Red Sox notes: 'Tek makes history with home run

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Red Sox notes: 'Tek makes history with home run

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA
BOSTON -- Jason Varitek is best known for his role behind the plate, but with one swing of the bat, he joined the ranks in the Red Sox offensive books.

The 39-years-and-138-day-old catcher hit a blast in the second inning off Guillermo Moscoso, making him the oldest Red Sox to hit a homerun since Ellis Burks did it on April 8, 2004 at 39 years and 210 days old.

Varitek has hit nine homeruns in 58 games this season, passing last season's total of seven in 39 games and on a better pace than the 14 home runs in 109 games played in 2009.

I think hes still got a lot left, Terry Francona said after the Red Sox 9-3 in Game 1 of the doubleheader. I think hes proving that. What he does behind the plate, weve been saying for years. Its nice when he chips in with some homeruns like hes been. I think the playing time hes getting is probably just about perfect. Hes kept himself in such great shape but hes caught a lot of games. We dont want to run him out there every day. Its not fair to him. But the way hes been catching has been really, really good. The production out of our catching has been tremendous.

Varitek is just happy to help the Red Sox win, regardless of how many individual accolades he picks up.

I have team goals, he said. I always have. What happens from there, theres so many elements to the game and trying to win and do things that I try not to spend too much time worrying about that stuff, just try to have competitive at bats.

Adrian Gonzalez connected for his 183th hit of the season, a new career high. His previous mark was 182 in 2007.

Mike Aviles recorded his first three-hit game (3-4, 2R) as a member of the Red Sox during Game 1. His last three-hit game came at Fenway Park on July 26 as a member of the Kansas City Royals.

With the win, the Red Sox improved to the following on the season:
29-11 in day games
54-18 when scoring first
55-10 when scoring five or more runs
62-29 when hitting a home run

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comJCameratoNBA

Quotes, notes and stars: Buchholz's first inning 'part of the game'

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Quotes, notes and stars: Buchholz's first inning 'part of the game'

Quotes, notes and stars from the Boston Red Sox’ 6-2 loss to the Texas Rangers:

 

QUOTES

 

“In the first inning there really weren’t a whole lot of balls that were really hit hard. They were just hit where we weren’t . . . Regardless of it being a mistake, its balls that just seemed to find some holes. They put some good at-bats together, and, yeah, that’s part of the game.”Clay Buchholz on what happened in his 3-run first inning.

“Yeah, he’s tired. He needs a day. There’s no other way to put it.”John Farrell on Xander Bogaerts’ struggling in the series.

“We get a little momentum after the [Bryce] Brentz homerun and then unfortunately give it right back.”Farrell said about Boston losing momentum in the sixth inning with Prince Fielder’s two-run homerun off of Buchholz.

“It’s a matter of settling in and commanding the baseball to quality locations.”Farrell said on Buchholz have immense trouble in the first inning through his last two starts.

“Based on this series it’s a struggle. We get 12+ innings out of a rotation . . . we’re finding ourselves in some holes. That’s not the script you’re trying to draw up.”Farrell on the state of the Red Sox rotation following the series in Texas.

“It’s always special. One thing you’ll never forget.” - Bryce Brentz on his first Major League homerun.

 

NOTES

* Xander Bogaerts finished the series 1-12, and has seen his average drop to .344, falling behind Houston’s José Altuve.

* The Red Sox are now four games behind the Orioles in second place and only lead the Blue Jays by one game. That’s the farthest back the Red Sox have been since the seventh game of the season.

* Clay Buchholz’s less than spectacular outing was his longest since May 26th – his last start before being pulled from the starting rotation. 

* Prince Fielder hit two homeruns off Boston pitching in the series for his sixth and seventh of the year. Those are his first home runs since 6/11. The series against the Red Sox was his first in which he launched more than one homerun in the series.

 

 

STARS

1) Martin Perez

Perez kept Boston off balance all day, scattering six hits and two walks in his six-inning start. The lefty only had two punch-outs, but he kept the ball on the ground -- which is what he does best.

2) Prince Fielder

With Texas talking about sitting him in the series Fielder launched his second homerun of the series in his 2-3 performance. The two-run long ball was the different in the game being a close contest down the stretch.

3) Adrian Beltre

The ex-Red Sox third baseman had another strong game, lacing two RBI singles in the game. His first RBI base hit came in Texas’ three-run onslaught in the first frame.

First impressions: Red Sox happy to get out of Texas

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First impressions: Red Sox happy to get out of Texas

First impressions of the Red Sox 6-2 loss to Texas

 

Clay Buchholz needs to figure out his first inning struggles.

He put together another decent outing -- but they’ve both been all for not thanks to terrible first innings.

Buchholz had the same issue prior to his sentence to the bullpen. But he needs to make an adjustment. David Price, Steven Wright and Rick Porcello have all had to deal with some level of adversity and handled it in some capacity -- so it’s time for Buchholz to do the same.

If he minimizes the damage to one run -- never mind a scoreless first frame -- Boston has a decent chance to win his starts once in a while.

No matter what, Buchholz needs to put out max effort in the first inning of his next start -- no excuses.

 

Don’t look now, but Buchholz was the best Boston starting pitcher of the Texas series.

That’s not saying much with the way Wright and Price’s nights wound up, but he was the best starter.

Obviously five runs (four earned) in 5.1 innings isn’t a good outing, but the bullpen at least had a chance to catch its breath -- compared to Friday and Saturday’s games.

Buchholz still has to do much better for Boston if he wants to remain the fifth starter.

 

Xander Bogaerts’ defense is slipping a bit.

The shortstop has had errors in consecutive games for the first time in 2016 -- both leading to Texas runs.

The 23-year-old shortstop has only sat out one game this year, so it’s fair to assume fatigue is setting in.

Even if that’s not the case, John Farrell should consider giving Bogaerts a day off soon to move past his fielding problems.

 

Buchholz took away the little momentum Boston found in the fourth.

Although Bogaerts didn’t help with the error, Buchholz almost instantly gave back the run Boston scored in the top of the sixth. Which is something Rick Porcello, Steven Wright and David Price have all dealt with -- and overcome.

Just another reason Dave Dombrowski needs to keep working for a fifth starter.

Because there’s no way coming out of any series Boston should have its best effort from a starting pitcher be a five-inning five-run (one unearned) outing.

Other starters have to pick up the slack when Wright has an occasional subpar outing. While Price has been on late and Porcello is reliable, Boston hasn’t had that from anyone else.