Sox' Sunday game pushed to Saturday at 5 p.m.

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Sox' Sunday game pushed to Saturday at 5 p.m.

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Attempting to stay a step ahead of Hurricane Irene, the Red Sox have shifted their scheduled Sunday game with the Oakland A's to a 5 p.m. start on Saturday as part of a separate admission doubleheader.

With heavy rain and wind expected by 9 p.m., it became clear that the teams had virtually no shot of playing a game Sunday.

Red Sox ownership, fearful of a Saturday night forecast of approaching rain, first proposed the teams consider playing a day-night doubleheader Friday, when the weather is expected to be more clear than Saturday.

But Red Sox players rejected that outright, according to reliever Daniel Bard, who serves as the team's player representative.

The Sox are due to land in Boston sometime after 5 a.m. Friday morning on an overnight flight from Texas, meaning players would be playing some seven or so hours after deplaning.

"(Other options) weren't real good," said Bard. "This was the thing that made the most sense for everybody. Obviously, travel's going to be pretty rough leading up to it, so we were trying to get creative and find another way to do it. But this is how it worked out."

Red Sox players had the right to refuse the day-night double-header Saturday, but with no common off-days to re-schedule the game later in the season, Major League Baseball could have forced the teams to play a basic double-header.

That plan would have cost Red Sox ownership the gate receipts from the Sunday game, so players agreed to vote for the separate admission option.

"The difference between 12 and 5 (for start times) and 12 and 4 wasn't even worth taking the money out of our (team's) pockets," said Bard.

Bard confirmed that ownership's first choice was the day-night doubleheader Friday.

"We can't do that," he said. "You can't ask guys to play 18 innings after getting in at 5 a.m. That was quickly shot down. We'd rather play the game at the end of the season."

Bard said he was told that playing the game on Sept. 29, the day after the regular season ends, was not an option that MLB would approve.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam.

Quotes, notes and stars: Betts has first career five-hit night

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Quotes, notes and stars: Betts has first career five-hit night

BOSTON - Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 6-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals

QUOTES:

"We continually do a great job in creating opportunities and I'm confident that (the struggles with men in scoring position) will turn.'' - John Farrell

"When you start off with a five-run spot in the first, that's a tough deficit to overcome.'' - Steven Wright.

"That's how it goes sometimes. Sometimes, we score when we're not expecting to and then when we need to score, sometimes it doesn't happen.'' - Mookie Betts on the team going 4-for-15 with RISP.

 

NOTES:

* The loss was just the third in the last 13 series openers for the Red Sox.

* The game marked the first time in 20 home games in which the Sox never led.

* Boston was 4-for-15 with runners in scoring position.

* The first four hitters in the order were 13-for-19 (.684). The fifth-through-nine hitters, however, were just 2-for-21 (.095).

* Mookie Betts (five hits) leads the majors with 55 multi-hit games.

* Dustin Pedroia has reached base in each of his last eight plate appearances.

* David Ortiz's double was the 625th of his career, passing Hank Aaron to move into 10 place in MLB history.

* Ortiz leads the A.L. in doubles (41) and extra-base hits (72).

 

STARS:

1) Eric Hosmer

Hosmer cranked a three-run homer into the Monster Seats four batters into the game, and the Royals were off and running with a five-run inning.

2) Ian Kennedy

The Royals starter wasn't dominant, allowing nine hits in 5 1/3 innings, but he bailed himself out of a number of jams and limited the Sox to just two runs.

3) Mookie Betts

Betts had his first career five-hit night and knocked in two of the three Red Sox runs, though he also got himself picked off first base.

 

First impressions: Royals' five-run first inning dooms Red Sox in 6-3 loss

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First impressions: Royals' five-run first inning dooms Red Sox in 6-3 loss

First impressions from the Red Sox' 6-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals:

 

Steven Wright recovered nicely after the first inning, but the damage was done.

Wright's last five innings featured just three hits allowed -- one in the infield. But the first inning did the Red Sox in -- two walks followed by a three-run homer, then a single and a two-run homer.

Whether this was a matter of rust for Wright -- who last pitched three weeks ago Friday night -- or an early inability to command his knuckleball is uncertain.

The fact is, Wright dug an early hole for his teammates, and he had the misfortune to do so against a team with the best bullpen in baseball.

To his credit, Wright kept the game somewhat within reach thereafter, but the five-run head start proved too much of a jump.

 

It's time to worry a little about Jackie Bradley.

Bradley was just 7-for-40 in the just-completed road trip, and things didn't get any better on the first night of the homestand.

In the first, he came up with two on and two out and struck out swinging to strand both baserunners. In the third, he came to the plate with runners on the corners and, again, struck out swinging.

We're seeing the same kind of slump that Bradley fell into in previous seasons, where even contact is hard to find, with nine strikeouts in the last 16 at-bats.

Problem is, with Andrew Benitendi on the DL, there aren't a lot of options for John Farrell with the Red Sox outfield.

 

Trying to get Fernando Abad and Junichi Tazawa back on track in low- leverage mop-up didn't work.

Tazawa had a perfect seventh, but gave up a monster shot into the center field bleachers to Lorenzo Cain to start the eighth.

Abad entered, and while he did record a couple of strikeouts, also gave up a single, a walk and threw a wild pitches before he could complete the inning.

Getting some work for the two was the right idea, given that the Sox were down by three runs at the time. A good outing might help either regain some confidence and turn the corner.

But not even that could be accomplished Friday night.