Red Sox notes: Dice-K not worried by elbow

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Red Sox notes: Dice-K not worried by elbow

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON - For all those worried by Daisuke Matsuzakas departure from Fridays game against the Seattle Mariners in the fifth inning with right elbow tightness, the pitcher himself isnt overly concerned.

I have an idea whats going on on my elbow right now, so Im not worried too much about it, he said following the Red Sox 5-4 loss.

Matsuzaka estimates he began feeling stiffness in the third inning. He entered the fifth having recorded four strikeouts, three hits, one earned run, and four walks, helping the Red Sox maintain a 4-2 lead.

But after giving up a single to the first batter of the inning, Ichiro Suzuki, Jason Varitek was noticing a change in Matsuzakas delivery. The Red Sox wanted to be cautious and approached the mound with team trainers.

When the game started I started to feel stiffness on my elbow and I could have continued throw, Matsuzaka said. I didnt really feel that I needed to pull off from the mound. But I left all the judgments up to Titos. So that was his decision to come off from the mound.

Francona thinks he will be able to make his next start. Just as he did on Friday night, Matsuzaka will listen to the team.

Its not really my decision for the next game, he said. But I will see how I feel overnight and I will get checked out tomorrow again.

Mike Cameron hit his first home run of the 2011 season in the second inning off Jason Vargas. Then he doubled his total with another one in the fourth.

The first one I kind of got lucky due to the elements in the park, he said, referencing the wind. The second one, I just put a good swing on it. That was it. The ball was hit pretty good.

The offensive burst is a momentum builder for Cameron, who has had 27 at-bats in nine games this season.

You just keep working when youre not in there, working on the basic things, he said. After that, its just timing. I was able to be aggressive and put some good swings on some balls tonight. Even the ones I wasnt able to hit too well, I was able to be aggressive and put some good swings on it. I feel good about that. The results werent there that I like, but at the same time, its a good feeling.

Prior to Fridays game, Camerons last home run had come on July 18, 2010. His previous two-homer game was September 21, 2009 as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Three Red Sox extended hitting streaks of note on Friday:

Jacoby Ellsbury (1-4) - 8-game hitting streak, .389 BA during streak

David Ortiz (1-4, RBI) - 8-game hitting streak, .348 BA during streak

Adrian Gonzlaez (2-4) - 6-game hitting streak, .444 BA during streak

The Red Sox ended their streak of eight errorless games with two errors against the Mariners. The stretch was snapped in the first inning when Darnell McDonald was charged with an error in left field.

The Red Sox lost their first game of the season when leading after six innings. Bobby Jenks entered the game with a 4-3 lead and gave up two earned runs in the seventh inning. The Red Sox had been 9-0 when ahead after six.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcameratonba

Bogaerts' "maturity is clearly taking hold"

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Bogaerts' "maturity is clearly taking hold"

NEW YORK -- Xander Bogaerts enjoyed a terrific 2015, his second full season in the big leagues.

He finished second in the American League batting race, established himself as a solid defender at short and generally showed immense promise.

The only thing he didn't do was show much home run power, limited to just seven homers.

This past spring, both manager John Farrell and Chili Davis expressed confidence that the home runs would come, and that they would come organically.

And so they have. In Thursday night's loss to the New York Yankees, a solo homer in the fifth by Bogaerts represented the only Red Sox run of the night in a 5-1 loss. It also gave Bogaerts 21 homers for the year, exactly triple his output from a year ago.

"The maturity is clearly taking hold," said John Farrell of Bogaerts' growth. "You start to get a couple thousand at-bats at the major league level, you're starting to understand your swing, you're picking out certain counts in which to leverage a little bit more. He's been able to do that.

"Home runs are up across the board. But with Xander in particular, he's physically maturing and he's maturing as a major league player as well."

Bogaerts took the advise of Davis and others and didn't set out to try to hit more homers this year. He knew they would come in time.

"Maybe not this quick," he said of the big increase, "but probably in the future, yeah. That's what I did in the minor leagues, so it's kind of something that I thought might translate to the big leagues, too."

Bogaerts is hard-pressed to put his finger on any on factor to explain the big uptick. After all, he didn't change his swing or his stance.

Rather, the homers came as a result of him understanding himself better as a hitter and consistently taking the right approach at the plate.

"It's just (a matter of) taking good swings in good counts," he offered. "Sometimes, you're looking for one. But overall, it's just being a more mature hitter and looking for the right spots to pick and choose."

It hasn't hurt that he's surrounded by quality hitters in the Red Sox lineup, with Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia ahead of him earlier in the year, and now Pedrioa ahead of him and David Ortiz behind him.

In addition to seeing better pitches because of who's surrounding him, Bogaerts has also benefitted from listening to Ortiz, who watches his at-bats and offers advice when called for.

Still, most of the credit belongs to Bogaerts himself, who has grown into his power naturally -- just as his manager and hitting coach forecast.

Quotes, notes and stars: "It seems like everybody was happy that I'm leaving"

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Quotes, notes and stars: "It seems like everybody was happy that I'm leaving"

NEW YORK -- Quotes, Notes and Stars from the Red Sox' 5-1 loss to the Yankees:

QUOTES

* "It seems like everybody was happy that I'm leaving." David Ortiz, unaccustomed to ovations and cheering at Yankee Stadium.

* "I thought he threw a high number of strikes. There was good swing-and-miss to his changeup and he took the opportunity and showed well." John Farrell on Henry Owens.

* "It's just taking good swings in good counts. It's just being a more mature hitter and looking for the right spots to pick and choose." Xander Bogaerts, who has tripled his homer output since last year.

NOTES:

* With his fourth-inning homer, Xander Bogaerts tripled his home run total from last year, improving from seven to 21.

* The season series between the Red Sox and Yankees ended with the Sox winning 11 of the 18 games.

* The Boston bullpen has given up eight runs in the last two nights after allowing only seven this month before Wednesday night.

* The Sox suffered only their second sweep of the season. They were also swept by the Tigers in July.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. has reached base safely in his last 13 games.

* Junichi Tazawa has contributed seven straight scoreless outings.

* Robbie Ross Jr. allowed a season-high three walks -- all in the same inning.

* Henry Owens has a career ERA of 8.53 against the Yankees.

* David Ortiz went hitless (0-for-11) in his final series at Yankee Stadium.

STARS:

1) CC Sabathia

Sabathia turned back the clock and looked like a far younger version of himself, pitching into the eighth and allowed just a run on four hits while striking out eighth.

2) Jacoby Ellsbury

Ellsbury had a hand in the first Yankee run -- walk, stolen base, run scored -- and doubled home the second run in the fifth inning.

3) Xander Bogaerts

The Sox had little offense on the night, but Bogaerts smoked a solo homer in the fourth to account for their only run.