Red Sox right Tuesday night's wrongs in win

191542.jpg

Red Sox right Tuesday night's wrongs in win

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen

BOSTON Beating the Yankees, 9-5, Tuesday night at Fenway Park improving their season record to 11-3 over the Bombers the Red Sox were able to do something they couldnt in the series-opener loss Monday night: Get timely hits, and big hits, too.

Every member of the Sox lineup had at least one hit. Yankees starter Phil Hughes gave up six runs on eight hits in 5 23 innings.

We stayed on him, kept pressure on him, said Jacoby Ellsbury. I thought throughout the lineup we did a tremendous job, just kept putting pressure on him.

Each time the Yankees went ahead in the third (by 1-0) and sixth (by 5-4) innings the Sox came back and put multiple runs on the board, led by two-run homers from David Ortiz in the fifth, Jacoby Ellsbury in the sixth, and Jason Varitek in the eighth.

We had a big hit out of David and Adrian Gonzalez was able to get on with a base hit, and David hits a big two-run homer, Varitek said. Some things dont go our way. A ball bounces around in right field in the sixth, allowing two runs to score. The next thing you know were in a tie game and then were down one. Jacoby comes up with a huge homer.

Josh Beckett was the beneficiary of the offensive outburst, improving to 12-5 with a 2.54 ERA. He is the first Sox pitcher to record four wins in a season since Al Nipper in 1987.

I thought I made some pitches whenever I needed to, Beckett said. But tonight wasnt about me. We had some guys that have been sticking out all year that stuck out big time.

Variteks home run was his 10th of the season. At 39 years, 142 days, he is the oldest Sox batter to homer in a game since Ellis Burks at 39 years, 210 days on April 8, 2004. On a six-game hitting streak, Varitek added a hit-and-run in the fifth, scoring Josh Reddick, who walked. Varitek went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI.

That hit-and-run was something we practiced, Varitek said. Tito does a lot with me and he has over the years. Its one of the first ones this year.

Ellsburys blast, off Yankee reliever, lefty Boone Logan, into the first row of Monster seats in left-center, scored Varitek. Asked the last time he hit a home run to left, Ellsbury was quick to answer with tongue in cheek.

Today in BP, he said.

He was unaware it was his first career home run to left field. Ellsbury worked the count to 3-and-1, taking two sliders for balls, before turning on Logans 95-mph four-seamer.

Probably wouldnt have seen that a couple of years ago, manager Terry Francona said. He stays back now, he stays balanced . . . Balls that were doubles or outs are turning into a home run. I think he gets more confident as he each day passes.

Laying off the sliders is just being ready to hit and recognizing the pitches early, Ellsbury said. That allowed me to get in a good hitters count. Ended up putting a good swing on that ball. Im just hoping to drive Tek in, peppering the wall. But its nice to see it go out.

Ortizs home run, his team-leading 28th of the season, gave him a season-high 14-game hitting streak, his longest with the Sox, and second-longest of his career, behind a 19-gamer with the Twins in 2002. During his current streak, he is hitting .509 (27-for-53) with seven double, seven home runs, 16 RBI, and eight walks.

Hes a huge run producer, said Pedroia. Hes one of the reasons why we score so many runs. We need him to continue to hit because we dont need him out there playing defense.

Before Variteks hit-and-run in the sixth, Reddick worked his way back from being down 0-2 to Hughes to work an eight-pitch walk, setting up the run.

Those are grinding at-bats, Pedroia said. That's what makes our offense good. We got guys who can hit but in certain situations when their pitching is tough you got to do the little things to help us win. We just got to continue to do that throughout the year.

Despite the decisive win, the Sox wouldnt call this a statement game, though.

It was a nice win, Ellsbury said. I thought the fans, there was a lot of electricity. We feed off that. It was a fun win.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen.

