Sox plundered by Pirates, 6-4

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Sox plundered by Pirates, 6-4

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
PITTSBURGH The Red Sox continued their stumble through Interleague play, dropping their second straight game to the Pirates, 6-4, and fourth straight to National League teams.

In his second start against his former team, Tim Wakefield took the loss, falling to 4-3, with a 4.54 ERA.

Wakefield went six innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and four walks (one intentional), with two wild pitches, two strikeouts, and a home run. He threw 86 pitches, 49 strikes.

He was done in by a four-run fourth inning, when he faced eight Pirates batters. With a two-run lead, Wakefield gave up a 3-run homer to Lyle Overbay and an RBI single to pitcher Jeff Karstens.

Wakefield gave up another run in the next inning, when Chase dArnaud led off with a single followed by Garrett Jones double. DArnaud scored on Dustin Pedroias fourth error of the season, as Andrew McCutchens ground ball went through his legs.

The Pirates added another run in the seventh. Matt Albers, who started the inning, gave up a one-out solo homer to Jones. It was the first home run Albers has allowed since June 8, 2010, spanning 60 games and 77.i innings.

Jeff Karstens earned the win, improving to 5-4 (2.66). He went 6 23 innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on six hits and three walks with two strikeouts and three home runs. He threw 109 pitches, 68 strikes.

The Sox opened the scoring in the first when Dustin Pedroia walked with one out, stole second and went to third on catcher Mike McKenrys throwing error. He then scored on Adrian Gonzalezs groundout to shortstop Ronny Cedeno.

Solo home runs by Gonzalez in the third, and Josh Reddick and Jacoby Ellsbury in the seventh accounted for the rest of the Sox runs.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Lyle Overbay
With the Pirates trailing by two runs in fourth, Overbays three-run homer in the fourth inning was the big blow they needed. Overbay, who went 1-for-3 with three RBI and an intentional walk, has more home runs, 13, against the Sox than he does against any other team. Although he entered the game hitting .231 for the season, he is batting .307 in his career against the Sox.

HONORABLE MENTION: Jeff Karstens
Karstens had not faced the Red Sox since 2007, while with the Yankees. He went 6 23 innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on six hits and three walks with two strikeouts, improving his record to 5-4 with a 2.66 ERA. Although he gave up three home runs, they were all solo shots, limiting the damage by the Sox. The Sox had runners on in every inning but the fourth, but could build no momentum against Karstens. In 11 Interleague games (six starts), he is 3-0 with a 3.06 ERA.

THE GOAT: Tim Wakefield
Given a 2-0 lead after three innings, Wakefield could not hold onto it, relinquishing the lead and the game in the fourth. He faced eight Pirates batters in the inning, giving up four runs on four hits and a walk. Wakefield went six innings, giving put five runs on seven hits and four walks (one intentional) with two strikeouts and two passed balls. His record fell to 4-3 with a 4.54 ERA.

THE TURNING POINT
After the Sox got out to an early 2-0 lead, with single runs in the first and third, the Pirates took the lead for good in the fourth. With one out, Andrew McCutchen singled, and Neil Walker walked, setting up Lyle Overbays three-run blast. Ronny Cedeno followed with a double. After Mike McKenry fouled out to catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, pitcher Jeff Karstens singled up the middle, scoring Cedeno with his first RBI of the season. Jose Tabata grounded out to end the rally, but the Pirates took a lead they would not relinquish.

STAT OF THE DAY: 1-for-4
David Ortiz entered the game batting 1-for-3 with a home run as a pinch-hitter this season. He has not been in the starting lineup the last two games, as manager Terry Francona has had the difficult decision of sitting Ortiz. In each of the last two games, though, Ortiz has been called up in the late innings to pinch-hit in a crucial spot. Friday he came up in the eighth inning with the tying runs on second and third. On Saturday night, he led pinch-hit to lead off the ninth. Both times he was unsuccessful, making him 1-for-4 in pinch-hit situations this season. Francona said he is unlikely to start Ortiz at first base and Adrian Gonzalez in right field on Sunday, meaning Ortiz could be called on for similar pinch-hit situations.

