Red Sox notes: One inning dooms Wakefield

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Red Sox notes: One inning dooms Wakefield

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
PITTSBURGH One inning proved to be Tim Wakefields undoing Saturday night, as the Red Sox fell to the Pirates, 6-4, for the second straight game.

With a two-run lead in the fourth, Wakefield faced eight Pirates hitters, with four scoring. Lyle Overbay's three-run homer scoring Andrew McCutchen, who singled, and Neil Walker, who walked -- in the inning was the big blow, followed by an RBI single by Jeff Karstens, scoring Ronny Cedeno, who doubled. It was Karstens first RBI of the season.

Before the fourth, Wakefield had managed to keep the Pirates at bay, retiring them in order in the first and second, and working out of a jam in the third, when he threw two wild pitches, had two runners on base, but managed to hold Pittsburgh off the scoreboard.

Then came the fourth inning.

It was one of those innings where I just fell out of rhythm and gave up a three run homer and that pretty much cost us the game, Wakefield said.

I was just trying to be too quick to the plate. The guys that got on were really fast runners, and I was trying to give catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, in case of a steal, a chance to throw guys out. Lost a little feel and lost a little rhythm.

I think Wake battled his butt off tonight, Saltalamacchia said. He fell behind. Didnt have the consistent strikes that he had the last time. They were putting the ball in play. They got some infield hits. The Overbay home run hurt us but theres nothing you can do about it, 3-2 count, we threw the knuckle. Overbay did a good job.

As he usually does against the Red Sox. For Overbay, who is hitting .307 against the Sox, the home run was his 13th against the Red Sox, more than he has against any other team. He entered the game batting .333 (9-for-27) with one home run and five RBI in his career against Wakefield, while hitting just .231 this season.

Its definitely a tough matchup, Wakefield said. Especially when I feel behind him 2-0. Trying to get back in, throwing fastballs in that situation and I got to 3-2 and I threw a knuckleball that just didnt have anything on it at the end and he hit it out.

In the eighth inning, the Sox had the tying runs on base with two outs and Marco Scutaro at the plate to face lefty Tony Watson. Manager Terry Francona was asked if he considered using David Ortiz to pinch-hit in that situation.

No. I was hoping theyd bring in a righty. Then we would have, he said. We want to hit David next. If they brought in a righty we would have had David hit for Scoot and have Drew Sutton hit next and put him in at short.

Dustin Pedroias fourth error of the season, on Andrew McCutchens fifth-inning grounder allowed the Pirates to score their fifth run, as Chase dArnaud scored from second.

I put my head up to see if the runner was going, to see if the guy that was on second was going to go to third, Pedroia said. And I took my eye off the ball. Thats basically it. I missed it.

The crowd of 49,483 was the largest ever at PNC Park.

Right-hander Bobby Jenks threw one inning in a rehab appearance for Double-A Portland. He went one scoreless inning, giving up one hit, no walks, with one strikeout, throwing 13 pitches, eight for strikes.

Pittsburghs relievers have held the Sox scoreless over a combined 5 13 innings in the first two games of the series.

They got a good staff, Saltalamacchia said. I think Pirates manager Clint Hurdle is doing a great job just mixing them up, putting lefties on lefties, righties on righties, something that the American League's not too used to. But we got to do a better job putting some runs on the board, and just playing solid defense.

Were not familiar with their guys, Pedroia said. Weve seen them once in spring training but thats basically it.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Sunday's Red Sox-Rangers lineups: Boston needs the good Buchholz to show up

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Sunday's Red Sox-Rangers lineups: Boston needs the good Buchholz to show up

Clay Buchholz hopes ot lead off the afternoon game better than his last start, where he game up a home run and double to leadoff the game against Chicago.

The righty has a career 4.10 ERA against Texas in 41.2 innings pitched against Texas with a 1-5 record.

Unfortunately for Boston, Buchholz is even worse at Globe Life Park. The righty is 0-3 with a 5.82 ERA in 21.2 at the Rangers home field.