Quotes, notes and stars: Swihart flashes power and speed

red_sox_blake_swihart_052616.jpg

Quotes, notes and stars: Swihart flashes power and speed

BOSTON - Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 10-3 win over the Colorado Rockies:

 

QUOTES

"I felt a little cramp. I'm fine. I appreciate John and everybody looking out (for me). We obviously don't want anything to happen like last year, but I'm good.'' - Dustin Pedroia, who left the game in the fifth after experiencing some tightness in his right hamstring.

"It's nice to be able to get deep into the game. That's my goal every time. My goal is nine innings, so if I don't get nine innings, I'm a little disappointed because I want to be able to go out there and pitch as many innings as I can.'' - Steven Wright.

"I think my release point was just a little off. That definitely makes it hard, especially when it's moving, because it's not a consistent release point.'' - Wright on the early-inning unpredictability of his signature pitch.

"Even when I was catching, I pride myself on running. I want to be an athlete back there. I want to run the bases, steal bases, things most catchers aren't known to do.'' - Blake Swihart, who hit two triples.

 

NOTES

* Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to 29 games.

* Xander Bogaerts extended his hitting streak to 18 games.

* David Ortiz tied Paul Molitor for 12th on the all-time doubles list with 605.

* Ortiz has driven in multiple runs in three straight games

* Dustin Pedroia has a career batting average of .340 in interleague play, the highest ever for someone with 500 or more at-bats.

* Travis Shaw drove in three runs and now has 68 RBI in his first 111 games since Fred Lynn and Jim Rice in 1974-75.

* Blake Swihart became the third Red Sox hitter this season to post two triples in the same game.

* The Red Sox clinched their fifth straight home series win.

* The Sox are 21-8 since April 24 and are 13-2 in their last 15 home games.

 

STARS

1) Steven Wright

Backed by some rare run support, Wright evened his record at 4-4 with seven-plus innings and his eighth quality start this season.

2) Travis Shaw

Shaw produced two hits and knocked in three runs, making him the fourth Red Sox player this season to reach 30 RBI.

3) Blake Swihart

Swihart got to flash both his power and his speed by hitting two triples to the triangle, motoring around the bases.

 

First impressions from Red Sox' 10-3 win over Rockies

red_sox_steven_wright_052516.jpg

First impressions from Red Sox' 10-3 win over Rockies

BOSTON- First impressions from the Red Sox' 10-3 win over Colorado:

 

Steven Wright is the very picture of consistency.

In nine starts this season, Wright has pitched at least six innings and allowed two earned runs or fewer eight times. In the one start in which he failed to do so, he was pitching in a mini-monsoon and unable to properly grip his signature pitch.

On Wednesday, he battled some early-inning wildness with the knuckler, resulting in two wild pitches and four passed balls, but eventually settled down.

His 4-4 mark hardly represents how well he's pitched. A more telling stat is the 60 2/3 innings he's pitched in nine outings, just shy of seven per game.

 

It could be a costly night for injuries.

Ryan Hanigan left the game after 2 1/2 innings because of illness. Dustin Pedroia came out in the fifth as a precaution after experiencing some tightness in his right hamstring. And Xander Bogaerts jammed his thumb in the eighth.

Let's assume that Hanigan's illness is a temporary thing, and since Bogaerts remained in the game, that, too, seemed minor.

But the Pedroia hamstring is potentially a red flag, since it was that same hamstring that sidelined him for almost half of last season.

 

For the past 19 home games, the Red Sox have averaged more than eight runs per game.

Nineteen games isn't exactly a small sample size. In fact, it's almost exactly one-quarter of the home schedule. To average more than eight runs per game over that long a stretch, covering parts of three different homestands, is pretty remarkable.

 

Blake Swihart's speed is something else.

Swihart hit two triples to the triangle Wednesday night, and on the second, to see him shift into higher gear as he approached second base was really something to see.

It's difficult to think of another catcher -- and yes, I understand that Swihart has been playing left field exclusively of late; but he remains primarily a catcher -- who ran as well as Swihart does.

When the Sox and other independent evaluators remark about Swihart's athleticism, that's one of the things to which they're referring.