QUOTE OF THE DAY
Weve lost six in a row before. Weve been 2-10 before. Were human. Everyone puts us out there to win 120 but we got, I dont know how many wins we have now, but whatever we have, we have to get one more.

-Kevin Youkilis on the Sox four-game losing streak

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Buy or Sell: Steven Wright is legit front-line starter?

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Buy or Sell: Steven Wright is legit front-line starter?

Mike Giardi and Bob Neumeier play a game of ‘Buy or Sell’ on SNC and give their opinion on what Boston Red Sox players they are buying into.

Red Sox will be in attendance for Lincecum showcase

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Red Sox will be in attendance for Lincecum showcase

CHICAGO -- Along with 20 or so other teams, the Red Sox will be in attendance Friday when former San Francisco Giants righthander Tim Lincecum throws in Scottsdale, Az. in a showcase for scouts and talent evaluators.

Indications are, however, that the Sox are merely doing their due diligence in attending the workout. It's unclear how highly they regard the 31-year-old pitcher, or what role they would envision for him.

Lincecum was a free agent last winter, but attracted little attention and spent most of the winter and early spring refining his mechanics, gearing toward this week's showcase.

Lincecum was the National League Cy Young Award winner in 2008 and 2009 and an All-Star in 2010 and 2011, but from 2012 through last year, his performance dipped considerably, with a won-loss record of 39-42 and an ERA of 4.68.

He pitched out of the bullpen some in 2014 and last season was limited to just 15 starts.

The Sox are waiting on Eduardo Rodriguez and Joe Kelly to return from injuries and have Henry Owens in the rotation currently. Additionally, Brian Johnson and Roenis Elias are depth options in Pawtucket.

 

Dombrowski: Sandoval 'committed to getting ready' for 2017 after successful surgery

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Dombrowski: Sandoval 'committed to getting ready' for 2017 after successful surgery

CHICAGO -- Pablo Sandoval's second season with the Red Sox is officially over, almost before it began.

Sandoval, who appeared in just three games in April after losing the starting third baseman's job to Travis Shaw in spring training, underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder Tuesday and won't return until 2017.

"Dr. (James) Andrews (who performed the procedure) said the surgery went well,'' said Dave Dombrowski, "as well as can be expected. I talked to Pablo myself already today, talked to his representative Rick Thurman. Pablo's happy that they've been able to fix the problem and committed to getting ready for next year.''

Andrews told Dombrowski that in a best-case scenario with "everything going perfectly right, maybe he could be ready (to play) in six months,'' taking his recovery into November.

Sandoval was bothered in the past by labrum issues, and they appear to have worsened over time, though no one with the Red Sox can pinpoint an incident or specific time when Sandoval aggravated the condition further.

"It happens,'' said Dombrowski. "I don't really know what happened that one day he woke up and couldn't lift up his shoulder. But that was really the first indication that we had that he was hurting.''

"Even after the onset of the injury,'' said John Farrell, "Pablo and I had some conversations daily. . . There was a play in Toronto (in the first week of the season) when he dove to the (foul) line and saved a run. Whether the impact there moved along the injury, that's a possibility. Even in conversations with him, there was not one event that he could recall.''

Dombrowski said Sandoval will return to Boston soon, where his girlfriend is due to deliver a baby in the next few weeks. After that, Sandoval will return to Florida, though it's undecided whether he will be based in Miami, where he lives in the off-season, or at the Red Sox spring training facility in Fort Myers.

Dombrowski said that while an exact rehab plan has yet to be put together, the Red Sox "will have our eyes on him on a continual basis. But I can't say that someone (from the organization) will be there all the time, but quite regularly.''

Asked if the time off might enable Sandoval to address some conditioning issues, Dombrowski said: "He already has. I'm not going to give you specific (numbers), but he already has dropped weight during the season, once he's been under our care on a daily basis. I think he's committed to doing that, we're committed to doing that. We'll have a very thorough program to address a lot of different issues between now and next season.''

Left unanswered is how Sandoval can contribute to the Red Sox in the three remaining years left on his five-year, $95 million deal.

"Everybody keeps asking me about 2017,'' said Dombrowski. '' 'What are you going to do when David retires?' My response is, let's go through 2016 and then we'll worry about that in the winter time.''