Red Sox explode at the plate to sweep M's, 12-8

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Red Sox explode at the plate to sweep M's, 12-8

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
BOSTON -- It doesn't take much to beat the Seattle Mariners these days, but just in case, the Red Sox pounded out 17 hits and gained a 12-8 win over the slumping Mariners, who lost for the 15th straight time.

A grand slam by Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan in the seventh made the final score seem respectable -- and chased starter Tim Wakefield. But the game had long since been decided.

Wakefield gave up seven runs in 6 13 innings but not before recording his 199th career win and notching his 2,000th strikeout as a member of the Red Sox. He received a long standing ovation after fanning Mike Carp for the final out in the sixth.

The Mariners grabbed a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first, but the Red Sox quickly answered with five runs in the bottom of the inning and pulled away with five more in the their half of the fifth.

Every Red Sox starter except Marco Scutaro collected at least one hit, with Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford and Jarrod Saltalamacchia each getting three hits. Saltalamacchia had four RBI.

Jacoby Ellsbury, Josh Reddick and David Ortiz had two hits each.

Alfredo Aceves pitched the final 2 23 innings, giving up one run.

While the Mariners' freefall continued, the Red Sox won for the 17th time in their last 20 games.

STAR OF THE GAME: Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Saltalamacchia collected three hits -- one of three Red Sox players to do so -- and added four RBI.

He provided a two-run single in the five-run first for Boston, then added a two-run single in the fifth when the Red Sox added another five-run frame. The four RBI represented a season high for the catcher, who is hitting .438 over his last seven games.

HONORABLE MENTION: Carl Crawford
Crawford lifted his average to a season-high .254 with a two-hit game while knocking in two runs.

Crawford came off the DL Monday in Baltimore and is 9-for-24 since returning to the lineup.

GOAT OF THE GAME: Michael Pineda

The Mariners said after the game that their rookie pitcher may have been tipping pitchers; it certainly looked like the Red Sox knew what was coming, especially in the first when everything they hit off him was a rocket.

He lasted 4 13 innings and was charged with seven runs.

TURNING POINT: In the fifth inning, the Red Sox were leading 5-3 with one out and the bases loaded.

Crawford's two-run single to left scored two and two batters later, chased Pineda from the game.

BY THE NUMBERS: While the Mariners have lost 15 straight, the Red Sox have nine in a row at home and 17 of the last 20 overall.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "This is the best lineup I've ever played for here. It's pretty solid one through nine.'' --Tim Wakefield.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Felger: Crazy can be good, but Sale needs to harness it

Felger: Crazy can be good, but Sale needs to harness it

Chris Sale brings with him to Boston some attitude. He also brings a measure of defiance and, perhaps, a little bit of crazy.

All of which the Red Sox starting staff just may need. And if Sale pitches as he has for much of the past five years, he'll probably be celebrated for it.

I still wonder how it will all play here, especially if he underachieves.

What would we do to him locally if he refused to pitch because he didn't like a certain kind of uniform variation the team was going with? What would we say if he not only refused to pitch, but took a knife to his teammates' uniforms and the team had to scrap the promotion? Sale did exactly that in Chicago last year, after which he threw his manager under the bus for not standing by his players and attacked the team for putting business ahead of winning.

All because he didn't want to wear an untucked jersey?

"(The White Sox throwback uniforms) are uncomfortable and unorthodox,'' said Sale at the time. "I didn't want to go out there and not be at the top of my game in every aspect that I need to be in. Not only that, but I didn't want anything to alter my mechanics. ... There's a lot of different things that went into it.''

Wearing a throwback jersey would alter his mechanics? Was that a joke? It's hard to imagine he would get away with that in Boston.

Ditto for his support of Adam LaRoche and his involvement of that goofy story last March.
 
LaRoche, you'll remember, retired when the White Sox had the nerve to tell him that his 14-year-old son could not spend as much time around the team as he had grown accustomed to. Sale responded by pitching a fit.

