Red Sox notes: Sox continue to struggle with RISP

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Red Sox notes: Sox continue to struggle with RISP

By Jessica Camerato and Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com

BOSTON - The bases were loaded twice. There were runners in scoring position 11 times. The Boston Red Sox had plenty of opportunities to beat the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night at Fenway Park, where they had not been shutout in over a year.

But they didnt. For the third time this season, they failed to score a single run.

The Red Sox know they have to fix this.

Were just not getting the job done, said Adrian Gonzalez. Theres been plenty of games where weve had an opportunity to put the game away and we havent been able to make it happen.

The Red Sox (11-15) connected on seven hits, just one less than the Mariners (13-15), but left 11 men on base in their 2-0 loss. It was the most men left on base in a shutout since a June 15, 2005 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Its a lot of the same thing, said Terry Francona. We get in situations like that and were swinging at a lot of off-speed pitches and not staying in the middle of the field . . . We had a few opportunities and didnt do anything.

After starting off the season 0-6, the Red Sox finished the month of April with 11 wins. Even though Kevin Youkilis noted an improvement, that still isnt good enough for a team with such high expectations.

We havent played anywhere close to where we want to play, he said. And were going to play great ball at some point and we just hope everyone stays patient with us. Its very frustrating for everybody. Everyone in this clubhouse is frustrated, we want to win more than anyone else.

We understand the frustrations out there and people pay a lot of good money to come to these games. We know theyre frustrated. Just so everyone knows, were really frustrated too.

The Red Sox are now tied for the league lead in getting shutout (three times), with the Angels and White Sox. John Lackey has taken the loss in the last two, despite throwing quality starts in both.

The Red Sox are now 52-for-245 (.212) with runners in scoring position.

Youkilis left the game with stiffness in his hip. He injured his hip on slide earlier this week. Francona is uncertain if he will play in Sundays game. Its all right, said Youkilis. Its a little tight and hopefully overnight itll be a little better.

Mariners left fielder Milton Bradley was ejected in the top of the third inning by second-base umpire Gerry Davies for arguing the call after catcher Miguel Olivo was called out at first on a throw from Youkilis. It was the 18th ejection of Bradleys career and the first since April 16, 2009 as a member of the Chicago Cubs.

Two Red Sox extended hitting streaks of note on Saturday:

Jacoby Ellsbury (1-3, 2 BB): 9-games, batting .385 during streak

Adrian Gonzlaez (1-3, BB): 7 games, batting .433 during streak

Dustin Pedroia drew his 18th walk of the season - and the month of April - on Saturday. His previously monthly high was 17 walks in May of 2009.

J.D. Drew connected on his 1,400th career hit with a double in the bottom of the sixth. With a walk in the same inning, Carl Crawford is now two walks shy of the 300 mark.

Reliever Dan Wheeler made his ninth appearance of the season in the eighth inning. Earlier in the day, threw out the first pitch for the Westside Little League, his former Little League program in Warwick, Rhode Island.

Clay Buchholz was sent home from Fenway on Friday when he was not feeling well. As a result, he will be pushed from his schedule start, Sunday against the Ms at Fenway, to face the Angels Monday. Tim Wakefield will take Buchholzs place Sunday. Matsuzakas next scheduled start would be Wednesday against the Angels. Francona, though, is reserving a decision.

Buchholz went home and had a pretty good night sleep but well give him a day to get some strength under his belt, Francona said. Then well get by another day or two to kind of watch these guys and see where everybody is and then well kind of put it together. Whether its on Dices day, we have to ability to do a few things so well see how Dice is feeling.

Were up to Monday. Thats kind of where were at.

How Wakefields start will play out how deep he will go into the game is uncertain. Since throwing 3 13 innings against the Rays at Fenway on April 11, Wakefield has pitched a total of two innings one each on April 18 against the Blue Jays and April 27 in Baltimore.

We dont know, Francona said. I actually talked to Wake about that earlier. I said, Stay with me tomorrow, because of all people Wakes a little hard to read. His velocitys always the same. That doesnt mean hes not tired or his legs arent going. So well stay with him.

Who will catch him is uncertain. Varitek caught Friday and Jarrod Saltalamacchia is in the starting lineup tonight. Conventional wisdom day game after a night game would put Varitek behind the plate.

I dont know quite what were going to do yet, Francona said. Obviously there's a lot of moving parts today.

On this date in 1901, the Boston Americans, as the franchise was then known, earned the first victory in team history, beating the Philadelphia Athletics 8-6 in 10 innings in Philadelphia. Cy Young earned the complete-game win. The team was renamed the Red Sox before the 1908 season.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcameratonba

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Sandoval 'starting from scratch' after career had 'fallen into an abyss'

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The Pablo Sandoval redemption tour is underway as the former World Series MVP tries to revive his career after two disastrous seasons with the Red Sox organization.

In an interview with ESPN Deportes, he admits to being “complacent” during his first two seasons in Boston after signing a five-year, $95 million deal. 

"My career had fallen into an abyss because I was so complacent with things that I had already accomplished," Sandoval said. "I did not work hard in order to achieve more and to remain at the level of the player that I am and that I can be."

After dealing Travis Shaw to the Brewers, Sandoval is expected to be the Red Sox primary third baseman in 2017.

"I am not taking anything for granted," he said. "I am here to work hard. I'm not thinking about the position or not. I am starting from scratch, and I am here to show what I can do on the field."

The 30-year-old says he’s following a “really strict routine” this offseason, and it shows. In a recent photo, Sandoval appears noticeably thinner. Sandoval says his wife giving birth to “Baby Panda” has served as inspiration.

"Watching 'Baby Panda' grow up and that he gets the opportunity to see his father play in the majors for seven, eight more years, to get back to the success I had, that's my motivation every day," Sandoval said. "The people that I surround myself with now and my family, they are the key to my success. This has been a life lesson."

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