The lineups:

RED SOX
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Travis Shaw 3B
Sandy Leon C
Ryan LaMarre LF
---
Clay Buchholz RHP

RANGERS
Shin-Soo Choo RF
Ian Desmond CF
Nomar Mazara LF
Adrian Beltre 3B
Prince Fielder DH
Roughned Odor 2B
Elvis Andrus SS
Mitch Moreland 1B
Bryan Holaday C
---
Martin Perez LHP

Quotes, notes and stars: Wright "today was tough"

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Quotes, notes and stars: Wright "today was tough"

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 10-3 loss to the Rangers:

 

QUOTES

* “On a night when he didn’t have the consistency to the knuckleball that we’ve seen from many of his starts, he went to his fastball a little bit more. [Against] a good fastball hitting team . . . He’s typically made good adjustments staying over the rubber to get his release point out front -- that wasn’t the case [tonight].” John Farrell said about Steven Wright struggling with his knuckleball in his 4.2 inning outing.

* “The ball was spinning a lot out of my hand. It was a little bit hard to grip the ball because the humidity. But it was the opposite -- it was real sticky. That’s the first time I’ve had that ever. But I still felt like I should have figured that out. It was one of those things where I think I started trying to hard . . . I was trying to the throw the kitchen sink at them but it wasn’t working.” Steven Wright said about struggling to find his knuckleball in the 10-3 loss.

* “It’s hard for me because you want to go out there and try and go as deep as you can to try to help the bullpen, but, you know, today was tough, a tough day for me.” Wright said on his disappointment with only going 4.2 innings.

 

 

NOTES

 

* Hanley Ramirez laced his fourth homerun in his last 11 games. In his nine career games at Texas, Ramirez has six homeruns.

* David Ortiz went hitless for the first time since June 12th. Boston’s designated hitter also hasn’t hit a home run since June 17th -- his third longest homerless spell of 2016.

* Xander Bogaerts scored his 57th run of the season, putting him one run behind Ian Kinsler -- the fourth highest total in the majors.

 

 

STARS

 

1) Adrian Beltre

The ex-Red Sox third baseman finished 2-for-4 with an RBI, a walk -- scoring the team high three runs.

 

2) Ian Desmond

Desmond laced his 13th homer of the season in his second at-bat of the game, sparking Texas’ offense with its first run of the game.

 

3) Elvis Andrus

Andrus ended Steven Wright’s day quickly with a three-run triple in the fifth inning, finishing 1-for-2 with two walks and a run.

First impressions from Red Sox' 10-3 loss to Texas

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First impressions from Red Sox' 10-3 loss to Texas

First impressions of the Red Sox 10-3 loss to Texas:

 

Steven Wright can’t be stellar every night.

Although it’s seemed like it lately, it’s just not possible -- especially with a knuckleball.

He wasn’t even that bad Saturday night. He just didn’t get any help from his defense in the fifth frame.

But there’s no denying he didn’t have his best stuff. But whatever the reason, he couldn’t find consistent command or movement from his knuckler and he gave up some hard hits as a result.

Did he receive a fate worse than he pitched? Yes. But what Boston saw from Wright in his Saturday start is there will be times his go-to pitch is off -- and there’s really no way to work around that.

 

Hanley Ramirez’s “timing issue” seems to be coming around.

Although he hasn’t necessarily caught fire, Ramirez hit another home run -- once again to right field.

He’s shown more patience at the plate, and not trying to pull every ball out of the yard.

Ramirez doesn’t have everything completely figured out, but his homeruns have been plenty valuable at this point.

 

Ian Desmond is no joke.

The newly converted centerfielder is 5-for-10 against Boston pitching this series with a run and two RBI.

The ex-Nationals shortstop has good pop and good speed still. He seems to be a lot more comfortable in his new home after hitting .233 for Washington last year with 19 homeruns -- hitting his 13th Saturday night.

 

For all the criticisms Boston’s bullpen has received, the Rangers’ is definitely worse.

Although there wasn’t the same miraculous comeback witnessed Friday night -- and Boston’s pen wasn’t particularly stellar in the loss -- the Ranger relievers did not look good in the second game of the series.

They put themselves into deep counts right away -- and was lucky Boston’s offense was off.

Boston’s bullpen has its faults -- no question -- but it’s not nearly as bad as the one in Texas.

 

The Red Sox unfortunately have to rely on Clay Buchholz Sunday.

The bullpen is beaten down once again. The righty is still fighting for his job, so this would be the best time for him to pitch competitively into the sixth inning -- and maybe even longer.