Red Sox notes: Francona wins 1000th

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Red Sox notes: Francona wins 1000th

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA
BOSTON -- When Terry Francona sat down at the podium for his postgame press conference, there was little doubt as to what the topic of the first question would be.

After all, earning your 1,000th career win as a Major League manager is no small feat.

I guess Im more comfortable talking about our players and our team and the organization, he said. But Im just glad to win anyways, but yeah it felt good.

The Red Sox, on the other hand, had a lot more to say on the subject.

Their 3-1 win over the Seattle Mariners was Franconas 715th with the club. He previously earned 285 with the Philadelphia Phillies.

David Ortiz, who along with Adrian Gonzalez partook in a postgame celebration, was glad Francona reached the mark with the Red Sox.

When you win 1,000 games, that means youve been on top of your game, Ortiz said. Its great, it has been awesome through the years here and watching him get to that point with the Red Sox is just something very special.

He continued, Hes just a guy that he doesnt have that many rules. He just tells you to be prepared to play the game and be on time. Thats about it.

Jacoby Ellsbury praised Franconas control over the clubhouse and his communication with the players. He was also glad that the team was able to pull through with a three-run seventh inning to take the victory.

We come out every game trying to win, regardless of whats on the line, he said. But obviously its a special win for him and we want to come out and we always put our best foot forward.

Francona became the eighth active managers to record 1,000 career wins - Tony LaRussa, Jim Leyland, Dusty Baker, Bruce Bochy, Davey Johnson, Mike Scioscia, and Jack McKeon. He is now the 57th manager in Major League history to reach the mark.

Daniel Bard extended his scoreless streak to 24.0 innings after getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the eighth inning. He got Mike Carp to fly out to left field, struck out Jack Cust, and Kevin Youkilis threw out Franklin Gutierrez at first.

Its pretty special, said Francona. He got himself into that bind and got himself right out of it. Not too many guys can do that. That was impressive.

Bards streak now dates back to May 27. He gives credits to his teammates playing behind him.

Im definitely proud of it, but theres a lot of luck involved, he said. There have been some great defensive plays behind me throughout it. I owe it to those guys, too, playing behind me. Im just out there trying to do the same thing every day.

With the consistency comes focus. Even after getting out one batter, he looks ahead to getting the next one.

Its just keeping focus on the next pitch, he said. Youve really got to block out what just happened, whether it was good or bad. I get that strikeout and obviously Im pretty excited about it, but at the same time, Im not out of it yet. Ill maybe give a fist pump or something but then you get back and you know youve got one more guy to get out. So youve just got to stay focused on the pitch at hand.

Surrounded by thousands of fans, he gets into the zone and blocks it all out.

I didnt hear it. I didnt hear a thing, he said of the crowd. When you get locked in like that, the adrenaline kicks up. As long as you dont let the game speed up on you, just focus pitch to pitch.

The Red Sox improved to 53-2 when leading after seven innings this season. They scored all three of their runs in the seventh after trailing 1-0 through six. The Red Sox are still undefeated (54-0) when leading after eight.

Some stats from tonights final 3-1 score: The Red Sox improved to 16-11 when scoring three or four runs They are now 12-7 in two-run games The Sox inched closer to the .500 mark (17-18) when they do not hit a homerun in a game.

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.