“We got bald-face lied to by someone we’re supposed to be able to trust,'' said Sale of team president Kenny Williams. ``You can’t come tell the players it was the coaches and then tell the coaches it was the players, and then come in and say something completely different. If we’re all here to win a championship, this kind of stuff doesn’t happen.”

On what planet does allowing a 14-year-old kid in a clubhouse have anything to do with winning a title? In what universe does a throwback jersey have anything to do with mechanics? If David Price had said things that stupid last year, he'd still be hearing about it. And it won't be any different for Sale.

Thankfully, Sale's defiance and feistiness extends to the mound. Sale isn't afraid to pitch inside and protect his teammates, leading the American League in hit batsmen each of the last two years. He doesn't back down and loves a fight. And while that makes him sound a little goofy off the field, it should play well on it.

In the meantime, the Sox better hope he likes those red alternate jerseys they wear on Fridays.

E-mail Felger at mfelger@comcastsportsnet.com. Listen to Felger and Mazz weekdays, 2-6 p.m. on 98.5 FM. The simulcast appears daily on CSN.

With trade rumors finally over, Sale shifts attention to dominating in Boston

With trade rumors finally over, Sale shifts attention to dominating in Boston

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Chris Sale had been the subject of so many trade rumors for the past year that he admitted feeling somewhat like "the monkey in the middle.”

On Tuesday, the rumors became reality when Sale learned he was being shipped to the Red Sox in exchange for a package of four prospects.
    
It meant leaving the Chicago White Sox, the only organization he'd known after being drafted 13th overall by Chicago in 2010. Leaving, he said, is "bittersweet.''
     
Now, he can finally move forward.
     
"Just to have the whole process out of the way and get back to some kind of normalcy will be nice,” said Sale Wednesday morning in a conference call with reporters.

Sale had been linked in trade talks to many clubs, most notably the Washington Nationals, who seemed poised to obtain him as recently as Monday night.

Instead, Sale has changed his Sox from White to Red.

"I'm excited,” he said. "You're talking about one of the greatest franchises ever. I'm excited as anybody. I don't know how you couldn't be. I've always loved going to Boston, pitching in Boston. (My wife and I) both really like the city and (Fenway Park) is a very special place.”
     
It helps that Sale lives in Naples, Fla., just 20 or so miles from Fort Myers, the Red Sox' spring training base. Sale played his college ball at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers.
     
"Being able to stay in our house a couple of (more) months,” gushed Sale, “it couldn't have worked out better personally or professionally for us.”
     
Sale joins a rotation with two Cy Young Award winners (David Price and reigning winner Rick Porcello), a talented core of mostly younger position players and an improved bullpen.

"There's no reason not to be excited right now,” said Sale. "You look at the talent on this team as a whole... you can't ask for much more.”

Sale was in contact with Price Tuesday, who was the first Red Sox player to reach out. He also spoke with some mutual friends of Porcello.

That three-headed monster will carry the rotation, and the internal competition could lift them all to new heights.
     
"The good thing in all of this,'' Sale said, "is that I can definitely see a competition (with) all of us pushing each others, trying to be better. No matter who's pitching on a (given) night, we have as good or better chance the next night. That relieves some of the pressure that might build on some guys (who feel the need to carry the team every start).”

But Sale isn't the least bit interested in being known as the ace of the talented trio.

"I don’t think that matters,” he said. "When you have a group of guys who come together and fight for the same purpose, nothing else really matters. We play for a trophy, not a tag.”

Sale predicted he would be able to transition from Chicago to Boston without much effort, and didn't seem overwhelmed by moving to a market where media coverage and fan interest will result in more scrutiny.

"It's fine, it's a part of it, it's reality,” he said. "I'm not a big media guy. I'm not on Twitter. I'm really focused on the in-between-the-lines stuff. That's what I love, playing the game of baseball. Everything else will shake out.”

After playing before small crowds and in the shadow of the  Cubs in Chicago, Sale is ready to pitch before sellout crowds at Fenway.

"I'm a firm believer that energy can be created in ballparks,” he said. "I don't think there’s any question about it. When you have a packed house and everyone's on their feet in the eighth inning, that gives every player a jolt.”