|Adrian Gonzalez: Red Sox prove (for one night) lefty bats vs. lefty pitching ‘doesn’t matter’||07.17.12 at 1:34 am ET|
Five hours before Adrian Gonzalez launched what proved to be the game-winning blow over the Green Monster against Leyson Septimo, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine was asked if he had any concerns about a top of the order that featured four left-handed batters right out of the chute.
The top four in the Sox order Monday were Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford, Gonzalez and David Ortiz.
“It’s not really unavoidable,” Valentine said. “It’s a good thing. They’re four good players that are batting one through four. We’ll see how it looks. There a number of teams that have gone four right-handed hitters starting a game. Four left-handed hitters could be just the same I would think.”
Talk about foreshadowing. Gonzalez, Ellsbury, Crawford and Ortiz combined to go 4-for-14 with four runs scored. Gonzalez would make the most of his chance against lefty Septimo in the eighth inning, with the game tied and runners on first and second and none out.
“He walked the first two hitters, so see a couple of pitches,” Gonzalez said. “I’ve never faced him before. He fell behind 2-1, and I saw a fastball for a strike so I was looking for another fastball for a strike. I had to stay aggressive and he threw a fastball a little up in the zone I was able to get to.”
Gonzalez was 2-for-4 Monday with four RBIs. He has hit in 20 of his last 21 games, good for a .384 clip to raise his average to .288 on the season.
“Just trying to hit singles,” Gonzalez quipped, sticking to his recent mantra that he’s not worried about his lack of power and home run production. Gonzalez hit just his seventh homer of the season and first since June 24, a span of 63 at-bats.
One thing he might truly be concerned about is the left-handed bat in front of him that went down with an Achilles injury Monday as he trotted around the bases on the decisive homer.
“I’m not on the medical staff,” Gonzalez said. “I’m concerned but I don’t know what they talked about. As soon as he came off the field, I prayed for him and hopefully, he feels better [Tuesday].”
The irony of Monday’s Achilles injury is it comes at just the time when the Red Sox got Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford back in the lineup, with Dustin Pedroia on tap for Thursday.
“It’s what we’re capable of doing when healthy and it was nice seeing both Jacoby and Carl get on base and Jacoby’s been doing a great job the last few days and see Carl score pretty much our winning run, it was great, ” Gonzalez said.
“It feels great to win the game. I’m not really worried about the home runs or any of that stuff. I’m just trying to have good at-bats.
“He’s been doing a great job for us. He’s filling in well. We’ve had a lot of guys filling in really good with the guys getting hurt. It’s one of the big reasons why we’re still afloat and still in contention, all the guys we’ve had fill in in the infield, outfield all over the place.”
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