run game, we felt it was best to start a clean inning with a reliever." - John Farrell after lifting David Price after eight innings and 108 pitches.

Notes:

* Reliever Brad Ziegler was charged with the loss for the second straight game.

* Each of the last seven Red Sox losses has been by one or two runs.

* Dustin Pedroia has reached base in 31 consecutive games.

* The Red Sox four-game losing streak is their longest of the season.

* The Sox are now 9-23 in their last 32 meetings with the Angels.

* David Price did not allow a run for the second time this season.

Stars:

1) David Price

After a stretch of shaky outings, Price did his job with eight scoreless innings, getting 14 outs on groundouts while walking just one.

2) Jered Weaver

At times, the radar gun made Weaver's pitches look like softball offerings. But mixing junk, he held the Sox to a single run over 5 1/3 innings

3) Mookie Betts

He had just one hit - single in the eighth - but his sacrifice fly in the third produced the only run of the night.

First impressions: Ziegler can't finish Price's strong start

angels_nava_072816.jpg

First impressions: Ziegler can't finish Price's strong start

First impressions from the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

1) David Price pitched in the truest sense

Price wasn't necessarily overpowering with only six strikeouts in eight innings, but he succeeded in keeping the ball down in the zone, resulting in a ton of groundouts.

In eight innings, the Angels produced just two flouts to the outfield, both of them routine.

Otherwise, Price deftly mixed his changeup, slider and two-seamer to produce ground balls. His location was more precise and he induced weak contact in at-bat after at-bat.

 

2) The danger of a closer like Brad Ziegler was on display

The throwing error by Hanley Ramirez resulted in two runs scoring but Ziegler allowed three base hits to set the stage.

Ziegler doesn't get a lot of swing-and-miss with his sinker; what he gets is a lot of balls put in play. When things are going well, that results in groundouts; when they're not, it means baserunners and strange things happening.

As inconsistent as Craig Kimbrel has been in some non-save situations, he at least has the ability to record strikeouts and keep balls out of play.  That's not the case with Zieger, as the Red Sox learned the hard way in Anaheim Thursday night.

3) The Red Sox wisely took advantage of Jered Weaver on the bases

Weaver's high leg kick and reliance on off-speed pitches make for a slow delivery time to the plate. Dustin Pedroia would have easily stole second in the first but made the mistake of going into his slide too far ahead of the bag, and though initially ruled safe, was deemed out after a replay challenge.

In the sixth, Xander Bogaerts, was more successful in his stolen base. Neither steal led to a run, but the Sox did put some additional pressure on Weaver