Ross has good swing for Fenway replica

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Ross has good swing for Fenway replica

FORT MYERS, Fla. It's been said Cody Ross has the perfect swing for Fenway Park a righthanded hitter strong enough to pull the ball, with an uppercut swing.

It will be another month before Ross can put that theory to the test the Sox' home opener isn't until April 13 but if Saturday is any indication, there's something to that theory.

Getting his first game swings at JetBlue Park, which is modeled after Fenway, Ross hit two homers over The Wall in left, including a grand slam.

"Obviously, any time you swing the bat well whether it's Little League or if it's against college pitching or major league pitching it feels good," said Ross after the Sox blanked Northeastern 25-0. "I like it. It plays a lot better to my swing than a lot of parks that I've played in.

"But it's something you can't get too concerned about. You have to stay with your game and try to hit the ball wherever they pitch it. Today, they left a couple out over the plate."

"He got a couple of balls up," said manager Bobby Valentine, "and was able to elevate them and hit the high fly ball like he does. We've all seen that swing before in post-season, haven't we, in the Giants' march (to the World Series in 2010). He's got that swing and I think it will play at Fenway."

Ross spent his last five seasons with either Pro Player Park (or Dolphin Stadium) in Miami or AT&T Park in San Francisco as his home ballpark. Both are spacious; neither is helpful to hitters.

Fenway, of course, can be very inviting for hitters.

"I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought about (how I'd do in more of a hitter's park)," he said. "Any hitter who claims to have some power wants to hit in a hitter's ballpark. It just so happens that Fenway fits well for righthanded swings."

"But I try not to think about it too much. You can get yourself into a lot of trouble thinking about that wall the whole time. I'll take what I got today and try to get better."

Regardless of the environment, Ross has a checklist of things he wants to do at the plate this season: stay balanced, keep his hands back and not get out in front of pitches.

Eduardo Rodriguez strong, Red Sox down Mariners for 5th straight win

Eduardo Rodriguez strong, Red Sox down Mariners for 5th straight win

BOSTON (AP)  Eduardo Rodriguez pitched six scoreless innings and the Boston Red Sox took advantage of a sloppy performance by the Seattle Mariners to earn their season-high fifth straight win, 3-0 on Friday night.

It was the third consecutive win for Rodriguez (4-1), who went six innings, gave up just five hits and struck out four while throwing a season-high 112 pitches. Craig Kimbrel earned his 13th save.

Rodriguez has pitched at least six innings in his last seven starts, going 4-0 in that span.

The only run support Rodriguez needed came in the second inning, when Hanley Ramirez scored on Josh Rutledge's RBI groundout. Boston added two more runs in the sixth, scoring on a wild pitch and passed ball.

Yovani Gallardo (2-5) took the loss. He lasted 5 1/3 innings, gave up seven hits and was responsible for all three of Boston's runs. Seattle has won just one of its last seven.

Meanwhile, Boston gave Rodriguez got lots of help from his defense. Jackie Bradley Jr. had a pair of nice plays, getting an outfield assist in the second and running down another ball on the warning track in the sixth.

In addition to the pitching miscues, the Mariners had all kinds of issues in the wet conditions, committing two fielding errors.

The Red Sox left 11 runners on base, leaving the door open for the Mariners to get back in the game. But Seattle couldn't capitalize, going 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. The Mariners also left seven runners stranded.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: LHP James Paxton (strained left forearm) was slated to make a rehab start Friday night in Double-A Arkansas. He has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 5. He could be activated for a start at the end of the month against Colorado.

Red Sox: Infielder Marco Hernandez will be out the remainder of the season after undergoing stabilization surgery on his left shoulder on Friday. Hernandez was placed on the disabled list May 4 with a left shoulder misalignment. The 24-year-old hit .276 with two RBI in 21 games. ... A night after he left the game with left knee pain, 2B Dustin Pedroia was held out Friday for what manager John Farrell said was "precautionary reasons" because of the wet playing surface.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Rob Whalen (0-2, 4.09 ERA in Triple-A Tacoma) will be making his major league start since last season with Atlanta. He will be 12th different starting pitcher the Mariners have used this season.

Red Sox: LHP Brian Johnson (1-0, 7.20 ERA) will be making his second major league start this year and third of his career.

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