Red Sox notes: Pedroia continues to rake


Red Sox notes: Pedroia continues to rake

By Maureen Mullen Follow @maureenamullen
By Joe Haggerty Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs

BOSTON -- Before the game former Red Sox third baseman, Mike Lowell, visiting the clubhouse, mentioned he had dinner with Dustin Pedroia Thursday night. He said Pedroia claimed he would have four hits in Friday nights game against the Mariners.

Pedroia very nearly backed up his claim. He had three hits in his first three at-bats. But in his fourth and final at-bat in the seventh inning, he was one of Felix Hernandezs four walks in the game.

Despite falling short of his prediction, he extended his career-high hitting streak to 19 games, the longest active streak in the American League and tied for the longest overall in the AL this season (with teammate Jacoby Ellsbury, Kansas Citys Alex Gordon, and Baltimores Nick Markakis). He has also now reached safely in his last 31 games since June 15, extending his career-high, also the longest active in the majors. He has reached base four times in a game three times during the streak.

He is hitting .390, 32-for-82, with six doubles, seven home runs, 16 RBI, 20 runs scored, and 10 walks over his hitting streak, with nine multi-hit games.

Im just trying to have good at-bats and get on base, Pedroia said. I get paid to get on base for Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz. So Im trying to do that the best I can.

Daniel Bard retired the only batter he faced, Ms No. 9hitter Greg Halman in the eighth inning, extending his scoreless streak to 23 innings over his last 22 games since May 27. It is the longest by a Sox reliever in one season since Calvin Schiraldis 23-inning scoreless stretch from July 20 Aug. 17, 1986. Bard also extended his team record for consecutive scoreless outings.

The Red Sox had a five-run outburst in the seventh inning of Fridays victory over Seattle, and have outscored their opponents by a 90-32 margin during the seventh inning of ballgames this season. While most of the Sox players didnt want to read too much into the single statistic, theres no denying the seventh frame is normally the time when Bostons offense can hammer away at the middle relievers in the oppositions bullpen and create some breathing room.

Its just the way the game goes, said Adrian Gonzalez. In the seventh inning youre really not seeing the eighth or ninth inning guys, so youre more or less facing the middle relief guys.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia sounds like hes over the Muddy Chicken nickname for Dustin Pedroia after the last road series in Baltimore. It was with a playful smile on his face, but the Sox catcher made it pretty clear that he wont be utilizing Pedroias new nickname anytime soon.

"I refuse to call Pedroia Muddy Chicken, said a smiling Saltalamacchia. Anybody that calls themselves the Muddy Chicken deserves to be slapped.

Sox centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury blasted his 16th home run of the season. The blast was the deepest blast of his big league career at 445 feet into the right field bleachers, according to research done by ESPN. Ellsbury had eight home runs during his entire rookie season and nine home runs during his second year in the bigs, but has already powered a total of seven home runs during the month of July. Its the most home runs in a single month by a Red Sox centerfielder since Carl Everett smacked seven home runs in June of the 2000 baseball season.

Injured right-hander Clay Buchholz was originally scheduled to throw off a mound in a bullpen session on Friday afternoon, but the player and medical staff instead opted for a long toss session for the hurler as he attempts to come back from a strained back. Buchholz voiced frustration and talked about stuff happening in his back during the follow through on his delivery, but the minor setback hasnt changed his timetable for recovery. The string bean righty is still expected back in early August, but will certainly require some rehabilitation starts to build up arm strength before a potential return.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs