Red Sox notes: Pedroia continues to rake

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Red Sox notes: Pedroia continues to rake

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com 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 jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Quotes, notes and stars: Porcello has ability to adjust

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Quotes, notes and stars: Porcello has ability to adjust

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 8-0 win over the Yankees:

QUOTES:

"He threw all four pitches tonight for strikes, but most importantly, (he's shown) the ability to make adjustments from pitch-to-pitch. If he gets out of whack or misses with a pitch, he's right back in the strike zone.'' - John Farrell on Rick Porcello.

"You look back at the first month and I think we've gained a lot of trust in each other up and down the lineup. That to me is the strongest attribute right now on this team.'' - Farrell on the Red Sox after one month of play.

"Pretty similar. I'm getting a lot of timely hits, and it's helping the team.'' - Jackie Bradley Jr., asked if this last week is similar to the hot streak he enjoyed last August.

"I'm comfortable. I'm in a good place, mentally and physically. I worked really hard to get where I am now and I'm going to continue to work.'' – Bradley on his hot streak.

"Much better fastball command. I've been able to execute my sinker better and that's allowed me to get ahead of hitters and if I do fall behind, I've been able to come back.'' - Porcello on cutting his walk rate by more than half compared to this point a year ago.

NOTES:

* The shutout at Fenway was the first for the Red Sox against the Yankees since May 14, 2011.

* The eight-run margin was the biggest margin in a Red Sox shutout over the Yankees since Sept. 6, 2003 when they won 11-0 in New York.

* The four triples in April for Jackie Bradley Jr. are the most for a Red Sox hitter in that month since Jose Offerman in 1999.

* In his last nine games against the Yankees, Bradley is 14-for-31 (.452) with nine extra-base hits.

* Rick Porcello's 5-0 start to the season is the best run for a Red Sox starter since Josh Beckett was 7-0 in 2007.

* The Yankees have failed to homer in seven games this season; they're 0-7 in those games.

STARS:

1) Jackie Bradley Jr.

Bradley had three extra-base hits (two triples and a double) for eight total bases, and knocked in three runs.

2) Rick Porcello

The Red Sox starter tossed seven shutout innings and allowed only two baserunners into scoring position while issuing just one walk.

3) Mookie Betts

Betts had a double in the second and a single in the sixth, good for three RBI, a season high for him.

First impressions from Red Sox' 8-0 win over Yankees: Bradley on a tear

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First impressions from Red Sox' 8-0 win over Yankees: Bradley on a tear

First impressions from the Red Sox' 8-0 win over the Yankees:

* Rick Porcello doesn't seem like a weak link in the rotation now.

Porcello blanked the Yankees for seven innings and is now 5-0 with a 2.76 ERA for the season. For the fourth time in five outings, he pitched into the seventh innings.

The Yankees threatened only once - in the fifth, when they had runners at the corners and two out. But Porcello got Jacoby Ellsbury to ground out, stranding two and was never in trouble again.

Porcello's command is improved over a year ago. In his first five starts last year, covering 30 innings, he walked 10. This year, he's pitched 32 2/3 innings and issued just five walks.

* Jackie Bradley is swinging it like he did last August.

Bradley went on an extra-base tear late last summer, rocketing doubles, triples and homers for a stretch of a few weeks that was completely unexpected.

The last week has been like that stretch, with seven extra-base hits in the last seven games. He knocked in the first run of the night with a double to left, then delivered another in the sixth with a triple to the triangle and two more in the seventh with a triple into the right field corner.

In the two games against the Yankees, he's got four extra-base hits, a walk and five RBI.

* David Ortiz has started 20 games this season. He's knocked in 19 runs.

Ortiz added his second homer in as many nights, to go along with a single and walk.

It's doubtful that he's going to keep up his RBI-per-game pace, but when he's locked in the way he is now, he impacts virtually the entire lineup from the cleanup position.

* If you think Pablo Sandoval was bad, maybe you haven't been watching Chase Headley.

The Yankee third baseman was a free agent the same winter that Sandoval was and some argued that he would have been a better fit for the Sox than was Panda.

But 22 games into the 2016 season, Headley has yet to collect a single base hit and has an OPS of .405. He's hitting .153 and has virtually no range to speak of at third base.

* A lot has changed for Junichi Tazawa.

A year ago, Tazawa was overworked in the first half of the season. On Saturday night, he got an inning of work in the ninth in a blowout game because he hadn't pitched since last Sunday -- thanks to strong starting efforts from the rotation over the past two series.