Dustin Pedroia continues to provide spark in Red Sox lineup
|08.04.14 at 8:09 am ET|
Even after putting together a strong performance at the plate Sunday night against the Yankees, Dustin Pedroia — always looking at the big picture — was more focused on the pitch he wasn’t able to capitalize on.
Down by one run with two outs in the ninth, Pedroia stepped up to the dish to face off against Yankee closer David Robertson. After a lengthy battle, Pedroia drove the eighth pitch of the at-bat deep into left field, only for it to hook left of the foul pole before clearing the Green Monster.
“It started out fair and then it kind of hooked foul, it’s just one of those things, and it was kind of up and in, so I hooked it a little bit,” Pedroia said.
Pedroia grounded out on the next pitch to seal the 8-7 Yankees win, giving New York its third series win of the year against Boston.
Despite his frustrating final at-bat, Pedroia compiled another great batting line against New York, finishing the night 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs. It was the fifth multi-hit game in a row for the Red Sox second baseman, tying a career-high mark that Pedroia has already reached seven times in his career.
“I think over the last seven, eight days, you’re seeing much better bat speed, he misses another one there in the ninth inning, just foul,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “Just better bat speed and more freedom in the swing.”
“I feel good. I’ve got to build on it and continue to work and try to get better,” Pedroia said.
While the Red Sox‘ chances of continuing their season in October are essentially null at this point, Pedroia has done his part to keep his team in games over the last two weeks, energizing a lineup that has underwhelmed for most of the 2014 campaign.
After trudging through an 0-for-17 slump from July 18-22, Pedroia is batting .400 (16-for-40) over his last 10 games.
Even though the Sox dropped two of three against the Yankees over the weekend, Boston’s lineup looked much improved against New York, averaging five runs per game over the series — a far cry from the AL-worst 3.82 runs per game that the team averaged coming into Sunday’s game.
While the addition of established hitters Yoenis Cespedes and Allen Craig will strengthen Boston’s lineup, Pedroia stated that more time at the plate is the biggest key in continuing the Red Sox‘ improving offensive punch.
“I think it’s just getting more at-bats,” Pedroia said. “You’re in the grind of the season, you’re going to have times where you’re cold and times where you’re hot, but obviously we’ve got some offensive players that provide a lot of power and work counts and everything like that, so obviously that helps getting better pitches to hit, things like that.”
Pedroia continued: “We swung the bats pretty good the last few days, so we’ve got to build on that, we’ve just got to find a way to score more than the other team.”
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