Red Sox notes: Unfamiliarity hurts Lester

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Red Sox notes: Unfamiliarity hurts Lester

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON - Jon Lester faced an unfamiliar team, and in turn, saw uncharacteristic results.

Entering Saturdays game against the Milwaukee Brewers, a 4-2 loss for the Red Sox, Lester had pitched against four of their batters. Ironically, they were not the ones to do damage.

Lester gave up three homeruns (including back-to-back shots) in the first three innings to Rickie Weeks, Corey Hart, and George Kottaras, none of whom he had faced before. He had only given up a total of eight homeruns in his previous 13 starts since also surrendering three on Opening Day against the Texas Rangers.

Its sometimes throwing against teams you dont really know, especially early on when youre trying to feel them out, figure out what their game plan is against you and obviously they were very aggressive, he said. We made the adjustment later and started to get some outs."

Lester settled in after the third, pitching five scoreless innings and finishing the night with eight strikeouts.

Even though he has given up 14 homeruns this season, matching his entire season total last year, Terry Francona was still pleased with how he settled into the game.

His stuff is every bit the same as its always been, said Francona. And again, he ends up going eight innings, gives up four. We scored two and were saying he really battled back and did a great job.

Carl Crawford was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring he suffered running to first base on Friday. While he looks forward to returning, he knows he has to be patient with this injury. It is only his second stint on the DL his entire career and Crawford doesnt want to spend any more time there than he has to.

Hamstring injury, you dont want to mess around with that, he said. You see a lot of guys try to come back too early and then they mess it up and end up being out even longer. We just want to make sure when I come back, I stay there.

If his recovery goes as planned, Crawford would be able to play on the road the Astros, a series the Houston-native has been looking forward to playing in.

Definitely wouldnt want to miss that series, he said. Were cutting it close, thats for sure. Hopefully things will get better soon.

Adrian Gonzalez was assessed an error for dropping a foul ball during Rickie Weeks first-inning at bat, which resulted in a homerun. I just dropped it, Gonzalez said. It was a ball that I should have had and I dropped it. The ball came back a little more than I anticipated and I didnt feel a lot of wind. The ball just came back a little more than I thought and made me kind of have to drop the glove a little bit for the catch and I just dropped it. Its one of those things I wish I had it back.

David Ortiz has extended his home hitting streak to 12 games, dating back to May 19. This is his longest hitting streak at Fenway Park since he spanned a career-high 15 games in 2007.

Brewers leadoff hitter Rickie Weeks became a statistical oddity in the first inning when Adrian Gonzalez dropped his foul pop and Weeks hit the next pitch for a home run, thus becoming an unearned run as the lead-off hitter of a game. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Weeks is the first batter since the Expos' Warren Cromartie on July 4, 1979, to lead off a game with dropped foul then hitting a home run. Cromartie did so off the Cubs' Bill Caudill after third baseman Steve Ontiveros dropped Cromarties foul fly.

Saturdays paid attendance of 38,175 was Fenway Parks largest of the season.

The Red Sox will pay tribute to the Boston Bruins for winning the Stanley Cup prior to Sundays game. Bruins coach Claude Julien acknowledged Francona, Patriots coach Bill Belichick, and Celtics coach Doc Rivers at the start of the Bruins Stanley Cup parade and celebration Saturday morning.

Thank goodness I called him, Francona joked, or Id be left out.

Bobby Jenks, on the DL with back tightness since June 8, made 45 throws Saturday on flat ground.

Dr. Lewis Yocum is expected to examine the MRI of Jed Lowries left shoulder early in the week. Lowrie was placed on the DL Friday with a left shoulder strain.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.com!JCamerato

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Among the reactions to the news that Bobby Valentine was possibly being considered to be the US amassador to Japan in President Donald Trump’s administration was this beauty from Kevin Youkilis. 

Valentine famously called out Youkilis early in his stormy tenure as Red Sox manager in 2012. Remember? "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Bobby V said of Youk at the time. 

The Red Sox traded Youkilis to the White Sox for two not-future Hall of Famers, outfielder Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart, later that season.

Youkilis, now Tom Brady’s brother-in-law by the way, had a 21-game stint playing in Japan in 2014 before retiring from baseball. 

 

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer.  And…

US ambassador to Japan?

Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.

The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons. 

When asked by the New York Daily News if he's being considered for the post, Valentine responded: "I haven't been contacted by anyone on Trump's team." 

Would he be interested?

"I don't like to deal in hypotheticals," Valentine told the Daily News.

Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, sources told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. 

Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California.