Red Sox notes: Pedroia back in MVP form

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Red Sox notes: Pedroia back in MVP form

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Returning from the season-opening six-game road trip, Dustin Pedroia was hitting just .227 (5-for-22) with no walks, five strikeouts, and no extra-base hits. In two games against the Yankees he is 6-for-9 with three doubles, a home run, three runs scored, and five RBI in the series, raising his average 128 points to .355.

On Saturday he went 3-for-4, with three doubles, a run scored, two RBI and a walk.

Manager Terry Francona figured it would just be a matter of time before Pedroia got hot.

Well, I dont think theres ever day where I feel like hes not going to get hot, Francona said. Today was impressive. The out he made a flyball to end the sixth, he hit hard to center field. I think I feel like that every day.

"I was expecting it," said Adrian Gonzalez of Pedroias outburst. "He's an MVP. He's as good as they come."

It was the ninth time in his career Pedroia has three or more hits in consecutive games. The last time was July 8 and 9, 2009, against Oakland and Kansas City. His three doubles Saturday tie his career high, with April 22, 2008, against the Angels.

Left-hander Felix Doubront, activated from the disabled list Friday (elbow tightness), made his season debut, going 1 13 innings, giving up two runs on three hits with one strikeout. He also gave up a two-run home run to Curtis Granderson in the fifth.

He let Granderson get his arms extended, Francona said. I thought the ball came out of his hand pretty well. I think, again, I think this kids future is bright as can be. There may be a little bit of rust there. I just think we still really like this kid. Were going to keep an eye on him and not try to abuse him we dont want to abuse anybody. But were going to try to use him appropriately. But as he settles in hell really help us like he did last year.

Doubront did not pitch in a game in spring training because of his elbow.

Jed Lowrie started at shortstop and went 3-for-4. It was just his second start of the season. In just 11 at-bats, he has four hits, for a .364 average.

Youve got to take a lot of swings and stay sharp, he said. Even sitting on the bench I take swings off a tee. Try to stay sharp so when Im out there Ill be as ready as can be.

J.D. Drew has a five-game hitting streak, going 6-for-16 in that stretch. He is hitting .316.

Kevin Youkilis snapped an 0-for-17 slide with a fifth-inning single. He is hitting .125, but has reached base in six of eight games this season.

Carl Crawford went 1-for-5, getting his first hit at his new home park.

Red Sox pitchers have allowed a combined 19 home runs in eight games this season.

UConn mens basketball coach Jim Calhoun threw out the first pitch before Saturdays game, with Francona doing the catching.

"To come back home is really nice, and to come back home under these circumstances is even nicer," said Calhoun, who grew up in Braintree and coached for Braintree High and Dedham High before moving on to the college ranks. "I can't believe the number of people I saw. Just coming down from the stands and just flowing, people I haven't seen in 30 or 40 years."

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Britton: Red Sox don't have anyone else to call up and pitch

Britton: Red Sox don't have anyone else to call up and pitch

Tim Britton of the Providence Journal joins Michael Felger on Sports Tonight to discuss another poor outing by Eduardo Rodriguez and what other options the Red Sox have at pitcher.

Quotes, notes and stars: E-Rod, Red Sox 'capable of more'

Quotes, notes and stars: E-Rod, Red Sox 'capable of more'

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 13-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays: 

 

QUOTES

"The bottom line is, he's capable of more, we're capable of more. We need to get better and we had a chance to share that after the game here tonight. We collectively have to get better.'' - John Farrell on Eduardo Rodriguez and the rest of the Red Sox.

"We can't continue to expect our offense to climb out of holes, as we've been. We've got to set the tone and lead the way from the mound more than we are.'' - Farrell on falling behind early.

"Yeah, I think guys are playing hard. I mean, hell, our shortstop ran a 3.9 down the line in the ninth inning, down seven runs - then went first-to-third. So, yeah, that was pretty cool.'' - Dustin Pedroia, asked whether he was satisfied with the effort of the club.

"Do you honestly think I'm going to tell you that? I was talking to him about baseball. That's basically it. I talk to all my teammates every day.'' - Pedroia, when asked what he said in a mound visit with Rodriguez.

 

NOTES

* The 13 runs allowed by the Red Sox tied a season-high and the 18 hits were the most they've given up this season.

* The Red Sox have been outscored 22-0 in the first innings of their last 15 games.

* The Sox dropped to 4 1/2 games back in the American League East, their biggest deficit of the season.

* On the current road trip, Red Sox starters have combined for a 13.20 ERA.

* Boston has allowed first-inning runs in six of their last eight games.

* David Ortiz collected his 1,703rd RBI, passing Reggie Jackson and moving into 24th place all-time.

* Sandy Leon (two-run homer) has five extra-base hits in 29 at-bats this season. Last year, he had two in 114 at-bats.

* Bryce Brentz had his first three-hit game, first multi-RBI game and first multi-extra-base hit game of his career.

 

STARS

1) Nick Franklin

Franklin, making just his second start of the season, had a career-high five RBI with three hits, including his first homer since last Sept. 15.

2) Logan Forsythe

From the leadoff position, Forsythe banged out three hits, knocked in three runs and scored two to pace the Tampa Bay offense.

3) Evan Longoria

It wouldn't be a series between these two teams without Longoria doing some major damage. The veteran third baseman had three hits and two runs scored as part of the conga line that was the Rays lineup.