Sox: Ump's blown call had huge impact on game

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Sox: Ump's blown call had huge impact on game

By MaureenMullen
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Getting three outs in an inning is difficult enough. When a team is forced to get six outs, its almost a guarantee the opponent is going to put runs on the scoreboard.

Such was the case in the top of the fifth inning in the Red Sox 7-4 loss Wednesday afternoon, completing the White Sox three-game sweep at Fenway Park.

The White Sox entered their half of the inning trailing the Red Sox, 3-1. By the time the inning was over, six batters had gone to the plate and Bostons two-run advantage was wiped out.

Ramon Castro, the White Sox No. 8 hitter, led off with a walk and advanced to second when Dustin Pedroia couldnt handle Gordon Beckhams pop-up into shallow right field, racing toward the foul line.

Hes on a dead run, said manager Terry Francona. Thats a tough play, a lot tougher play than you think. In that corner, that triangle. If he makes that play, thats a lot more difficult than it looks.

Beckham was erased on Juan Pierres fielders choice, as shortstop Jed Lowrie and Pedroia were unable to turn a double play. With Alexi Ramirez batting, Pierre broke for second. Caught in a rundown, it appeared Pedroia slapped a tag on Pierres back. Second base umpire Marty Foster, though, signaled safe, drawing the ire of Pedroia, Francona, and Wakefield, all to no avail.

Go ask the umpire, man, Pedroia said. Im not going to talk for him. Those guys got to be held responsible for that because I tagged Juan right in the back. So if he doesnt want to ask for help, thats unfortunate because they got two runs out of it and it was a big part of the game.

I asked him to ask everybody and he said, Thats enough or Im going to throw you out of the game. I said OK. And then Tito talked to him. So I dont know.

I didn't ask Foster anything, Francona said. I just wanted to get it right. It was my opinion that you're allowed to do that. I know thats right. He wouldnt do it. Said it was his call. If thats the case, I wish hed have got it right.

For Wakefield, that play could have been the difference in the game.

Its huge, Wakefield said. It cost us two runs. Pretty much probably cost us the game.

Ramirez grounded out to Lowrie, scoring Castro with Chicagos first run of the inning. Carlos Quentins shot down the left field line scored Pierre, tying the game, before Paul Konerko flied out to right.

Wakefield threw 24 pitches in the inning, more than any of the previous innings 14 in the first, 10 in the second, 11 in the third, and 21 in the fourth. When a call doesnt go his teams way, he know knows he has to compose himself, return to the mound, and get his team out of the inning.

Tito calls a pitch-out there and we get the Pierre caught up in a rundown, Wakefield said. Thats a huge out for us. Unfortunately, the call didnt go our way there and now its second and third no outs. Try to minimize the damage as much as possible and I thought I was able to do that until two outs and they scored another run.

It happens once in a while. You try to compose yourself and get out of the inning as best you can. I had two outs there and given up one run. Unfortunately, Quentin hit a good pitch, double down the line and tied the game.

Each team scored single runs in the sixth, but Chicago put up a run in the seventh and two more in the ninth to complete the three-game sweep, handing the Red Sox their fourth straight loss.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen

Quotes, notes and stars: Porcello has ability to adjust

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Quotes, notes and stars: Porcello has ability to adjust

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 8-0 win over the Yankees:

QUOTES:

"He threw all four pitches tonight for strikes, but most importantly, (he's shown) the ability to make adjustments from pitch-to-pitch. If he gets out of whack or misses with a pitch, he's right back in the strike zone.'' - John Farrell on Rick Porcello.

"You look back at the first month and I think we've gained a lot of trust in each other up and down the lineup. That to me is the strongest attribute right now on this team.'' - Farrell on the Red Sox after one month of play.

"Pretty similar. I'm getting a lot of timely hits, and it's helping the team.'' - Jackie Bradley Jr., asked if this last week is similar to the hot streak he enjoyed last August.

"I'm comfortable. I'm in a good place, mentally and physically. I worked really hard to get where I am now and I'm going to continue to work.'' – Bradley on his hot streak.

"Much better fastball command. I've been able to execute my sinker better and that's allowed me to get ahead of hitters and if I do fall behind, I've been able to come back.'' - Porcello on cutting his walk rate by more than half compared to this point a year ago.

NOTES:

* The shutout at Fenway was the first for the Red Sox against the Yankees since May 14, 2011.

* The eight-run margin was the biggest margin in a Red Sox shutout over the Yankees since Sept. 6, 2003 when they won 11-0 in New York.

* The four triples in April for Jackie Bradley Jr. are the most for a Red Sox hitter in that month since Jose Offerman in 1999.

* In his last nine games against the Yankees, Bradley is 14-for-31 (.452) with nine extra-base hits.

* Rick Porcello's 5-0 start to the season is the best run for a Red Sox starter since Josh Beckett was 7-0 in 2007.

* The Yankees have failed to homer in seven games this season; they're 0-7 in those games.

STARS:

1) Jackie Bradley Jr.

Bradley had three extra-base hits (two triples and a double) for eight total bases, and knocked in three runs.

2) Rick Porcello

The Red Sox starter tossed seven shutout innings and allowed only two baserunners into scoring position while issuing just one walk.

3) Mookie Betts

Betts had a double in the second and a single in the sixth, good for three RBI, a season high for him.

First impressions from Red Sox' 8-0 win over Yankees: Bradley on a tear

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First impressions from Red Sox' 8-0 win over Yankees: Bradley on a tear

BOSTON -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 8-0 win over the Yankees:

* Rick Porcello doesn't seem like a weak link in the rotation now.

Porcello blanked the Yankees for seven innings and is now 5-0 with a 2.76 ERA for the season. For the fourth time in five outings, he pitched into the seventh innings.

The Yankees threatened only once - in the fifth, when they had runners at the corners and two out. But Porcello got Jacoby Ellsbury to ground out, stranding two and was never in trouble again.

Porcello's command is improved over a year ago. In his first five starts last year, covering 30 innings, he walked 10. This year, he's pitched 32 2/3 innings and issued just five walks.

* Jackie Bradley is swinging it like he did last August.

Bradley went on an extra-base tear late last summer, rocketing doubles, triples and homers for a stretch of a few weeks that was completely unexpected.

The last week has been like that stretch, with seven extra-base hits in the last seven games. He knocked in the first run of the night with a double to left, then delivered another in the sixth with a triple to the triangle and two more in the seventh with a triple into the right field corner.

In the two games against the Yankees, he's got four extra-base hits, a walk and five RBI.

* David Ortiz has started 20 games this season. He's knocked in 19 runs.

Ortiz added his second homer in as many nights, to go along with a single and walk.

It's doubtful that he's going to keep up his RBI-per-game pace, but when he's locked in the way he is now, he impacts virtually the entire lineup from the cleanup position.

* If you think Pablo Sandoval was bad, maybe you haven't been watching Chase Headley.

The Yankee third baseman was a free agent the same winter that Sandoval was and some argued that he would have been a better fit for the Sox than was Panda.

But 22 games into the 2016 season, Headley has yet to collect a single base hit and has an OPS of .405. He's hitting .153 and has virtually no range to speak of at third base.

* A lot has changed for Junichi Tazawa.

A year ago, Tazawa was overworked in the first half of the season. On Saturday night, he got an inning of work in the ninth in a blowout game because he hadn't pitched since last Sunday -- thanks to strong starting efforts from the rotation over the past two series.