Pregame notes: Dice-K, Hill likely headed for surgery

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Pregame notes: Dice-K, Hill likely headed for surgery

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- Both right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka and lefty Rich Hill will likely need Tommy John surgery on their injured elbows.

We visited with Dice-K yesterday at length, said manager Terry Francona. "We had good talks. He had a lot of good questions, which really had a mature outlook on things, which is good. Tonight during the game Sox medical director Dr. Tom Gill and Dr. Lewis Yocum will get together and talk more. Im sure Dice-K will be on that and probably trainer Mike Reinold, whoever needs to be.

Its looking more and more like he needs to have the surgery. What were concerned about is whats best for Dice-K. I think originally when anything like this happens and you get a pitcher of that age throwing the pitches he has, non-surgical is always hopefully the way to go. Now if he needs surgery we support that. Now we got to figure out who, when, why, how. All that. And thats what were in the midst of doing and that should happen hopefully tonight.

Hill, who left Wednesdays game after facing one batter, walking off the mound clutching his left elbow, also appears headed for surgery.

He has a damaged ligament, Francona said. I think probably surgery is inevitable there. Saying that, were in the midst of figuring out whats in his best interest. If somebodys going in my elbow, anywhere, you got to have a lot of confidence and thats his call. So we just want to make sure that he does where his confidence does the most and we support it. Hes a great kid. Lives in Southie, worked so hard during the winter. He wanted an opportunity. And he was making the most of it. So it hurts when he gets hurt. Well figure out a way to win. I just think we feel more for him right now.

Hill had not given up a run in 15 appearances, spanning 12 innings, since making his first appearance with the Sox last September.

The frustrating part is that you find a niche for yourself in the bullpen, he said. To have something happen thats something thats tough to swallow. But at the same time, if it is a surgical procedure that needs to happen, the success rate is there and you rehab and Ive been through it once. So youve got to come back and be strong again and come back from another surgery.

Hill had shoulder surgery in in 2009 while with the Orioles. He expects to get a second opinion early next week. Of the possibility of having Tommy John surgery he said: I think that would probably be highly recommended, yeah. Thats probably something that it looks like when you have the ligament torn three-quarters of the way to pitch at this level again is going to be something were leaning towardshighly.

Hill has been placed on the 15-day DL while Matsuzaka was moved from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL to make room on the roster for left-hander Tommy Hottovy.

Hottovy, who turns 30 in July, is in his first big league call-up after being drafted by the Sox in the fourth round in 2004 out of Wichita State. Tommy John surgery in 2008 delayed his career, spending parts of the last six seasons in Double-A Portland.

Hes a guy thats come through the organization kind of step by step, Francona said. He would come over in spring training and pitch games for us, especially on the road. Everybody liked his professionalism. And he really kind of seemed to figure it out this year. Hes been a strike-throwing machine. Hes been getting lefties out. And I think this is a situation where we need to listen to the player development people, as we do. They thought this was the right guy. So well put him out there with a little bit of excitement and hope that continues here.

Its been a long road for Hottovy.

I was 26 in Double A when I hurt my arm, he said. I was going to turn 27 during surgery. I called my wife Andrea and I was like, Is this something we really want to do? because I wasnt going to be alone on the whole thing. I wanted her to have a big factor in what we wanted to do. She was like, You owe it to yourself to see where you can go healthy. And so from that moment on there was no looking back. It was: Keep battling and hope you're at the right place at the right time and pitching well.

Andrea is unable to be at Fenway for Hottovys call-up. She is 34 weeks pregnant and unable to travel.

His scouting report on himself:

I am a sidearm left-handed pitcher. Im going to throw a lot of sinkers from the sidearm and good sweeping breaking ball and changeup, nothing too crazy, just nice and simplified delivery and looking forward to showing it to everybody.

With John Lackey starting Sunday against the As and an off-day Monday before a three-game series in New York, Francona is unsure when Tim Wakefield or Alfredo Aceves will start next. It could be the first or second game in Toronto, on June 10 or 11.

Lacks going to pitch either the first or second game, Francona said. Hes going to get an extra day somewhere and the next time he wouldnt. So, I think we wait till Sunday and see how he comes through that before we make a decision.

Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, and Josh Beckett are schedule to start the three games in Yankee Stadium.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Shaughnessy: Red Sox have a chance to flip this around

Shaughnessy: Red Sox have a chance to flip this around

Mike Felger and Dan Shaughnessy discuss the Boston Red Sox bouncing back from their slump with a win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Quotes, notes and stars: Fourth inning 'a grind' for Porcello

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Quotes, notes and stars: Fourth inning 'a grind' for Porcello

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 8-2 win over Tampa Bay

 

QUOTES

"I can't say enough about the way our position players have continued to grind away. . . Tonight was just another example of that.'' - John Farrell.

"He's been everything that we could have hoped. You look to a starting pitcher to go out and be consistent every fifth day -- he's been a model of that for us.'' - Farrell on Rick Porcello.

"It's nice to come back with a statement game tonight. The past couple of week haven't been good for us, so it was nice to get back on the right track tonight.'' - Travis Shaw.

"Preventing them from scoring first was big and then limiting the big inning. The fourth inning was a grind. I dug myself a hole and had to find a way out of it.'' - Rick Porcello.

 

NOTES

* Rick Porcello became the first Red Sox starter to record a win since David Price beat Seattle on Jume 19.

* Porcello is unbeaten over his last eight starts, going 3-0 with five no-decisions.

* Porcello had gone 19 straight starts without allowing more than two walks, the longest such streak for a Red Sox starter since Curt Schilling went 33 in a row.

* The Red Sox snapped a three-game losing streak and are one of two teams (Cleveland is the other) to not have lost four straight this season.

* Boston has a major league-leading 22 games in which it has scored eight or more runs.

* The first six hitters in the Red Sox lineup were 11-for-24, while the bottom three were a combined 0-for-13.

* Travis Shaw's home run was measured at 449 feet, the second-longest homer by a Red Sox player this season.

* In one night, Travis Shaw had more RBI (five) than he had in his previous 27 games (four).

* David Ortiz tied Frank Thomas in career RBI (1,704); both are in 23rd place.

 

STARS

1) Travis Shaw

Shaw belted out three hits -- including his first homer in the month of June -- and knocked in five RBI, tying a career high.

2) Rick Porcello

In a perfect world, Porcello would have gone a little deeper, but kept the Rays off the scoreboard early and helped set the tone for the night.

3) Hanley Ramirez

Ramirez reached base five times with two hits -- both singles -- and three walks - one intentional - and seemed to be in the middle of every Red Sox rally.