Sox respond well to Thursday's tough loss

Sox respond well to Thursday's tough loss
June 22, 2013, 12:00 am
Share This Post

DETROIT -- The loss the night before had been crushing. Three outs from a series-opening win against the defending American League champs, the Red Sox had let a one-run lead slip away and turn into a one-run loss.

But there were hangovers apparent 24 hours later. The Red Sox broke out of something of an offensive slump, mashed 17 hits and won a slugfest against the Detroit Tigers, 10-6.

There was no feeling sorry for themselves, no ruminating over what might have been.

The simply went back to work.

"This group does an outstanding job of forgetting yesterday,'' said John Farrell, "and going out and focusing on what we have to do today. It's a smart group, it's very professional and they don't let yesterday carry into today.''

The afternoon was spent discussing a change in the closer's role, with the hope that Koji Uehara could stabilize things in the late innings until Andrew Bailey can make some adjustments.

But when gametime came, the focus was on the present and not what had transpired the previous night.

"Last night was a tough one,'' acknowledged Jon Lester, who snapped a personal six game winless streak. "But tonight was a good one for us, to come back and get a 'W.' I think one of the best attributes of this team is just  kind of the 'show-up-tomorrow' type of attitude. Last night obviously was tough. But I think everybody tonight showed up ready to play and ready to win.''

Had the Red Sox thought about the one that got away and the wasted solid start from John Lackey on Thursday, it might have impacted their play. Late-inning losses, after all, have a tendency to linger.

But this one didn't.

"I think that's what makes this team special -- a lot of people in here have short memories,'' said Lester. "I think that showed tonight.''

Part of the approach was made easier by the changes made to the roster in the off-season. The Sox actively sought high character players who had reputations for having fun, playing hard and not making excuses.

Fused with the core of players left after the clubhouse was fumigated last August, the Sox had the foundation in place to make things right.

"It's so easy for us to kind of turn the page and go on to the next  game,'' said catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia."I think in the past, we allowed  that to affect us a little bit. I think this year has definitely been a lot  different, with the new guys brought in here. The atmosphere [is better] altogether.''

"I think it's just the attitude in the clubhouse,'' agreed Lester, who pitched 5 2/3 innings. "You have a lot of confident people, a lot of guys who have been around for a while that understand it's a long season and you have to be able to (put things behind you) on a nightly basis.

"Every night, you've got a whole new ballgame you've got to win. That's what makes this team really good -- good and bad, they show up the next day, ready to play, ready to grind out at-bats and the pitcher ready to grind it out on the mound.''

Farrell has undoubtedly had an affect on the team, from his business-like approach to his insistence on accountability. But he praised the players themselves for being able to separate what happened yesterday from what has to be accomplished today.

''I think this a genuinely confident group,'' he said.   "They know the game. They recognize what took place last night. Certainly, we're in a position to close it out (Thursday) and it didn't happen. But it's just the fact that we've got a  lot of quality veterans who know that yesterday's over and we can't do anything  about it.''

Instead, the Sox got contributions up and down the lineup -- mostly from the top and bottom. Shane Victorino had four hits and knocked in five runs. Jacoby Ellsbury had two hits, was on base three times and knocked in two.

At the bottom, they got six hits combined from the Nos. 8 and 9 hitters -Stephen Drew and Jose Iglesias.

They got a big lead and didn't look back.

"It's fun to show up and talk baseball and play baseball,'' said Saltalamacchia.

And win, too. Especially after a tough loss.