|Bobby Valentine: ‘Ghost of Fenway Past’ hit Luke Scott||05.26.12 at 12:02 am ET|
Bobby Valentine said that “boys will be boys” when asked to describe what happened in the ninth inning of the Red Sox’ 7-4 loss to the Rays at Fenway Park Friday night. Franklin Morales drilled Tampa designated hitter Luke Scott with a pitch in the top of the ninth after nearly missing him earlier in the at-bat, causing both benches to clear.
Valentine also mentioned Luke’s past words about Fenway and the Red Sox fans. Scott referred to Fenway as a “dump” in April and earlier blasted Red Sox fans for their “arrogance.”
“Maybe it was the Ghost of Fenway Past remembering he bad-mouthed all our fans and our stadium, directing the ball at his leg,” Valentine said.
Morales said following the game that he did not intend to hit Scott.
“I tried to make my pitch inside and I missed it and I’m sorry,” Morales said. “I don’t try to hit any players.”
Scott wasn’t the only player fired up after the play. Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia got involved by getting tangled up with Scott. Saltalamacchia could understand Scott’s frustration given that it was the second inside pitch of the count, but was quick to note that Burke Badenhop hit Dustin Pedroia in the bottom of the sixth and that Nava was also nearly hit.
“He just wanted to know if it was on purpose,” Saltalamacchia said of Scott walking out toward the mound. “Rightfully so, but we could also say the same thing. We could ask him about Pedey’s or we could ask him about the one over Nava’s head, Pedey’s head. It’s part of the game. We’re out there playing it. We’re playing hard, they’re playing hard. Both trying to win, and it’s unfortunate that it had to happen that way.”
The Rays racked up seven runs — all off Jon Lester — on three homers in the first four innings of the game. Saltalamacchia noted that part of that was because the Sox weren’t going inside enough on Rays hitters. It’s for that reason that he felt Morales had to pitch inside.
“It’s Frankie. Frankie’s a guy that you have to pitch in. It was unfortunate that the last time at their place he went in and hit a guy. I mean, it goes through your head a little bit. The first one got away from him, but after that we’ve got to pitch in,” Saltalamacchia said. “We didn’t pitch in at all tonight, and you saw what happened. It’s an at-bat [in which] we need to shut them down right there. We got two quick outs and we needed that third one. It’s just unfortunate it got away.”
The Red Sox remain in last place in the AL East, 5 1/2 games behind the division-leading Orioles and 4 1/2 games behind the second-place Rays.
“I wouldn’t say there’s bad blood,” he said. “It’s a rivalry. … We want to win, so whoever we put in front of us that we play, it’s going to be a game that we’re heated and ready to go and want to win.”
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