Notes: Pedroia breaks slump with home run

Notes: Pedroia breaks slump with home run
July 31, 2013, 1:00 am
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BOSTON – Dustin Pedroia entered Tuesday night’s game against the Mariners at Fenway Park in a 0-for-15 funk, 3-for-39 since the All-Star break, dropping his batting average from .316 to .294. Before the game, manager John Farrell was asked what he had been seeing at the plate lately from his second baseman and de facto team captain.
 
“A guy trying to make some things happen,” Farrell replied. “Yet when he’s squared some balls up in Baltimore the other day or recently, hasn’t had a whole lot of luck. But see a guy wanting to make things happen and on occasion that might cause someone to  -- not only Dustin,  but others -- to expand the strike zone at times, particularly off the plate away. And he hasn’t hit into too much luck.”
 
Pedroia ran into a few hits Tuesday night, going 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI.
 
The home run came in a nine-pitch at-bat in the second inning with Shane Victorino on, snapping an 0-for-16 skid. Of his 97 career home runs, this was his fifth in an at-bat of nine or more pitches.
 
“Even if it wasn’t a home run, a couple of balls he squared up,” Farrell said after the game. “He’s been in a little bit of a stretch here, where it’s hitting into some tough luck, maybe over aggressive at times.”

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With the Rays beating the Diamondbacks, the Sox remain a half game back in the American League East.

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The Sox improve to 6-5 since the All-Star break.

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The Sox clinched the season series against the Mariners, improving to 4-1 this season. It is the fourth straight season series the Sox have won over Seattle. The Sox have beaten the Mariners in seven straight games at Fenway since May 1, 2011.

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Sox starting pitchers have held opponents to three or fewer earned runs in 21 of the last 26 games.

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Jacoby Ellsbury hit his fifth home run of the season, a solo shot in the second inning. It is his fourth home run in his last 18 games after hitting just one home run in the first 79 games this season. His four home runs in July are his most in any month since hitting eight in September 2011. In 49 games since May 26 he is batting .357, going 75-for-210, with 16 doubles, three triples, four home runs, 19 RBI, 15 walks, and 25 stolen bases.

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Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit his ninth home run of the season, a two-run shot in the eighth inning. It was his first home run since hitting two on June 9 against the Angels, a stretch of 32 consecutive games without a home run.

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